Epigamia has made a name for itself with a rapidly-expanding range of traditional dairy products that carry a modern twist and its self-established private cold chain setup in India to support distribution.
More recently it made a move into the plant-based space with products such as coconut yoghurt, which Mirchandani views as a key component of his eventual goal to contemporise the dairy industry in India. But along with this has come a flurry of new, unique challenges for Mirchandani – such as being the ‘bad guy’ in the eyes of both sides.
“To us, contemporising means massive coexistence between both sides, traditional and plant-based dairy - but the challenge we have is that either side takes it on as something different,” he told FoodNavigator-Asia.
“We’ve had traditional dairy speak out against us as we’re ‘the plant-based guys’, then we’ve also had the plant-based activists speak out against us because they think we’re still the dairy guys.
“We are not an activist brand – we believe it’s our job to deliver nutritious, healthy options and let consumers decide what they feel is the right way to go about it, but not forced any sorts of products down their throats either way.
“It’s a very different positioning from what most brands in the world have gone after, but that’s what we stand for – we’re all about the balance.”
Mirchandani also told us about how his experiences as an Indian American shaped his vision of modernising the dairy industry and bringing Indian dairy to the world.
“It’s been exciting to see India as a country come on the global map in the past 15 to 20 years and Indian Americans as a demographic come alive in the US in the same timeframe too, to the extent that now we have a Vice President that’s half-Indian,” he said.
“So I see Epigamia as basically Indian by DNA but global [by nature] and the goal is to bring Indian dairy to the global stage and show everyone that we can provide something with the best of both worlds,” he said.
“At home in India, the aim is also to be the young, modern, hip brand that younger consumers go for – there are of course many traditional dairy brands out there which our parents and grandparents love, and these are great as there’s definitely a nostalgic factor, but we want to be that modern choice.
“It’s just like younger people watching Netflix today - you can’t possibly be watching the same shows or platforms your parents used to, [and] to us, it’s the same - being a newer, modernised option for dairy.”
Listen to the podcast above to find out more.