Jose Thomas

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THE BEGINNING OF A BRAND - ‘TASTEE CHOICE’
Tuesday 26th July, 2011



     

 

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Dear Friends, As I look back on my life I feel a great sense of accomplishment. In the past 14 months, I have written about the various things that have touched my life and all that I have faced. Today, by the grace of God, I must tell you, that most of those issues are behind me and God Almighty is holding me high, giving me the power of peace. I was never avaricious about making money and all I wanted was to settle my debts and feel the ‘power of peace’. Whatever be your profession, whether a businessman or a doctor, if you remain peaceful, you will get into a different mode altogether which will ensure your success. Money alone cannot bring success. You need good health and a peaceful mind and this is what I longed for. By God’s grace, I had good health but never had peace because of huge debts - the money I owed banks and vendors for many years. Financial independence is extremely important in one’s life, of which, I am sure, most of you are aware; and this is what one has to concentrate on.

I have made many mistakes in the past, for which I had to pay a heavy price. Today, as I have gained more wisdom, I can only tell my readers one thing “Don’t be in a hurry – but be patient!” Take proper advice and consult people who have more experience than you before you jump into something. Running a business is not a cake walk, especially in today’s day and age. The world environment has changed, there is competition everywhere, technology upgradation, efficiency drives and so on. You wouldn’t want to be caught in a muddle and that too, unknowingly.

The global outlook of business had changed and I took advantage of this in getting my company from where it was to where it is today. I travelled extensively and my re-conditioned shrimp got disposed on the market. When I was in trouble and needed help, my customer in Los Angeles did not lend me a hand nor did he propose a way out. All he did was to return my goods and push me into deeper trouble, forgetting all that I had done for him in the past. Friends, this is the way the world works.

That was when I took a decision. I decided do away with middlemen and said to myself, if they can develop a brand, I can too! None of these importers were producers. They only had a brand name and the marketing capability, whereas I had a factory and the capability to produce and control the process and quality, which I knew, would be an added USP to my potential customers. All I needed was people and a selling concept. This was in the year 2000. After having disposed of all the residual stock from the re-processed goods, I made a plan to create a brand, ‘TASTEE CHOICE’. I hired American professionals, who had tremendous experience in the business and appointed consultants for developing my brand concept and the packaging design. We came out with a great design and a perfect concept for this new project.

I started calling on the headquarters of major supermarkets chains in the U.S. The initial reaction was negative because they did not know us. They were very comfortable dealing with importers. I started to make more and more sales calls, but I only got more “NO” than “Yes”. In spite of calling on various supermarkets, I had no green signal from any one. By this time, my existing customers (mostly from the East Coast) got to know of my intention of going straight to the supermarkets. They certainly did not appreciate it. We all know for a fact that nobody likes to be side-lined and this was the case.

My factory had to produce. It had huge overheads to meet but I had no orders as everyone I was dealing with decided not to do business with me because they saw me as a potential threat. I saw no alternative. But banking on my ‘Never say die’ and ‘go for it’ attitude, I came out with a new strategy.

I priced my products in a much more competitive fashion and sold the concept of, “Deal with the manufacturer and not with the middleman”. I got my first break from a company based in New Jersey, a major supermarket with over 250 stores in four adjacent States.

Friends, the gentleman who decided to give me this break not only continues to be a customer but is almost the spirit of my life. We all need a break. Now, what is the meaning of break? Is it hard work or is it just a miracle or is it luck? Friends, you need all three. You cannot put effort behind you and bank on luck and miracles.

By 2002, Tastee Choice shrimp products were in hundreds of supermarkets and my business started to flourish.

The story never ends. Stay tuned for more.

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Responses to
 C.A.MAJEED ADVOCATE says:
I appreciate your will power. May God strenghthen much. Last word may be a mistake quoting the year as "2002" instead of "2012" A real Leader of the industry. Best Regards Adv.Majeed
 
 Hari says:
That “Deal with the manufacturer and not with the middleman” that too on time was an excellent break for you. Actually break means a little bit of Calmness + Hard Brain Work. Thank you for this episode. Hoping for more to come and learn from them.
 
 aji francis says:
you are really great sir , when i read your past life i was felt but now i can say that people like you gives an inspiration for youngsters like us