Selling desserts in India: The Scuzo Ice ‘O ‘Magic story

Selling desserts in India: The Scuzo Ice ‘O ‘Magic story


Hailing from a small town in Jharkhand (erstwhile Bihar), Gagan Anand is the founder and CEO of Scuzo Ice o Magic’ – a popsicle company based in New Delhi with franchises across the NCR.

Anand sat down for a chat with to share the details about his journey and that of his beloved brand.

“I did my schooling till 10th from Jharkhand and then I moved to Delhi for higher studies. I later joined Pizza Hut and worked with them for almost eight years – including stints in India and abroad. At the age of 21, I became a restaurant general manager there. Later I worked for many other brands including Gloria Jeans Coffee, so in total between 2004 to 2020 I worked for 16 years,” said Anand.

According to him, it was after the COVID pandemic when the whole country and the world were on the path to recovery that he realized that he had ample experience to start his own brand. Being a huge fan of everything sweet, desserts were the obvious option for him.

“I knew that if I don’t have any USP in my business, then I won’t be able to compete in the market which already had many giant players. So I had to come out with something unique and innovative. With the growing health awareness among consumers, I felt something tasty as well as healthy as well as different is needed. Hence, Scuzo was born,” Anand said.

The company says it introduced the concept of live popsicle making in India. He further revealed that a special equipment was developed to make popsicles where customers could choose the fruits and watch them being made.

According to Anand, Scuzo has 20 stores operating across India right now and they have plans to open 11 more by the end of the year. Global expansion too is in the cards but before doing that he would like to have sufficient presence in the Indian market.

“So, we are already in contact with Australia and then Middle East as well. We’ll close something very soon but before going global, I’m thinking to start at least have 50 stores here in India. It will be good for going global,” Anand said.

On the business side of the things, the company has been making a profit and the intent is to always keep it profitable – even with the expansion plans – as per the founder. Anand is not a big believer of the cash-burn model employed by startups and is intent on keeping the business profitable.

“In the first year, I would say we were had business of Rs 70-75 lakh, and then in the next year again we did Rs 75 lakh even with the COVID wave. It was in the third year that we had very good growth. We did almost Rs 2 crore in our third year, and this year we are on track to cross Rs 8 crore from our 20 stores,” he added.

This growth has been ably supported by advertising & marketing activities which the company has carried out from time to time, and as per Anand influencer marketing & print adverts have come in handy alongside the other traditional forms such as pamphlets.

He also stressed that the brand relies heavily on immaculate packaging of the products to create a good brand recall. Reusable bottles are a big hit with the kids and it also helps in spreading awareness about the brand, the YouTube influencers have also done their bit in making the brand popular.

Anand also spoke about the biggest challenges in his market- how to keep growing with more people becoming concerned about the negative effects of sugar and wanting to stay fit. He said that they don’t use “refined sugar in the product” and all the sugar used is sulfur-free. Apart from this they also have a wide range of sugar-free options as well, and they intend to keep growing this segment. Further they intend to add more savory options to make the menu wholesome.

“Our target is that basically by 2025 we have to open 100 stores, and stay profitable,” Anand said. On a concluding note, he also added that the company is planning to bring an SME IPO in 2024, rather than going in to Shark Tank for raising funds.