In the realm of culinary innovation and entrepreneurship, there are those who not only cater to the taste buds but also challenge the norms of the industry. Mr. Gagan Anand, the Founder and Director of Scuzo Ice ‘O’ Magic, is one such visionary who has introduced a unique and delectable concept to the Indian market.
In this interview, we explore the remarkable journey of Mr. Anand and his groundbreaking venture, Scuzo Ice ‘O’ Magic. The remarkable concept introduced by Scuzo Ice ‘O’ Magic is India’s first pioneer in live popsicles, Scuzo has established itself as a leader in this domain, unveiling 22 outlets across the Indian market. Read on to know more about this brand’s success story!
What is Scuzo Ice ‘O’ Magic all about? What all do you deal in?
Scuzo Ice ‘O’ Magic, founded in September 2020 with its headquarters located in Okhla, Phase 2, Delhi, is India’s first pioneer in live popsicles. We’ve introduced our remarkable concept to the Indian market with the unveiling of 22 outlets in the Indian market.
Scuzo’s brand is synonymous with delivering an extraordinary live popsicle experience and an extensive range of frozen dessert products. Our product categories include popsicles, gelato, sorbet, milkshakes, waffles, pancakes, sundaes, and mocktails. What truly sets us apart is our unwavering commitment to crafting all our products using natural ingredients, ensuring they are devoid of sugar, oil, and cream. Moreover, we’re proud to offer vegan options, making our delectable creations suitable for a diverse customer base.
Scuzo stands for expertise and represents a ‘Make in India’ concept, even though the original popsicle concept. Our journey commenced with the opening of the first franchise store in Super Mart 1, Gurgaon. Despite the challenges faced during the second pandemic for about 6 months to a year, we remained steadfast in our vision. An inspiring moment occurred when a customer traveled almost 50 kilometers from Delhi to Gurgaon just to savor a jamun popsicle, reinforcing our belief in the brand’s potential.
Currently, Scuzo boasts a network of twenty outlets across India, and we’re proud to have expanded our footprint with the opening of our sixth outlet in the South India market. Our growth trajectory remains promising, with plans to open 4-5 more franchise stores by January 2024.
What products do you offer and what makes these products stand out from the competition?
At Scuzo Ice ‘O’ Magic, we take pride in offering an extensive range of approximately 90 products spanning seven categories, including popsicles, gelato, sorbet, milkshakes, waffles, pancakes, sundaes, and mocktails. What sets our offerings apart is our unwavering commitment to delivering natural and wholesome products. We understand the importance of catering to diverse customer preferences, which is why we provide vegan options to accommodate various dietary needs.
Our standout features include the unique live popsicle concept, allowing customers to select their preferred fruits and witness the live production of their favorite fruit popsicles, ready in just 8 minutes. Additionally, we use 100% natural ingredients, completely free from preservatives and additives. In the realm of frozen treats, we offer healthier gelato options, which contain less fat and oil compared to regular ice cream, achieved through the use of 100% cream and fewer calories.
We are also environmentally conscious, following a no-plastic policy and employing sustainable alternatives like rice-made straws, contributing to a greener future. Our unwavering dedication to quality, taste, and innovation is what truly distinguishes us from the competition. Our mission is to bring the joy of dessert to people of all ages while ensuring those with specific dietary requirements can indulge worry-free.
How do you plan to sustain your business?
To sustain our business, we have adopted a multifaceted strategy. We differentiate ourselves from traditional ice cream by positioning as a unique gelato brand, catering to health-conscious and discerning customers. During off-peak seasons, such as winter, we expand our menu to include hot beverages and savory products to attract customers year-round.
In terms of funding, we’re exploring multiple avenues, including discussions with investors, VC firms, and the possibility of an MSME IPO. Our primary goal is to secure the necessary funds for expansion.
We’re developing our own delivery platform, including an app and website, to facilitate direct ordering and efficient delivery. While collaborations with platforms like Zomato and Swiggy are considered, we aim to have our own reliable system for cost-effective operations. Additionally, we’re exploring the potential of the ONDC platform for delivery aggregation.
On the international front, we’re in talks with various countries, including Canada, Australia, and the Middle East, for market entry. Our plan involves rapid expansion and setting up multiple stores once we establish a presence in a country.
We’ve already sold master franchises in several Indian states and are eyeing the untapped market in Tamil Nadu. Our sourcing approach emphasizes local products, with only a portion of imported fruits, which are frozen to maintain their taste.
In summary, our business sustains itself by targeting a niche market, diversifying our menu, securing funds for expansion, developing a reliable delivery system, and pursuing international growth opportunities while promoting ‘Make in India’ with our unique flavors and expertise.
Tell us about your sustainable initiatives. How are you able to ditch plastic-made cutlery at your stores?
At Scuzo Ice ‘O’ Magic, sustainability is at the heart of our business strategy. We’ve taken significant steps to reduce our environmental footprint and promote responsible consumption. One of our most exciting sustainability innovations involves the introduction of edible food packaging, particularly edible spoons specially designed for enjoying our gelatos.
Our adoption of edible food packaging represents a game-changing move. It enables us to completely eliminate the use of traditional plastic cutlery at our stores. These innovative edible spoons are crafted from natural, edible ingredients that are entirely safe for consumption. Not only do they enhance the overall dining experience, but they also serve as a compelling example of how businesses can make more eco-conscious choices.
These edible spoons go beyond just being functional utensils; they symbolize our commitment to encouraging our customers to make mindful choices while savoring our offerings. By offering edible packaging, we aim to inspire our customers to think more sustainably and actively participate in reducing single-use plastic waste.
Furthermore, we’re continually exploring and implementing various environmentally friendly practices across our stores. These efforts are part of our comprehensive approach to making a positive impact on the environment. We also hope to serve as a role model for others in the industry, inspiring them to embrace sustainability and join us on the path toward a more eco-friendly and sustainable future. Our business’s sustainability initiatives not only reduce our impact on the environment but also align with the growing demand for eco-conscious and socially responsible brands.
How much market share are you targeting with your entry into the Punjab market? How many stores are you planning to open by 2024 or 2025?
Our objective is to secure 40% market share in Punjab in the natural dessert industry with our flagship store in Jalandhar. By the end of 2025, we are planning to launch 45-50 stores.