Gauri Gandhi’s unmute with Beyondesign

"Print and packaging is absolutely essential, it is your salesman, it communicates the firm's vision in a tangible form. Right representation of the product for the customer is your best and number one point of sale. It is what is going to generate brand awareness and recall in the customers mind,” says the founder of Bombay Barons- Gauri Gandhi.

21 Dec 2023 | By WhatPackaging? Team

Bhavika Shah (BS): Do tell us a little bit about your journey
Gauri Gandhi (GG):
It has been a roller coaster with a lot of learnings of the root level working alongside interactions with brand owners and the disparity that exists in the system. Started off as a whim, Bombay Barons became like this mission of solving the distribution and retail penetration gaps in the country. Having been on foot visiting retail stores in metros and small towns to establishing a full fledged network furthermore foraying into the digital space with placements of products with e-Commerce platforms, I have been fortunate to have learnt about the business that is applied across most industries and the vast cultural differences that co-exists in India.

BS: Share a hurdle that has changed the path of what you do.
Trying to build an organised, professionally run and well informed company amongst the lala run business since eons was an uphill task causing a lot of working capital management and fund flow handling. With no background in operations and accounts, it was mind boggling to understand the systems and manpower handling hat go into managing a firm's success. It all lies in the details alongside the vision and a solid team.

BS: A story that helped you want to keep going when the times got tough too.
New brands, new-age brand owners, new age manufacturers, new ideas and understanding what is the backbone of a business and how if done effectively with a good product-market fit, one can actually leave a mark in the country. Being able to offer people a platform where there is efficient use of money before entering the market with a clear road map and strategy for regular checkers along the way.

BS: In what ways do you see print and packaging evolving to meet the changing needs of PR clients?
I see people play with the marketing aspect, with respect to the packaging, not so sure. I believe that the basic demand in India is very high for us to create economies of scale with expensive packaging. The masses are price sensitive hence the packaging would not see too much change, however the branding would be given a major uplift.

BS: How can PR companies effectively leverage print and packaging to enhance brand messaging and communication?
Give life to something that is mute, by making conversations around it. Stress more on what and why is a company doing for packaging. However, focus on product and brand story is key. Customers are suckers for stories yet they question it if they do not see everything fitting correctly. PR companies need to highlight to a customer why packaging is essential and how that can play a role in the consumers purchase decision; stressing on the different use of packaging that helps in product durability or making it easy to move around.

BS: What are the services you provide and how do you think they help start ups ?
We help brands launch across online as well as offline platforms and provide them with the go to market strategy along with the execution.

BS: What is the startup landscape like today as compared to ten years ago ?
Aggressive yet a bit lost and not so filtered. People are out there to try their luck, courage is absolutely outstanding however seems a tad bit hollow and there needs to be some filter plus some government support towards this sector. Great scope for legacies to be built but for the ones that are investing in the backend and the right foundation, instead of building business on pilot with not too much knowledge about the nitty gritty workings.

BS: How important is it to be on the field when you begin market research ?
Depends on the industry and product category. With most it is essential to be on the field as online research alone might not give you a clear picture. This is to understand the trade terms alongside the packaging. Packaging alone without the retail sales strategy could be on shaky grounds, given the gap in knowledge that packaging firms have from real market picture to generate sales. 

BS: How can print and packaging be used to help clients stand out in a crowded market, and what role does innovation play in achieving this?
Innovation in terms of communication is the key. Print and pack can be a game changer for a brand as it is the only element that has the opportunity of creating an instant impact on a customer mindmap. Design has been seeing a lot of growth and changes however the customer seems to be losing their attention span yet heading towards making informed decisions towards their purchase. Hence, a play of design alone will not sustain, the follow through in terms of marketing plays a major role.

BS: Looking to the future, how do you see the relationship between PR, print and packaging evolving, and what opportunities do you see emerging in this space?
Augmented reality, illustrative and more tangible ways of verifying information as well as transparency. Ease of connecting with the supplier or brand owner. All of these will influence and the print and packaging will form the backbone and PR could be the one magnifying its benefits. Not only influencers but real customers would be setting the tone for future.

BS: One quick tip for the next generation wanting to pursue the same career path.
Get a guide or mentor or attend workshops and reach out to people you aspire from the industry to make the best of both worlds. You will experience your fresh ideas and what you can bring to the table.

Unmute in print is a platform where Beyondesign invites designers, printers, artists and anyone from the industry live and/or in print to share with others and learn together. The platform started online, and the response was overwhelming. WhatPackaging? is the print-packaging partner for Unmute with Beyondesign. Do reach out to us on to be a part of this platform

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