We Will Soon be Known as Cakewallahs and Not Flowerwallahs: Pawan Gadia of Ferns N Petals

“In 2018, we want to focus on various other categories where we are not 95 percent available and plan to set up more cake shops,” says Pawan Gadia, CEO, Retail & Online, India & UAE, Ferns N Petals.

FERNS N PETALS was started in the year 1994 and has come a long way with about 300 offline flower outlets across the country. “Being the largest florist chain in India, we had set up our online store in 2002 and today we are the largest in the online gifting space having served more than 5 million satisfied customers including NRIs, who use our services for their gifting needs in India,” says Gadia.

For Gadia, Ferns N Petals has been growing online business since 2002 between 30-35 per cent YOY. “Our whole focus is on flowers, now cakes, whereas for other players it is a very niche segment,” he feels. “While we have introduced a lot of categories beyond flowers, the best out of the lot is our cake category which is growing very well for us and we are now expanding this category offline too by setting up our own cake shops by the name of ‘FNP Cakes N More’. We have already opened 12 shops across the country and plan to open 50 shops in this financial year,” he adds.

Though the business of flowers revolves around an activity of preparation in a kitchen, delivery of the perishable product at the right time, Gadia feels that it requires different kind of business focus and attention focus and hence is not easy to replicate it at this scale. “It is difficult to replicate our model with 300 offline outlets with an investment of a few lakhs, and to get a return at this scale. This business is too small for larger players and too big for small players, so we are in a sweet spot,” he feels.

Despite demonetisation, this niche segment has grown with its retail presence now of 300 outlets. “We have a beautiful synergy of whatever orders we get online, the same can be delivered offline as well.”

Talking about the challenges in the logistics sector, Gadia say that the problem is being solved with more players coming in this sector. “We have shops in places like Tirupati, Bhiwadi, Patiala and plan to set up about 30 more in India in the next few years. No sooner we will be called as cakewallahs and not flowerwallahs,” he reveals as the company plans to diversify in various sectors.

“Ninety percent of our business is flowers but now we want to diversify in various other categories like cakes, plants, sweets, chocolates and other quirky items. In 2018, we want to focus on various other categories where we are not 95 percent available,” feels Gadia who believes that FNP has evolved with time and has synced well with technological advancements like data analytics that help them build a database of contacts.

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