Biryani By Kilo (BBK) wants to take the biryani story to every corner of the country and even across the world. From 100+ outlets across 45+ cities, the brand wants to open 250-300 outlets across India in the next two to three years.
In a bid to amplify their messaging they are planning to air a food and travel show on popular OTT platforms. The show will be hosted by popular faces like chef Ranveer Brar, actress Vani Kapoor, badminton star PV Sindhu, singer Armaan Malik and actress Pranitha Subhash.
Vishal Jindal, founder and Co-CEO, BBK, talks to Storyboard18 about the show, the brand’s expansion plans, and the ways they market biryani.
A biryani brand launching a TV show – what is the idea behind this? Could you tell us a little more about the show?
Before I tell you about the show, I’d like to tell you where the idea emerged from. BBK has 100+ outlets across 45+ cities, and we hope to go international next year. Clearly, our customers believe in our brand, and in our story, given our Rs 300 crore revenue run rate.
But we cannot rest on our laurels – we’ve got to tell our story, and raise brand awareness alongside. We want our current and future customers to know our brand ethos and what we stand for.
In today’s world, content is important for all brands; it’s a big hook. What better way, then, than to get the best of the best in their fields to work with us on a food-entertainment-travel show?
That is essentially what “Dum Laga Ke India” (DLKI) is — the title focuses and plays upon the key word for a great biryani — the dum biryani — which is biryani cooked in sealed handi (vessel) to capture the aromas and flavours of the ingredients. Dum also showcases the strength (dum) and spirit of India.
The web series will play on digital platforms, including Disney+Hotstar, YouTube, etc. It’ll be a four-part series that will tour Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Mumbai. Achievers from different fields will host the show in each city.
We hope to tell the BBK story even as we educate, entertain, and showcase India’s culture and history, and make Indians proud by taking the biryani to the world in a way never done before.
There are a lot of food and travel shows across OTT platforms. How is DLKI different?
I think what makes DLKI really stand apart is the love and energy we put into it. I know every brand and creator says this, but when you watch the show you will realise how close this is to our hearts.
When we imagined the show, we wanted it to be relatable to whoever watched it. The show is in Hindi, with English subtitles, so this will ensure a wider reach. Next, we haven’t scripted this show. The viewer will literally be walking along with the host of the episode wherever they go, and experience things as they experience them.
The unscripted quality of the show means that the celebrities can be themselves and we can see how the world they explore responds to them. This makes the show very relatable, and our passion for the cities, their food, and their culture will invariably translate onto the screen.
What is the kind of investment that has gone into this? Will the show sell more biryani?
Let me start with the second part of the question because that is closer to my heart. The biryani is one of the great dishes of the world. Flavoursome, easily adaptable, with a rich history. Incidentally, we are the only biryani brand in India who follow stringent processes and systems to deliver consistent quality handi biryani dum cooked fresh to order. The biryani is absolutely authentic, and delivered to you in the same handi it was cooked in. Combine that with our growth, and that is a story we really, really believe in at BBK.
Now to answer the first part of the question about the investment on the show: we have spent around Rs 5 crore on this season.
Does that mean there is more to come?
Yes, we plan to do more seasons in the same format as we explore other cities and work with other achievers. There are so many stories to tell.
Are you also looking at brand integrations for the show?
Like I mentioned earlier, this show is largely unscripted. We wanted to retain the authenticity of the celebrity hosts. Whatever happens in the show has happened organically.
How important is digital in your marketing strategy? Could you give us an idea of your digital marketing spend over the last two years?
We are primarily a delivery brand, so digital is essential for us. However, we do have one restaurant in each city to give our customers an even richer experience of the BBK brand.
We are fully equipped with our own app, website, customer care, etc. We see healthy engagement on our social media (SM) channels like YouTube and Instagram. In fact, those are essential for us to maintain our quality and our brand because that is where customers give regular and honest feedback, and we engage with them.
As for spends, compared to two years ago, our digital marketing spend has increased to 50 percent of the total marketing budget.
Biryani is a dish that is gaining popularity. There are new brands coming up every other day.
How do you cut through the clutter? What kind of growth has your business seen?
There are no secret short cuts. It’s a genuine commitment to consistency, authenticity, and quality. Every brand that believes in and loves their product has similar guiding principles and best practices.
The first of them being: uphold your brand promise. BBK makes each and every order fresh. It isn’t mass produced, reheated, and portioned according to orders. This is a very big brand promise to maintain.
Each order is made with stringent quality control. For example, the basmati rice we use is a two-year-old, a naturally-aged basmati, which retails at Rs 250 a kg. We are the only brand to do all four – Lucknowi, Hyderabadi, Kolkata, and Guntur — biryanis, combined with delicious kebabs, curries, and phirni.
Add to that our growth: 100+ outlets, Rs 300 crore in revenues. All of this demonstrates that our customers believe in our story, in our product, and that we are indeed cutting through the clutter.
What is the best way to market biryani?
The best way to market biryani is to consistently make high quality, delicious biryani. What that gets you is word of mouth recommendations – no better marketing than that.
Top three focus areas in the coming year?
Our top goal is to keep growing the brand in India. We plan to open 250-300 outlets across India, and grow BBK to a Rs 1,000 crore company over the next 2-3 years.
The next goal is to take the biryani and BBK global – there are quite a few big F&B companies in different parts of the world who are keen on taking our brand to their countries.
And finally, to continue to bring joy to our customers, to keep delighting them with our product. There is no better way to thank our customers than to continually deliver what they expect from us, and even surpass their expectations.