Dr. Samad Waseem, the co-founder of Maas Stores, started a tech company named Orrtus Technologies in 2002. After being on-and-off in business, he spent three years and a good amount of resources to develop a proprietary software for traceability using blockchain technology. Dr. Waseem, with fifteen years of experience in Research and Development, then founded Maas stores. Although this developed technology can be used in many sectors, he chose to track the traceability of meat procurement and added AI to understand consumer behavior. He was driven to create something that determines the authenticity of meat because he faced several instances in life which forced him to know the quality of meat that is being consumed by him and his loved ones.
The co-founders feel that “After COVID, everyone is concerned about their health. People are conscious about what they are eating, exercising and basically, everyone wants to stay fit and if MAAS can contribute to peoples’ health we are happy to do it.”
The Story of Maas Stores
As, India produces 6.3 million tons of meat, standing 5th in the rank of the world’s meat production and 80% in the country are meat consumers, Maas started its journey in 2021. It is a tech-driven food production company and it aims to cater to its customers with meat that is fresh, hygienic and healthy. In the beginning, they started with mainly chicken, and mutton with further expansion in fish, and a view to diversify into other sectors after reaching the sector’s set goals. The USP of the application used by the company is meat traceability and the recommendations it provides for people who are health conscious and have health conditions. The safety of MAAS’ meat gets doubled as the company largely procures from their own farms based in Gulbarga, Bangalore and government-owned farms. The company has received its ISO certification and Halal certification.
Dr. Samad Waseem later approached Mr. Rajendra Verma, co-founder of Maas Stores to provide his expertise in building the company. He is an ex-employee of a listed entity who has worked as the Director and Vice President handling Operations. With an overall experience of four decades, Mr. Verma has worked for 10 years in the MENA countries and worked on more than 100 projects.
The name Maas came into the co-founder’s mind for multiple reasons. Firstly, MAAS is a Sanskrit word that means meat. Secondly, MaaS is known as Mobility-as-a-service and similar to that the company has come up with ‘ meat-as-a-service’. Finally, the company also plans to cater to the masses which again, in-corporates its name – Maas.
The Maas Strategy
Maas Stores exclusively told Sociobits, “Being a prominent player in B2B will help them to enter new geographies and get recurring business.” The company currently supplies B2B but there is a huge demand for meat in the Indian D2C market and that is where the potential lies. As of now, MAAS has no direct competitors in the B2B segment as the market is highly unorganized and dominated by local butchers. In D2C, Maas would be the first to enter the farm to fork model in the meat sector where their B2B clients may still be their potential competitors. As India is a price-conscious market and Maas has Grassroot level connectivity, they are able to provide competitive pricing along with healthy, fresh and hygienic meat. India consumes close to USD 30 billion worth of meat annually where 90% is handled by the unorganized market. So, the company is also trying to collaborate with the local butchers to involve them in the process of hygienic meat distribution, hence using the collaborate-and-kill market strategy.
Being a prominent player in B2B will help them to enter new geographies and get recurring business
The Future of Maas
The Indian meat market in 2022 is USD 65 billion and is growing at a rate of 20% CAGR. To take advantage of this, the company is establishing a phygital model and will come up with an application that will not only be limited to supplying the right set of meat but also understanding the customers’ behavior so that the company can suggest to the customer what kind of cooking methodologies or styles can be used to consume meat in a healthy way. This will help the company understand its customers in-depth.
Along with this, the company believes that in the meat business, a physical presence is required to be successful in the digital mode. Mr. Verma added, “Meat is a business where we need infrastructure to expand and grow which is why the fundraiser is being done right now. People will trust in us when they see physical stores.”
The boot-strap company also told Sociobits that they are raising a required round of 1 million USD through The VC Venture LLP after closing an undisclosed debt round with The VC Venture LLP. The equity round will be used for geographical expansion in four major southern Indian cities which are Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai and Orissa.
In this year, the company wants to establish its blueprint by creating a base in Bangalore, then focusing on the expansion of B2B in the above-mentioned states and finally, targeting the masses by entering D2C by physical expansion. Mr. Verma is also looking to expand in Mumbai and north Indian states when the company is ready.
Meat is a business where we need infrastructure to expand and grow which is why the fundraiser is being done right now. People will trust in us when they see physical stores.
In the area of procurement, it is planning to have farms in Solapur, Belgaum and Hyderabad and create state-of-the-art farms with automated processing units. It also aims at minimum human interference so delivery will be more efficient, ultimately maintaining Grade A hygiene.
Supplying over 26,000 kilos of mutton and 35,500 kilos of chicken every month, the company seems ready for exports to countries like UAE, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, the US, the UK, etc. but since the demand is currently from India, the orders from the MENA countries will be delivered after creating a base in India. Keeping hygiene and health of top-most priority, MAAS is determined to take the meat-world by mass targeting.