A jar full of happiness
Mallika Muralidhar and Muralidhar Kadambi, the brains behind the fast growing patisserie brand Jarlie talk about the market gap for packaged desserts in India, the challenges and future plans…
Pull quote: With her incurable addiction to desserts and also an unrelenting quest for that perfect recipe, she takes care of Product Research and Development, Packaging, and Operations while her co-founder Muralidhar Kadambi handles Product Distribution, Sales, Channel Expansion, HR and Finance.
It is indeed a cherry on top when you have a scrumptious dessert after a delightful meal. A fine desserts aficionado and a baker by passion, Mallika Muralidhar's search for conveniently available, authentic and reliable dessert brands in Hyderabad laid the basis for Jarlie.
Mallika shares "During our stay abroad, my family had developed a deep love for authentic western desserts – which were easily available even off supermarket shelves. We did not always need to go in search of our favorite bakery to enjoy a dessert impulsively. When we returned to India, we noticed that the demand for patisserie products was growing rapidly. While the bakery sector has some organised large brands (Monginis, Elite, etc.), the more premium Patisserie sector was largely unorganised with every city having its own popular patisseries and high end restaurants. There was no national brand that you could trust and enjoy anywhere in India. While supermarkets have chocolates and icecream brands, desserts are not available.
We were keen to fill this gap in the market and so my husband Muralidhar and I co-founded an FMCG startup. We created Jarlie, a packaged patisserie brand, packaged in stylish, recyclable, single serve glass jars with attached spoons, and conveniently available in supermarkets with a 2 week shelf life. We chose glass jars due to their longer shelf life and also due to the premium aesthetic appeal.
About the brand name Jarlie, Muralidhar shares, "We wanted the brand name to have a high recall value and resonate with the product too. We wanted people to say 'I-ate-a-Jarlie' and not just 'I-ate-a-red-velvet-cake'..
Before turning entrepreneur, Mallika was an IT professional with 16+ years of Techno-functional experience in the Aviation industry. She is part of the first cohort of women-led startups of 'WE Hub' – A Telangana government initiative.
With her incurable addiction to desserts and also an unrelenting quest for that perfect recipe, she takes care of Product Research and Development, Packaging, and Operations. Her husband and co-founder Muralidhar who recently got equipped with an MBA degree from ISB, Product Distribution, Sales, Channel Expansion, HR and Finance.
About the progress of Jarlie till date Muralidhar shares "Today, Jarlie is stocked in 100+ modern trade outlets in Hyderabad, can be ordered via online food ordering platforms anywhere in Hyderabad. Our USP is the premium quality, taste and authenticity. Constant product development and innovation ensures that Jarlie is available in many delicious variants like Red Velvet Cake with cream cheese frosting, Blueberry Cheesecake, Triple Chocolate Cake, Tiramisu etc. as well as brownies, macarons and chocolate shots. A recent innovation has been fusion Jarlies such as Gulab Jamun Chocolate Caramel cake, Rasmalai Cheesecake etc. Our current product portfolio is very impressive with around 15 products. We are in the process of signing a deal placing Jarlie in a large theatre multiplex, and are also working on deals in the desserts catering, gifting etc"
About the challenges they faced, Muralidhar says "Self-funding was a challenge. Achieving the shelf life for such delicate desserts without compromising on the freshness and taste was a major challenge too. However, we have overcome these hurdles with passion and resourcefulness!"
On whats ahead, Mallika says, "Having established Jarlie as a loved consumer brand in Hyderabad, we are now embarking on an aggressive multi-city multi-channel expansion plan. Jarlie will expand to Bengaluru within the next few months, and by 2021, we plan to take Jarlie to 10 cities. We also aim to be the preferred dessert supplier to B2B channels like Horeca, Airlines, Theatres. There are plans to expand our retail footprint via the franchising model. If all goes well, we are confident that Jarlie can also be targeted to USA, Europe and Middle East. We are looking for investors to help us in our growth plans.
Ultimately, Our vision is for Jarlie to become a global patisserie brand, delighting the dessert lover with a reliable, consistent, and indulgent dessert experience anytime/anywhere.