With an unwavering commitment to driving innovation in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry, Arpit Agrawal, Executive Director of Vishal Group, has established himself as a force to be reckoned with in Nepalese distribution and corporate digitalization.
Agrawal’s journey to becoming a successful entrepreneur began at a young age. In his early years, he showed a keen interest in technology and business. Then, after his joint master’s degree at Hult and MIT, he gained experience working in several sectors before deciding that he was ready to add value to his family company.
The first member of the fourth generation to join Vishal Group, Agrawal has brought a fresh perspective to the firm and contributed immeasurably to its success.
Under his leadership, Vishal Group has become a dominant player in the FMCG industry in Nepal. Agrawal has been credited with introducing innovative distribution models that have helped the company expand its reach across the country, to every household in Nepal.
His focus on technology-driven solutions within Vishal Group’s IT platform has acutely fueled the conglomerate’s success in the rapidly evolving market.
First things first: modernizing the distribution system
In 2013, after having entered the family business full-time, he conducted the most extensive business research to date to identify the challenges faced by Vishal Group and other FMCG import companies in Nepal.
Recognizing that the lack of a robust distribution system was a significant bottleneck in the industry, the research established that traditional distribution systems were plagued by inefficiencies such as high transportation costs, long delivery times and low inventory turnover rates.
Additionally, there was a lack of real-time data on inventory levels and customer demand, making it difficult for FMCG companies to make accurate and timely decisions.
“We understood that we needed to improve our distribution system to be able to serve better and reach every household in Nepal,” Agrawal says. “We conducted in-depth research and identified that the manual system had multiple bottlenecks, including lack of visibility, stockouts and inefficient supply chain management.
“To address these challenges, we digitized our distribution system – and it has significantly improved our efficiency and customer experience.”
“We understood that we needed to improve our distribution system to be able to serve better and reach every household in Nepal.”
To overcome the challenges that were identified in the research, Agrawal implemented a state-of-the-art warehouse management system that allowed for real-time tracking of inventory levels, ensuring that the company always had the right products in stock.
This not only reduced the risk of stockouts, but also enabled Vishal Group to optimize its inventory levels, reducing the costs associated with holding excess stock.
Furthermore, he implemented a modern route optimization system that utilized data analytics to identify the most efficient delivery routes. This led to a significant reduction in transportation costs and improved delivery times.
By implementing technology solutions like automated inventory management, route optimization and real-time tracking, Agrawal successfully addressed the bottlenecks of the previously manual distribution system.
The digitization process also enabled Vishal Group to gather valuable data insights, which were then used to improve decision-making processes and better understand customer demand. His efforts resulted in higher efficiency and better cost management – also notably tripling the company’s growth from 2014 to 2022.
Building and retaining long-lasting relationships
Ensuring regular communication and transparency, providing timely feedback and addressing external feedback helped to build confidence in Vishal Group.
The company was listed in Fortune India’s Fastest Growing Companies – Family Businesses in 2021. Apart from that, Agrawal was named under Forbes India’s Leaders of Tomorrow in 2022.
The entrepreneur’s efforts to improve the partnership management system contributed significantly to the retention of the company’s multinational corporation partners. It not only strengthened the company’s position in the market, but has also helped in building a positive image of the Nepalese food import industry internationally.
“At Vishal Group, we are committed to doing what is right, not what is easy,” he says.
“We believe in building long-term relationships with our clients and providing them with solutions that are truly valuable. We strive to provide the best quality products and services to our partners, while maintaining transparency and ethical business practices.
“Our commitment to innovation and customer satisfaction has helped us retain all of our international partners and expand the Nepalese market.”
“We are committed to doing what is right, not what is easy.”
Agrawal understands the importance of building and maintaining strong relationships with partners and has implemented measures to keep them engaged with the company.
His commitment to fostering a positive and collaborative work environment has helped the company attract top talent and retain 100 percent of its international partnerships.
As he continues to drive innovation in his industry, there is no doubt that Agrawal will remain a force to be reckoned with for years to come.