Starting a meat venture is not easy. You have to follow certain rules and regulations. You are always on the edge to provide the best meat. Sometimes, certain rumours can disturb your business. Bird flu is one of the common diseases that can bring a lot of losses to your business. These things did not change the mind of Abhay Hanjura and Vivek Gupta. They were enthusiastic to start the meat venture Licious.
They both left their high paying jobs to start a risky business in 2015. In March 2020, a rumour was spreading on social media that eating chicken will infect your body with Covid-19. It was fake news but affected the meat business very badly. It also did not stop Licious to grow.
How Licious Revenue Surged in Lockdown?
The fake news related to the Chicken connection with Covid-19 was all over the internet. At the same time, Licious was leaving no stone unturned to grow.
Talking about the Chicken Covid rumour, Varun Sadana, one of the co-founders of Licious, said:
“For anything terrible happening across the world, the first casualty is poor chicken.”
Later, the news of food delivery boys turning covid positive started trending. And it hurt the online business very badly. Licious collected a revenue of Rs 180 crore in FY2020. The company was looking to expand the business against the covid wind.
In September 2020, the meat startup hard work started paying back. People were hesitant to buy meat products from nearby shops due to the unhygienic factor. Licious utilized this opportunity very well. They provided the safest delivery to the customers with a quality product.
In the first 6 months of FY2021, the company clocked a whopping revenue of Rs. 600 crore that was a 300% jump compared to the last year. The company recorded exponential growth in the meat and seafood brand. As per the reports, meat and seafood sale in these 6 months were more than the total sale of both products in the last 5 years.
Chicken contributed maximum in the revenue of Licious. It was very surprising to see chicken leading after a lot of fake news.
Licious delivered 10 lakh orders per month in June and July, whereas the company recorded 1.5 lakh orders per month in June and July of 2019. The company is targeting to reach a revenue of Rs 1000 crore by March 2021. Licious did not reveal the data yet related to March revenue.
How Licious Food Delivery Beat the Covid Fear?
Licious amazing growth did not come automatically. There was proper planning to achieve this. The company did not depend on third-party riders. It has its riders to deliver the product.
The company focused on three key points. First, it focussed the safe raw meat. It was very difficult to get raw meat due to the complete lockdown in the major cities. There was no traffic movement. The demand was also low due to the shut down of hotels and restaurants. The company arranged everything with old suppliers with additional cost. They also helped fishermen to do their job properly.
Second, the company focused on running the factory with proper safety measures. They did not allow the virus to enter the factory. Third, the management created the bio bubble for more than 700 staffs for safety. The company arranged a hotel for all workers and followed the covid 19 guidelines properly.
Unique Challenges Faced by Licious Co-Founders
Licious co-founders are also fighting against the hypocrisy of society about meat. Hanjura said:
“Four things in India are sold in black polythene bags-Condoms, liquor. sanitary towels and meat. The day the black polythene bag is completely discarded from the industry would be our biggest achievement.”
Another surprising part about the Licious is the background of Co-founders. Their families were against this business. Hanjura is the son of Kashmiri Pandit, whereas Gupta belongs to the pure vegetarian family.
Hanjura father threatened to disown him if he starts this business. For 3 years, the Hanjura family did not tell anyone about their son business. On the other hand, Gupta’s Dad was like ” how will I tell my relatives and friends that you do a meat business.”
Licious was also invited by Harvard Business School for a keynote speech. Licious is not only growing in the meat business but it is breaking stereotypes. Their fight is against fear, hypocrisy, and stigma.