In 2011, Arjun Gadkari (left) and Abhay Jaiswal (right) set up Nilgai Foods with the vision of building F&B brands for 21st Century India. Nicole Gonsalves (centre) quickly came on board as the Head of Product Design. Together, they had all the skills and experience they needed to take on India's fragmented and complex world of packaged food.
PICO is India's first hot sauce brand. With a staggering global demand for hot sauce, it seemed crazy that India didn't have its own brand of hot sauce that could give a spicy kick to anything you are eating - snacks, roti, sabzi, you name it. When India consumes more chilli per person than anywhere else in the world, why aren't we pouring hot sauce over everything we can get our hands on?
But we don't just do hot sauce. We make Indian hot sauce. That is to say, we make spicy sauces that embrace the flavours and aromas of Indian cuisine, using Indian ingredients that we all love and crave. Love mango but can't find it throughout the year? We've got India's first Mango Chilli Sauce. Looking for that khatta meetha smack of imli with every bite? Grab a bottle of our Imli Chutney. Are you proud that India grows the spiciest chilli in the world, the notorious Bhut Jolokia? You should be. We are.
Eating is too big a part of our lives to be satisfied with ordinary food. Meals don't just bring us joy and satisfaction, they bring families together, strengthen friendships and lay the foundations of a life worth living. That is why we at PICO want every bite to be tastier, spicier, better. Go to our product page now and get yourself a bottle of our delicious sauce - any of them - because they will all have the same effect: whatever you are eating will probably taste better with PICO. After all, Jitna Spice, Utna Nice!
Meet the founding team...
Arjun began exploring and experimenting with food from an early age. While living in Italy as part of his degree at the University of Oxford, he spent time working as a chef in one of Italy's prestigious Alpine hotels. With a head full of ideas and determined to move to India, Arjun decided it was the right time to take part in the rapidly changing landscape that was India's food industry. He set about building a business model that would make premium packaged food more accessible to the broader Indian population.
Abhay meanwhile was racing ahead in a career in the world of management consulting. After graduating from IIT Delhi, he put his techie-numbers-brain to work helping MNCs implement complex strategies. It was time for a lifestyle change, and moving to India to grow an FMCG business offered the perfect balance of strategic thinking and passion.
Nicole is the missing link in the founding team's range of skills and expertise. Nicole left India and studied at Le Cordon Bleu, the world's best chef school. She worked closely with Gordon Ramsay at his Michelin starred Savoy Grill in London, where she picked up not only the techniques but also the attitude and courage needed to excel in the ruthless male-dominated world of gourmet gastronomy. On a return trip to her home city of Mumbai, a chance meeting with Arjun and Abhay sealed her fate for the next stage in her journey.
Like that it clicked. And the rest, as they say, is history.