the best SME stories of the week


Running a business is a roller coaster ride. With success comes many challenges, and those who succeed set the best examples in the world. Along with resilience, a focus on changing business trends is another crucial ingredient that defines business growth.

This week, SMBShistory highlighted the story behind Fratelli, one of India’s leading wine brands, and Soch – a Bengaluru-based ethnic clothing brand that has strategically pivoted to stay in the midst of COVID-19 and expand in multiple ways.

Fratelli

Besides COVID-19, Fratelli suffered a setback in October 2020, when Kapil Sekhri, co-founder and one of the best winemakers in the country, died of a heart attack.

Almost a year after his death, SMBShistory caught up with his brother Gaurav Sekhri, who, along with Kapil and four others, founded Fratelli Wines over ten years ago in 2006.

Fratelli, which means “brothers” in Italian, has seven founders in all – Kapil and Gaurav Sekhri, Alessio and Andre Secci, Arjunsinh and Ranjitsinh MohitePatil, and winemaker Piero Masi.

Fratelli – known for producing the best wines in India – has undergone several changes over the past year. He faced the loss of one of his co-founders while remaining afloat amid the two draconian waves of COVID-19.

“Honestly, we didn’t really face what happened and are still coming to terms with it,” says Gaurav Sekhri.

“Before 2020, we were starting to feel that our labels did not do our wines justice. We have received several comments from people suggesting the same. Even Kapil thought the same. So we started the process of redesigning our labels to tell a story.

The label features seven numbers holding a glass of wine, indicating the seven values ​​of the co-founders. The tag also shows a figure holding a golden glass – which indicates Kapil and the fact that he is the focal point of the business.

Fratelli has also introduced TiLT (wine in cans) for those who wish to drink wine in a relaxed setting without fear of being judged.

Read the full story here.

Soch

The visceral thrill of shopping has changed dramatically over the past few months. Ten years ago, it would have been unusual for shoppers keen to get a feel for fabric and size to purchase clothes online.

During COVID-19, businesses that were nimble enough to quickly build their online sales channels survived the lockdown.

For ethnic clothing brand Soch, the situation was no different. Although it has had a strong offline presence in the country for nearly two decades, it is the digital adoption of the fashion retailer that has helped it see 400% sales growth in the new normal.

In an interaction, Vinay Chatlani, CEO of Soch Apparels, said,

“Before the pandemic we were doing a small portion of our sales on Amazon and Myntra, that too, only our clearance inventory as our focus was only offline retail. But things have changed dramatically in the post-pandemic world, when selling online has become a way to support the business for the long haul. “

Bengaluru-based Soch Apparels carved out a niche in the e-commerce and D2C (direct to consumer) space only after the pandemic. Vinay says Soch’s business increased between 3X and 4X right after the first wave of COVID-19.

Read the full story here.

Obstacles and means of innovation of MSMEs

In recent years, there has been a lot of buzz around supporting Indian micro, small and medium enterprises. The government has taken crucial steps to take over these companies, which contribute 30% of India’s GDP.

However, the sector is struggling to follow the path of innovation. The 2019 RBI report found that the MSME sector has yet to benefit from advances in digitization, which can significantly reduce costs and time for the MSME sector.

The outbreak of COVID-19 has pushed India towards technological development. Although the choice of digital adoption was forced for many companies, they stepped on the pedal during the lockdowns induced by the pandemic and were able to survive.

But what is preventing MSMEs from innovating?

Talk with SMBShistory, industry experts like Sandip Chhettri of TradeIndia; Vikas Varma, COO, South Asia, Mastercard; and Amit Kumar, founder of the MSMEx education and consulting platform MSMEx, talk about the real obstacles to innovation among MSMEs and give advice on how to overcome them.

Read the full story here.

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