Case Studies

Project Title

Differentiated product and business strategy helps entrepreneurial startup create a niche for themselves in cocoa derivatives and cocoa products.

Title Description

Over a five year period, Sathguru assistedanIndian chocolatier develop a differentiated product portfolio to consolidate his position as an innovator and leader in cocoa derivatives and cocoa products. Sathguru handheld the client through the complete incubation process from product conceptualization to technology access to business strategy to market penetration.

Challenge/Problem statement/Situation analysis

Our client, a greenfield Indian company, was looking to enter chocolate sector with a focus ondomestic as well as international markets. The Indian chocolate industry at that time was dominated by contract manufacturers for large multinationals and was fiercely competitive with little scope for new entrants. Company sought assistance from Sathguru to devise a strategy to penetrate this highly competitive market and support them through the process of business incubation.


The scope of Sathguru’s engagement included:

  1. Identify and assess different market segments and their drivers both in India and international markets.
  2. Conceptualize a differentiated business strategy for market penetration in cocoa processing sector.
  3. Develop differentiated product portfolio and access to relevant technologies.
  4. Handhold the venture through the business incubation lifecycle.

Sathguru’s approach was to create a differentiated strategy by focusing on value added cocoa products that were not pursued by the established players

To achieve this, Sathguru:

a) Identified high value cocoa derivatives that could be developed in India and had potential in Indian and global markets.
b) Conducted detailed assessment of technology packages available for processing and developing cocoa derivatives.
c) Conducted global market and industry assessment to:
  a) Identify and analyze major competitors operating in this market segment.
  b) Map research and industry trends.
  c) Analyzed and identified the markets/customer segments across the globe for exporting cocoa derivatives and intermediaries to be used as ingredients in final food products.

To implement an innovation driven model that ensures development of advanced products and growth in new markets, Sathguru recommended

a) Pursue manufacturing of value added cocoa derivatives instead of low value contract manufacturing of chocolates.
b) Establisha product development center, equipped with capabilities and resources to undertake research activities.
c) Procure latest technologies that would enable production of cocoa derivatives of international standards.
d) Follow astaggered business expansion strategy for sustained growth in new markets.
Impact/Result/Client Benefit

Sathguru’s holistic advisory services, including technology, marketing and financial recommendations ensured entry and rapid penetration of client’s products in Indian markets. The strategy also pioneered exports of cocoa derivatives from Indiacontrary to export of cocoa beans.