Avinash Ratta serves as the CEO & Managing Director of Grainvelocity, an innovative project management company driving growth in the Middle East and North Africa. Avinash unveils the compelling narrative behind the company’s inception and its mission to propel profitable, sustainable growth for ambitious enterprises. Possessing extensive experience spanning over twenty years across FMCG, Food and Beverage, and Retail sectors, Avinash’s expertise is a valuable asset.
Avinash Ratta delves into the pivotal role of innovation, the transformative impact of technology on businesses, and Grainvelocity’s evolution in the digital landscape. Avinash Ra imparts insightful advice for newcomers to the industry and elucidates the firm’s distinct growth strategies tailored for the retail and consumer goods sector. For those intrigued by Grainvelocity’s regional influence and its role in shaping growth-focused companies, this interview is an essential read.
A complete journey about the company? When Avinash Ratta have started, how and where?
Incorporated in 2017, Grainvelocity emerged as a trailblazing growth project management entity within the region. Fuelled by an unwavering aspiration, the company is dedicated to fostering sustainable, profitable growth for forward-looking enterprises in the Middle East and North Africa. Avinash Ratta and Vandana Ratta, distinguished experts hailing from the global consumer industry, jointly founded the venture. At the core of Grainvelocity’s ethos lies the singular objective: to evolve into your trusted and dependable growth partner, both in the present and the future.
Today, the company has a track record of successful growth projects for businesses in the Consumer Goods, Retail, and Food and Beverage sectors. In the last five years, they’ve completed projects in Personal Care, Bottled Water, Juices, Dairy, Retail, and Education. These include expanding a personal care company in the GCC, introducing innovative juices, planning dairy brand growth, building in-house skills, and improving distribution, all boosting clients’ sales and profits.
The company is dedicated to nurturing local talent in our region and was chosen by UAE F&B Group and Khalifa Fund as the knowledge partner for the UAE Innovation Lab Program for two years in a row.
The journey of the entrepreneur?
Throughout my career, I’ve nurtured a strong passion for continuous learning, broadening my perspectives, and embracing initiatives that empower me to enhance my impact on consumer experiences and contribute significantly to the industry’s value.
My professional journey commenced as a packaging engineer at Unilever Plc in India, where I focused on designing paper and rigid packaging for various consumer goods. Early on, I was captivated by the intricate reasons behind consumer purchasing decisions and the pivotal role packaging played in shaping those choices. With time, my interest evolved to encompass product innovation, as I found immense joy in conceptualizing and introducing novel offerings while uncovering the latent desires of consumers. During my tenure at Unilever UK, I eagerly sought to participate in a transformative project for the Lux and Dove brands, spanning numerous markets.
My journey took a fortunate turn as I completed my MBA at INSEAD in France. During this time, I stumbled upon a remarkable opportunity within Nestle’s forward-looking “Innovation Acceleration Team” at their Swiss headquarters. Here, I was entrusted with the exciting task of conceptualizing and leading the global introduction of groundbreaking products for Nescafe and Milo.
Following this, I ventured into the role of heading marketing for Nestle’s Breakfast Cereals business in META, where I oversaw beloved brands like Nesquik and Cheerio’s. My leadership path continued as I joined the IFFCO Group, a regional leader in Foods, taking on the roles of CMO and MD of the Foods division. This presented an exciting chance to utilize my brand expertise, innovation insights, and consumer-centric approach to elevate the organization’s brand and marketing capabilities.
Upon co-founding Grainvelocity, my vision was clear – to play a significant role in the region’s industry growth and innovation. My goal was to establish top-tier skills in innovation, growth project management, market expansion, and portfolio management. I aimed to provide a shared platform for organizations to fuel their growth ambitions.
How does the company plan to achieve its goals?
Grainvelocity’s mission is clear: to become your trusted partner in achieving growth, now and in the future. Along my journey, I’ve come to realize that organizations need a strong foundation for growth. This foundation includes a well-thought-out portfolio strategy, a balanced mix of products and markets, and a sustainable profit model.
I also recognized a gap in the market for effective creation evolution and management. Many organizations had great ideas, but they struggled to turn them into promising experiences. They wanted to expand into new areas, but everyday processes got in the way. Boards and executive committees needed reliable, unbiased resources to support their decisions. And I recognized the vital role of strong project management. Often, promising projects lose steam due to a lack of proper management.
These needs, though often unspoken, paved the way for Grainvelocity. As the region’s leading growth project management company, we offer comprehensive growth solutions across all these areas. Our objective is to provide tolerable and promising evolution to companies, addressing these critical aspects that drive success.
Is worker energy significant to your company’s success?
For those who have been part of a Grainvelocity project, the transformative impact on work dynamics and team spirit is undeniable. Our influence lasts well beyond project completion. At Grainvelocity, we value partnerships with teams that share our fervor for growth projects, driving them from inception to triumph, surpassing even the loftiest growth expectations.
Quietly and effectively, we evaluate our team members’ attitudes and transformative potential at the project’s outset. We collaborate with individuals who embody a winning mindset, a thirst for knowledge, and a genuine commitment to shared success.
Our extended client and partner teams, spanning diverse countries and categories, epitomize qualities like authenticity, collaboration, ethical practices, and performance-driven ethos. Their authentic pursuit of success resonates harmoniously with our company’s mission. This fervor for excellence deeply impacts our business outcomes, perfectly aligning with our core values.
What strategies do you have in mind to inspire your team?
In our business and industry, people stand as the paramount drivers of growth. In recent years, I’ve been privileged to lead numerous extended team members and growth project teams within our customer and network partner domains.
At Grainvelocity, we hold a firm belief in the power of coaching and mentorship for our extended teams. This ensures they possess the optimal tools, practices, strategies, and project management acumen to steer companies toward their growth objectives.
Grainvelocity’s approach involves an intensive array of tools, coupled with thorough training and seamless integration into daily operations. This method sparks a culture of excellence and constant enhancement within our teams.
How do you incorporate creative ideas to differentiate yourself?
Innovation and growth are the driving forces behind our company’s vitality. We take immense pride in achieving the feat of introducing more than half a dozen groundbreaking products across diverse categories in the Middle East over the past five years. Our influence extends beyond products, as we’ve crafted innovative business models and streamlined supply chains, giving rise to value chains once deemed unattainable. Innovation is ingrained in our identity, equipped with potent tools and capacities for shaping innovation strategies, conceptualizing fresh product and service ideas, orchestrating innovation projects, and successfully launching them in the markets. Professionals who’ve closely collaborated with us can attest to our adeptness in this realm.
We strongly consider innovation both an art and a science. Our distinctive approach coined the “B3 way of innovation,” navigates organizations through uncharted product and service territories using a structured yet imaginative process. This results in tangible, quantifiable innovation ideas that companies can seamlessly implement.
Message to Avinash Ratta customers and viewers
It’s important to stress that growth is an ongoing trip, not a set destination. Contrary to common belief, achieving growth while effectively managing regular operations is a complex endeavor. Nurturing company growth requires a structured project-based approach, encompassing clear initiation, milestones, defined endpoints, deliverables, and post-assessment.
The challenge escalates when seeking profitable growth, as swift organic expansion might drive higher sales volume, but not necessarily elevated profits. It’s imperative that growth contributes value and augments margins, rather than diluting them. A strategic growth methodology coupled with well-structured projects is paramount to ensure that your range of new initiatives yields incremental profits.
Profit and loss (P&L) management and portfolio oversight emerge as pivotal in tracking growth. In fact, we assert that growth warrants treatment akin to a portfolio of investments. Similar to returns in investments, growth outcomes hinge on the inherent and prospective potential of each endeavor.
Avinash Ratta website and social media pages
Website – https://www.grainvelocity.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/grainvelocity