Cocoberry: A Startup's Global Ambitions

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Case Details:

Case Code : LDEN078
Case Length : 12 Pages
Period : 2009-2011
Pub Date : 2012
Teaching Note : Available
Organization : Cocoberry
Industry : Retail
Countries : India

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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"For me, India is 23 countries, I have to have as different a strategy, a different taste, a different flavor for every State here, so why not global."

-G.S. Bhalla, commenting on Cocoberry's decision to enter global markets, in July 2011.


In July 2011, G.S. Bhalla (Bhalla), CEO of Cocoberry, the largest frozen yogurt chain in India, was looking at how he could further spur the growth of his frozen yogurt chain. He had set aggressive expansion goals for his venture and was actively considering foraying into international markets. Bhalla had had entrepreneurial ambitions right from a very young age. After trying his hand at different businesses, he entered the organized retail sector as he saw an opportunity in the market for low fat desserts. Since its inception in February 2009, Cocoberry had grown at a brisk pace. It offered fresh and low calorie frozen yogurt with different kinds of fruit and dry toppings.

Leadership and Entrepreneurship Case Studies | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Leadership and Entrepreneurship, Case Studies

Cocoberry's product menu was later expanded to include beverages, smoothies, and sandwiches. Cocoberry was targeted at health conscious young customers with high disposable incomes. Bhalla mostly relied on low cost market communication tools like word of mouth and publicity for promoting his products. He made good use of social media to promote the initial growth of the Cocoberry brand. According to Bhalla, "We have vision to develop Cocoberry as an adorable brand for consumers. And social networking is the only possible stop to substantiate the same, the only transparent medium with no gimmick!" Since many Indian customers were not aware of frozen yogurt products, Cocoberry also focused on customer education to increase the awareness levels among the customers.

By 2011, Cocoberry enjoyed a dominant position in the nascent frozen yogurt market in India. The market had also attracted competition from international chains which were more experienced in selling frozen yogurt. While the market was growing, some industry observers felt that selling frozen yogurt to an even larger number of Indians might prove a formidable challenge for Cocoberry given the fact that Indians had been preparing curd at homes for centuries and that middle income people might not be interested in buying frozen yogurt at a premium price.

However, buoyed by his early successes, Bhalla planned to expand the chain both domestically and internationally to reach a total outlet count of 100 by the end of 2011 and 500 by the end of 2015. He was looking at some Middle East markets which had some similarities with the Indian market to make the first global foray. Bhalla was also trying to arrange additional capital to fund the company's ambitious expansion plans. Considering that the Indian market held so many opportunities as well as challenges, industry observers wondered whether it was too early for Bhalla to set his sights on foreign shores.

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