‘India Is 31 Countries Clubbed Into One’
In an exclusive interview with BW Businessworld, Marcos Gloria gets candid about his journey and experience in India as an entrepreneur, the Indian market, his ties with EO, and the birth, the rise and the future of Fruit Chill
Photo Credit : Ritesh Sharma
In an exclusive interview with BW Businessworld’s, Taniya Tikoo, Marcos Gloria, who will now be seen as the incoming president of the Entrepreneurs Organisation’s (EO) Gurugram chapter, gets candid about his journey and experience in India as an entrepreneur, the Indian market, his ties with EO, and the birth, the rise and the future of Fruit Chill.
“If you don’t have a dream, someone else will hire you, to help them realize theirs.”
Going by this philosophy, a Mexican man who had no idea about the Indian market and culture but had a clear a vision to explore viable business opportunities in one of the world’s biggest consumer markets landed in India in the year 2007. Over time, he became a successful entrepreneur by establishing his own brand of frozen fruit bars, ‘Fruit Chill’.
Gloria, a believer of the ‘concept of Jugaad’ being the ‘basis of entrepreneurship,’ was born and raised in Mexico City. He has an MBA, as well as a project management degree from the university of Notre Dame and he also has business ventures and start-ups across different countries, including USA, Mexico, Latin America, China and India.
What brought you to India? Take us through your journey as an entrepreneur and your ties with EO.
I joined EO in the year 2007, which became a turning point in my life. I met a fellow EO member (Indian) at an event in LA and that is how I developed a fascination for this country. I looked at it holistically. I travelled to the country, met fellow entrepreneurs, discussed my plans and soon realised that this is a young country and has the widest reach. The primary target audience I was aiming for was kids and youth. That’s when I knew India is the “answer” I was looking for.
Tell us a story that led to Fruit Chill?
My business plan was to create a product which would cost INR 1 per customer, would be refreshing and would also be available on the go. While traveling across India I realised that the high climate temperature would be favourable for a product like ice candy. However it was already available in the market under a different umbrella which was indeed ‘the challenge’. While the good news was there was wide market for it. Yet the challenge was my product’s placement in the market. Hence I created a product which was hygienic, high quality and struck the nostalgia chord of the Indian customer base, which gave me an edge over the others.
What is next for you as an entrepreneur?
I aim to aiming to create entrepreneurs within my entrepreneurship. In the next few years I want to reach out to people in the villages, get them associated with Fruit Chill and make them self-sufficient. This will prevent their migration to tier 1 cities, solving problems for both urban and rural India. And that will be my contribution to the country that has given me everything.
Your suggestions for budding entrepreneurs who wish to come from other countries and set up a business in India?
The main focus should be they should think before they act. India is not an easy country. It is like 31 countries clubbed into one. In order to succeed you have to think and act like the citizens here, and that’s where most of the entrepreneurs fail. They are western minds applying western philosophy in India which will never work. They key is to understand the Indian customer base and act accordingly.