Nothing can be as refreshing on a hot summer day as tender coconut water. But Manigandan KM soon realised that every time he had the craving for tender coconut water, it meant stopping his car and buying them from the roadside. He began to understand why aerated beverages were more popular than the much-more nutritious tender coconut water; accessibility and ease of consumption were the two major factors. That’s when he came up with the idea of Tenco. Manigandan also had an agricultural family background, which made him feel more strongly towards ensuring that tender coconut water was easily accessible. Manigandan soon quit his Accenture job, and started his company.
Soon his team developed machines that could trim the tender coconut so that anyone could cut open the coconuts with a small kitchen knife or even a spoon. “We also have our own Tender Coconut opener with which even children can open them without much effort. We currently sell around 4,000 tender coconuts on a daily basis. A year-and-a-half back, when we started we were hardly doing 50 tender coconuts every day,” Manigandan says.
Building the setup
Tenco Foods built the first machine in less than three months. “We first gave it to our friends for feedback and we got very good response from them. That is how we started in the journey of trimmed tender coconuts.” “Starting with 50 tender coconuts per day, we currently do around 4,000 tender coconuts daily. Our revenues are close to Rs 30 lakh per month and we hope to double it this summer,” he says. Tenco currently supplies to offline stores like Hypercity, More, Big Bazaar, Metro, Nilgiris, Namdharis, Natures Basket, and online stores like Amazon, Big Basket, Grofers, Zopnow, and Doodhwalla.
According to TechSci Report, the packaged coconut water market in India was at $15.38 million as of 2016. This is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 17% between 2017 and 2022, and is expected to touch $40.73 million by 2022.
There are several players entering the space, including Vadodara-based Manpasand Beverages. Reports are suggesting that other giants are keenly looking to enter the packaged tender coconut water space. Manigandan believes Tenco has the first-mover advantage and a great team to back it up. The team claims to have gross margin of 20% in B2B2C and 30% in B2C. Currently bootstrapped, the start-up raised a round of funding from friends and family.
They aim to move to other cities like Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune, Mumbai, and Delhi. They also plan to introduce other coconut-related products, including coconut milk, coconut flakes, coconut sugar, virgin coconut oil, and host of other products. Speaking about the future, Manigandan says, “We are also working on waste management and we see huge potential. Coconuts waste can be used to create coco pith, activated carbon, charcoal, and we will also produce high-quality compost, which will be consumed by the farmer itself.” Courtesy: YourStory.com