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Leon Jacob, VP Sales is leaning on
automation to boldly reach new
customers in newer geographies
across India.

Leon Jacob, VP Sales is leading
on automation to boldly reach
new customers in newer
geographies across India.

Leon Jacob, VP Sales is leading on automation to boldly reach new customers in newer geographies across
India.

Technology has been called the great growth engine of change. But having a technology solution that ticks all the hygiene boxes is not enough. Does the partner understand your industry? Are they aware of the unique challenges that your brand struggles with? Can they give you a solution that will scale up when you do in the future?

Start by asking what they can bring to the table that others can’t. Ask them why they are the best for your business.  Look at this partnership as a long-term relationship, because they need to be industry experts, not just a technology vendor.  

That’s what the VP Sales for Intergrow Brands, Leon Jacob did.  He looked at multiple technology solution companies, conducted a POC too before eventually deciding to partner with FieldAssist.  Let’s understand how he’s using a next-gen sales and distribution technology platform to build a bigger footprint for Kitchen Treasures.

Kitchen Treasures

In April 2013, Intergrow Foods & Beverages was launched with the purpose of making everyday food taste more flavourful and delicious. Its flagship brand, ‘Kitchen Treasures’ produces high-quality spices and masala powders that taste exactly like those coming out of your mother’s kitchen.

Kitchen Treasures’ vision is to offer products made from pure, wholesome, high-quality ingredients to their customers. Do you know how they do that? By processing the highest quality of fresh ingredients from more than 10,000 acres of farms at their state-of-the-art manufacturing facility.

Spicing up their Growth Strategy

Until the entry of Kitchen Treasures in 2013, the market had something called ‘export quality’ and ‘domestic quality’,  and the common man could not get to taste the best quality seafood, tea or pepper as they were all being exported. Through Kitchen Treasures, Ashok Mani, the third generation MD & CEO decided to offer ‘export quality spices to the domestic market, so people like you and me could savour the rich flavours of dishes made with top quality ingredients. 

Today Kitchen Treasures is Number 3 in volume and Number 2 in brand value. Of the 65-70 lakh households in Kerala, Kitchen Treasures products are used in about a third of them. Only about 40% of the shops have the brand and this base needs to be grown further.

What challenges did Leon’s team face to walk towards that goal?

Leon knew that to carve out a big market share,  his team had to get aligned both on goals as well as on skills. This was critical because there were already many regional and national spice companies in the south and competition was very high. However, there were internal sales issues he needed to resolve first:

  •  A lot of sales workflows were still done manually like punching retailer orders or documenting reasons for returns or taking retailer feedback.
  • Many outlets were in villages and remote areas, and serviceability was a constant struggle. 
  • He did not have sufficient information flowing back to him on which outlets were not performing well, which beats needed realigning or which of his salespeople needed help in selling better. 

We huddled, ideated and identified the best possible solution for Kitchen Treasures

Spices and masalas are a unique product category, something that we at FieldAssist understand very deeply, as we currently work with some of the biggest names in the business. 

Kitchen Treasures onboarded FieldAssist during the pandemic. So the FA team conducted online  ‘Train the Trainer’ sessions on how to use the FA GT app. These freshly minted trainers then trained the remaining sales team in Malayalam. 

The immediate impact was that now everything was digitized and automated. With the FA GT app in hand, their salespeople were able to shave off a significant amount of time punching orders. This allowed them to cover many more outlets per day. The app also worked beautifully in areas with weak network connectivity. Coming into the year 2022, Leon’s team was able to significantly better their numbers as compared to 6 months ago:

  • They improved both their Total Calls as well as Productive calls by 26%
  • The sales team went from selling 3-4 to almost 5-6 Product Lines per call
  • The average value per call also increased by 23%

For the mid-managers, the kind of data they started getting on the FA Analytics app was a kind of revelation! The app enabled them to spot the areas or people that needed immediate action.

For e.g, they could now see their fastest-selling items (which are incidentally their Chicken and Mutton masalas!) and modify their product mix better for different areas, or they could identify their bottom 10% performers and take requisite measures. Managers too started visiting the field more often with their sales personnel, which improved their overall productivity.

Leon Jacob, VP Sales taps into new outlets to aggressively expand in Kerala and Karnataka

With on-the-go visibility on what was happening in the field, Leon was now keen to explore the potential of untapped outlets in the south and wanted to create a campaign on the GT App itself. FieldAssist helped them use the Survey feature intelligently,  due to which the Kitchen Treasure’s sales team was able to create a whopping 11,847 new outlets within 5 months! 

Today Ashok Mani and Leon Jacob are on track to achieving their numbers and potentially becoming the biggest spices company in South India in the next few years. FieldAssist has armed its team with transparency, ownership and responsiveness to ensure that when customers look for high-quality masalas, spices and staples, they buy only Kitchen Treasures!

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