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How Khaas Food Is Slowly Building A Brand Image Around Safe Food

Khaas Food, the Dhaka-based farm-to-table food company, started as a Facebook Page - taking orders online for a handful of food products such as Milk, Honey, and so on and delivering high-quality safe food to customers. Eventually, it launched a website and started taking orders there as well.

Over the past years, it has outgrown its Facebook page as well as its ecommerce company identity. Khaas Food says it plans to continue to grow as a food company.

Most companies that sell online tend to pay more attention to their digital identity. It is ecommerce which is more important for many of these companies which results in unexpected challenges as the market matures and big players continue to take up a bigger share of the market. Khaas Food wants to avoid this challenge. In an interview with Future Startup, Khaas Food Chairman, Habibul Mustafa, shared Khaas Food’s ambition to build an identity around safe food and its several investments in the space.

“We are more of a food company that an ecommerce company. And our goal is to play to that strength,” Habibul Mustafa said. “Our long-term plan is to establish a popular and reliable food business in which e-commerce will only be a distribution channel. To have control over our customers, we are trying to improve our distribution channels (e.g. e-commerce platform and physical outlet/warehouse) gradually.”

Building a strong distribution network

As part of the ambition, it has started building a layer of physical distribution channels, it has opened over 5 warehouses across Dhaka city and is on the lookout for distribution collaboration.

“Our plans for future is to build our own distribution channel which would be at the intersection of online and physical retail,” Mr. Mustafa said. “It would comprise of stores in different areas of the capital and, eventually spanning out to different parts of the country.”

Building better control over backward linkage and investment in manufacturing

Khaas Food has been investing consistently in building a strong backward linkage and a greater control over its suppliers. It has invested with a number of its suppliers and plans to do more in the coming which should allow Khaas Food greater control over production and supplies.

“We are focused on positioning ourselves as a safe food manufacturer/supplier in the market,” said Habibul Mustafa. “To that end, we have made some investments in production to ensure a greater control on the backward linkage and better quality supplies.

We have invested in a dairy farm which used to be our third-party supplier up until recently. We were satisfied with their product quality. But they were having difficulties in meeting the rising demands of our customers. So, we lent them a helping hand and underwrote an expansion of their operation. Previously, the dairy farm had only three cows and now they have 23.

Our milk has made quite a name in the market for its quality. Just a few days ago, we received a call from Chaldal. They were planning to add dairy milk to their product mix. And searching for the right supplier, they first called us. We intend to keep up that reputation.

Besides investing in the dairy farm, we have financially backed our natural honey and seasonal fruits suppliers. And we are already seeing good results. We plan to do more this as we grow.

In future, we will particularly focus on expanding our own production houses and strengthening our suppliers. We are also planning to build better relationships and better integrations with our suppliers which would help us to maintain the growth of our customer base and ensure a speedy delivery without having to deal with wastage and misappropriation.”

Mohammad Ruhul Kader is a Dhaka-based entrepreneur and writer. He founded Future Startup, a digital publication covering the startup and technology scene in Dhaka with an ambition to transform Bangladesh through entrepreneurship and innovation. He writes about internet business, strategy, technology, and society. He is the author of Rethinking Failure. His writings have been published in almost all major national dailies in Bangladesh including DT, FE, etc. Prior to FS, he worked for a local conglomerate where he helped start a social enterprise. Ruhul is a 2022 winner of Emergent Ventures, a fellowship and grant program from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. He can be reached at ruhul@futurestartup.com

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