Dras Ice: India’s First-Ever Ice-Manufacturing Brand Painting Excellence in the Beverage Industry
THE 10 MOST PROMISING STARTUPS TO WATCH IN 2023
Today’s entrepreneurial story is a bit different, inspiring and astonishing than usual. The reason we say this is because today’s company in focus has dared to venture into the ice manufacturing industry in India. Indeed, the ice manufacturing industry has stayed away from the sight of people despite ice being a quintessential commodity for various sectors of the economy. From healthcare to food and beverage manufacturing, fishing, sports, and hospitality, amongst others, ice is extensively used for a wide range of applications.
However, the ice-manufacturing processes in India demand rigorous quality checks and compliances to make them fit for human consumption. While there are unorganized vendors who can supply loads of ice, the quality part remains questionable. Hence, it was in 2022 that three dignitary leaders, Mr. Shashank Singhal, Mr. Ayush Agarwal, and Mr. Abhinav Duggal, embarked on the journey of taking India’s ice manufacturing industry to a whole new level of refinement. The inspiration to start the company stems from India’s coldest inhabited village, Dras.
Dras, a tiny village near Kargil, has extremely rough terrain and fosters the preservation of elements in their most natural existence. The barren landscape is graced with plenty of ice and crystal-clear blue waters. With an endeavor to bring absolute freshness and serenity right from the landscapes of Dras to people, the company manufactures ice in the most natural, safe, and unadulterated form.
The inception began with a determination to raise the bar of the ice industry and revolutionize the way India consumes beverages! Choosing an industry not talked much about, these modern-age entrepreneurs have exhibited absolute commitment and futuristic ideologies. Their agenda is to regulate the unorganized ice manufacturing industry of India, ensuring that people only consume high-quality and non-toxic ice. Prime Insights got the opportunity to invite these energetic business visionaries onboard for its enticing editorial release, “The 10 Most Promising Startups to Watch in 2023”.
Company’s Genesis Tale
Mr. Shashank Singhal, Mr. Ayush Agarwal, and Mr. Abhinav Duggal have completely different professional backgrounds. Despite the differences, the FMCG category drew their attention and interest the most.
FMCG products are consumed frequently, come at relatively low costs, and have a swift turnover rate. Particularly, the unorganized shelf of ice manufacturing demanded a laser-sharp focus on quality checks and experiments.
Through rounds of brainstorming sessions and market analysis, the trio discovered the voids in the current state of the Indian ice market. While the trio was studying at the Indian School of Business at the same time, this idea gained fire. That’s how they broke the ice and started their journey of entrepreneurialism with Dras Ice!
What started with a single production line in March 2022, serving Delhi NCR, has now expanded to three-fold its production capacity. Dras Ice has spread its horizons across five states: Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, and Delhi NCR. Dras Ice aims to make the ice trade more organized and lucrative by partnering with end customers to deliver products to their doorsteps throughout the year.
Currently, the brand offers three offerings in line: 1 kg ice packages, 500g ice packages, and Ice Cups. Each of them is meant for human consumption and adheres to the concerns of quality-conscious consumers. In particular, ice cups are a disrupting product—one of its kind to be made in India. Each ice cup comes with two layers of protective take-off lids to directly pour any cold beverage and enjoy!
Handling Challenges with a Progressive Approach
As the ice industry has not been subjected to adept attention, the constraint of product awareness for packaged ice was prominent because ice hadn’t been sold in organized retail stores before. Creating awareness and spreading knowledge about the entire process of ordering ice from the company’s delivery partners has been another significant challenge to defy. Nevertheless, Dras Ice is moving ahead with strategic approaches, and the team anticipates huge potential for growth on a Pan-India basis. Dras Ice’s services have immense scalability as they will mitigate the hassles such as freezing ice at home and urgent requirements of large amounts of ice, amongst others.
The most strategic approach to expanding the business in 2023 would be to create massive demand numbers as much as possible. This agenda will be achieved by spreading customer awareness about the existence of packaged ice and platforms or retail stores from which they can be ordered. Dras Ice will also set up new manufacturing units across strategic locations to serve all the major metropolitan cities and be a leader in the organized supply of packaged ice for human consumption. Definitely, with modern-day technology, efficiency, and output are major points to be considered. By adopting such technologies, Dras Ice will significantly reduce its production costs and increase profitability.
Words from the Dynamos
In awe of the leaders’ determination, perseverance, futurism, and vision, Prime Insights is assertive of the fact that Dras Ice has a magnificent potential for growth. Their lens of perceiving the problem statement is remarkable and provided their young minds, the company will turn the tables on profitability and sustainability in the coming years.
To conclude the read, we requested the dignitaries to share a few words of intellect for our global readership panel.
“To achieve success in today’s competitive business landscape, it is imperative to conduct detailed market research. Unless and until you have a deep understanding of the industry you’re thinking of venturing into, you cannot build a credible business model.
You have to delve into the dynamics of your target market, examine existing voids, understand customer behavior, analyze competitor strategies, and identify what areas can be scaled quickly. Indeed, the entire process is meticulous, but the investment you make in this analysis will make your business model unshakeable. You’ll build confidence before entering the market. Your approach to entrepreneurship should be all about addressing unmet needs or pain points within the market. Setting your business apart in any segment requires a unique value proposition, a differentiation strategy, and a clear vision for sustainable growth. With technology harboring growth in every industry of the business ecosystem, consider how you can leverage technology to streamline operations or create an unmatchable customer experience to gain a competitive edge.
We hope our respective plunges help you ignite a fire for healthy competitiveness and solving problems with decisiveness. Have faith in your capabilities, and keep pouring in your dedicated efforts.”