Grand Empire turns its focus to the retail sector after carving for itself an unbeatable reputation
By Alexia Fernandes
Grand Empire is a unique one-stop solution for hospitality operating supplies with well-established international network for export and import. Not long after its inception in 1999, the company soon expanded its business offerings and quickly moved to manufacturing of supplies under its own registered brands – Empire and Professional Empire. Today, with its recently launched, showroom in Goa, Grand Empire’s enhanced services stretches to encompass manufacturing, supply, import and export of crockery, cutlery, glassware, kitchen utensils and accessories, buffet and banquet equipment, and bar and cafe accessories, for the global market, all under one roof.
After finishing his M-Tech in mechanical engineering, Prashant Kumar, CEO of Grand Empire, worked for a brief period, but the constant urge to start up his own unique business never left him. “In 1999, I left my job and started my own business of selling utensils. However, the B2C markets were already flooded with companies that offered different varieties of utensils. So, I decided to shift my position to directly target businesses, by providing complete solution to professionals in the hospitality industry.”
The idea that set Grand Empire on the path to success was Kumar’s vision to do something unique, and this has certainly kept Grand Empire ahead in the game. “Apart from the basic requirements, we offer an extended range of products essential for the hospitality industry.” Besides its own noteworthy brands Empire, Professional Empire and Barpro, Grand Empire is also associated with brands like FnS, Bharat, Metinox, Servewell, Avon and popular international brands like Lyra, Risoli and Bugatti. As a company that values quality above all, Grand Empire deals with only ISO certified manufacturers.
Keeping pace with the ever changing market trends, Grand Empire introduces one new product every week. “Our marketing strategy is to keep ourselves upgraded with the latest trends in the market. We offer the most unique products because we don’t want our clients to search for new products outside Goa,” says Kumar. Grand Empire offers all this at an unmatchable price for value. Owing to its export and import activities and marked presence in more than three countries, the company is able to offer international quality products at unbeatable prices.
Foraying into retail, Grand Empire launched one of its biggest showrooms in Goa along Porvorim’s CHOGM road, where the store maintains over five thousand articles supported by a well-stocked warehouse enabling it to deliver goods instantly. Dealing primarily with bulk orders, the showroom at Porvorim is Grand Empire’s first outlet that deals directly with the end users. “We aspire to be the most trusted and preferred Goan brand and domestic supplier of products related to the hospitality trade with world class quality of products and services,” says Kumar.
In a bid to support the hospitality industry with all-inclusive services, Grand Empire began offering its exclusive clients premier consultancy services. “For instance, if a client is planning to open a new restaurant, our consultancy services help guide the client in deciding which products will best suit his requirements. The client is then free to choose from the recommendations we suggest from the wide variety of range in products that we offer.” Kumar explains.
Drawing its focus to the Goan markets, Grand Empire has gained the trust of some of the biggest contenders in the hospitality industry like Taj, Goa Marriott Resort & Spa, Hyatt; popular restaurants like Ritz Classic Group of Restaurants, Titos, Cavala, LPK Waterfront, Amonkar Caterers, Noda Caterers, and more. Even with its focus on the Goan market, Grand Empire still reels in business from outside Goa, too. “Almost everyday, we receive shipment orders from outside Goa as some of our Goan clients have branches and outlets across the country,” says Kumar.
If a client is planning to open a new restaurant, our consultancy services will help guide him in deciding which products will best suit his requirements. The client is then free to choose from the recommendations we suggest from the wide variety of range in products that we offer
Every business, irrespective of the industry it is set in, comes with its fair share of challenges, or as Kumar says, “There can be no business without challenges.” Kumar however has devised an effective way to combat any hurdles along the way. With the highest form of professionalism, he strongly believes that no challenge is tougher than his capabilities. He considers himself blessed with a calm mind and manages to keep his cool even under adverse circumstances.
“I have a business consultant who works with me, who is also my personal coach. I discuss all my future plans for the company with him to avoid any unforeseen problems.” With a professional team working at the company, Kumar feels confident about the company’s smooth functioning.
“Our team comprises of very honest and highly qualified associates,” The team of 180 staffers include 10 key members, and are provided with regular training sessions through the company’s business consultant.
To give itself an edge over others in the business, Grand Empire strives to maintain a stable price to guarantee its clients against any risks like currency inflation, sudden price hike in raw materials, or other such situations. “Sometimes in the markets, due to a sudden product deficit, prices tend to rise. As manufacturers, we try to maintain a stable price range and offer our esteemed customers discounts whenever possible,” explains Kumar.
For the Goan market, Grand Empire offers an annual rate contract to help its clients freeze the prices for a year, until renewal of the agreement, in spite of increase in raw material prices, or fluctuating currency rates. This helps to keep the deal transparent at all levels – seller, buyer and their staff. With India’s GST Policy in place, Kumar doesn’t feel inclined to expand Grand Empire’s hold in the market through outlets.
“We are looking into franchise model for the brand and hope to secure a strong franchise network pan-India” For now, Grand Empire remains well rooted with its main offices spread across India at Delhi, Mumbai, and Goa, and internationally at China, Ukraine, Russia and Poland.
Over the years, Grand Empire has successfully raised itself as an organization of excellence by promising superior quality products and exclusive services to clients across a global platform. Having got to the top of the success ladder, Kumar’s keen business strategies ensure the company ahead. Being a multinational company with its in-house export and import facilities, the international quality assurance and certifications, accommodating price structure and professional services provided by a qualified team, staying on top of the game isn’t difficult.