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Vineet Gupta: Covid-19 has not impacted the organised meat retail in anyway

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Republic of Chicken is a fully integrated fresh meat brand that has transformed the meat buying experience of consumers through its farm-to-fork model. In an exclusive interview, Vineet Gupta, CEO, Republic of Chicken speaks about Covid-19 and India as a market for ready to cook poultry products

How has Covid-19 impacted the poultry industry in India? What are the supply chain challenges?

Covid-19 has not impacted the organised meat retail in anyway. In fact, the demand has gone up after Covid as people are sitting at home. There are no supply chain challenges. We are into backward integration where all the birds are grown in-house and then used for processing.

What can be done to bring back consumer confidence in chicken products post Covid?

Customer experience can only be built if we are following all the health mandates that make people trust any brand at this time. Demand has certainly seen a rise and it is growing month on month. Initially, there were rumours that chicken consumption is not safe after Covid but after the clarifications by WHO on chicken being safe to consume, people started ordering again with the same speed.

How has India developed as a market for ready to cook chicken products? Has the market matured enough to switch from chicken shops to frozen alternatives?

That adoption is still going on for raw meats. People have started understanding the benefits of frozen meats over fresh meats. We are into fresh meats also as majority of the market demands fresh raw meats and there is 20 per cent people who prefer frozen over fresh meats.

For ready to cook, people buy frozen seekh kebabs, salami, sausages etc and for that, we don’t need to inform customers more as they buy and store them at their places for in-house consumption and parties.

How has the company evolved over the past two years?

Republic of Chicken has started its focus on online sales through its mobile application and website. We are taking our offline customer base to online ordering and results are excellent.

What is the current production capacity? How is the chicken sourced? Are there contract arrangements with vendors?

1000 tonnes per month. Everything is in-house like poultry farms, feed mill, slaughter house, etc

Vocal about Local. Your comments.

Yes. We believe in that. We would also want to export meat products from our India plant; we have plans to setup a retail brand outside India as well.

The future footprint for ROC?

To expand into new metro cities in India through offline and online footprints starting with Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. We would also want to start a few countries by the next year.

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