On a trek to the Western Ghats in 2018, Vinay Kothari tasted what he describes as the fruitiest jackfruit bar ever at a local shop. Its savoring flavour led him to conceive the idea of opening a confectionery line to bring tangy candies to the world. Vinay started sourcing delicious fruits from the remote corners of West India and South India to make authentic candies. To sell these, Vinay, along with his sister Raksha, set up a stall at a flea market in Karnataka.
The seeds were sown for Go Desi, a consumer startup that rose to become the fastest-growing confectionary brand on Amazon.in. Amazon customers poured the same love that the Go Desi team put into reimagining grandma's kitchen and recreating 90's childhood—handmade delights with a nostalgic mix of sweet and sour tastes.
What makes Go Desi’s products unique?
How Go Desi is empowering women?
Go Desi’s USP: Bringing the essence of rural India to urban consumers, both in India and overseas markets. In the Rs 50-500 price range, Go Desi’s range on Amazon.in includes products such as Imli Popz and Meetha Kaju Kishmish Coconut Barfi, besides trial packs of its candies.
Go Desi has a manufacturing facility in rural Karnataka, where it employs over 200 women. Co-founder Raksha Kothari told About Amazon India that raw material for confectionery is procured directly from farmers. “This approach helps us drive business sustainably whilst supporting small farmers,” she says.
Our vision is to penetrate the world with the flavours of rural India.
The Kotharis and team added another feather in their cap this year: Go Desi was named as one of the Season 2 winners of the Amazon Propel Accelerator Program, which saw interest from more than 1,000 consumer-focused startups.
“We are very grateful for the win. The Propel journey has been very enriching for us. We are excited about the exposure that we will get further to make the world go desi,” said Vinay.
He also thanked the Amazon leadership team for sharing business and consumer insights around the Indian and global market. “We got thorough sessions from various industry leaders—anecdotes of brands that have done really well and what is necessary to scale up. So that itself was very enlightening,” he adds.
Go Desi’s future plans
Team Go Desi is now looking to transcend beyond India. The experience of selling on Amazon.in has prepared the brand for managing global selling effectively. The company has established its foothold in the US, UK, Germany, and UAE.
Going forward, the Kotharis aspire to make the world accept desi confectionery just as Indians accepted dark chocolate. Their aim is to create one of the largest confectionery brands across the globe. “We are here for the long run. We want to grow sustainably and achieve our dream,” adds Vinay.
A roller coaster journey
Elaborating on his entrepreneurial journey, Vinay says, “Entrepreneurship is a roller coaster journey."
Sometimes you doubt yourself. However, the effortless repeats that we were having from our consumers on Amazon kept us going.
In 2020, Go Desi raised Rs 4.5 crore in funding led by Rukam Capital.
Lowering entry barriers for Indian MSMEs
Amazon’s flagship Propel Accelerator program was launched in January 2021 with an intent to lower the entry barrier for Indian MSMEs which seeking to launch or expand their export business. Early-stage consumer product startups can benefit from the program by expanding globally and becoming international brands. As part of the program, a cohort of select startups receives 1:1 mentorship from industry leaders and a platform to interact with potential investors and receive support in going global. Slurrp! Farm, Sirona, and Wellbeing Nutrition were the winners in 2021.