Thirty-one-year-old Ravish Sangani, an entrepreneur from Coimbatore, is the first Indian rubber band manufacturer to barcode his products, which has helped him create a national brand in this category.

Like many young Indians, Ravish was frustrated with the traditional business practices still followed in the highly unorganised rubber band manufacturing industry. He aspired to do things differently. He wanted to break away from the traditional but highly chaotic wholesale marketing channels to build a business leveraging direct and innovative sales channels that are available in today’s changing retail landscape.

Ravish knew he was manufacturing a quality product. What he needed was a new way to market his products. To do this, he needed to build an identity, create a brand name and innovatively package his products.

He picked a brand name for his products and spent his energy and resources in designing its packaging. He realised that to build a credible brand image, the look and feel of the product was just as important as its quality. While researching successful brands in other categories, he noticed that in addition to look and feel, they all carried a barcode.

Ravish surveyed consumer products in the marketplace and noticed that almost all of them carried a barcode with a number starting with 890. On further research online, he located GS1 India as the authorised body which allocates unique and universal barcode numbers in India. He then established contact with them and applied for unique product codes to give his products a unique identity in the supply chain (i.e., no other product in the world could have the same product code as his).

Moreover, anyone in any part of the world could validate him as the owner of the product by checking GS1’s GEPIR (Global Electronic Party Information Registry), a global repository of company information.

Not only was Ravish able to increase the credibility of his brand, he was also able to realise several other real-world benefits by using GS1 barcodes, which are listed below:

  • His products were listed on a leading e-commerce retailer’s website in less than 1 week by using unique GS1 codes, which otherwise would have taken him over 4 weeks.
  • Online search results for his products improved dramatically by using GS1 codes.
  • His products became shelf-ready as they can be scanned in retail stores and don’t need to be held up in retailer’s warehouse for 2-7 days for labelling.
  • Faster and accurate billing at the checkout counters facilitated customer satisfaction.
  • Error-free dispatches as per orders saved him valuable time and effort, which is otherwise wasted in the reconciliation of orders.
  • Prospective international buyers from over 150 countries have access to his product information through GS1’s GEPIR Service.

Sangani Industries today is the first branded manufacturer of rubber bands in the country who are successfully selling their products across retail stores and online channels, and are growing at more than 23% year-on-year.

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