In conversation with Pranav Kumar, General Manager - Design & Development at Godrej & Boyce

Updated: Apr 13



Scan – Select – Pay – Enjoy!


That’s how employees of corporate offices with Godrej & Boyce’s smart vending machines get their coffee and snacks at work, without having to carry jingling loose change or a wad of notes for exact payments of their coffee or tea.


And this touchless vending machine experience in India is increasingly being powered by Vendekin Technologies for leading integrated vending service providers such Godrej & Boyce. Their vending arm, Godrej Vending has used Vendekin Technologies powered solutions to upgrade their vending machine technology to further strengthen their corporate vending solutions and be ready for the touchless and cashless future of unattended retail. Pranav Kumar, the General Manager of the Design and Development at Godrej & Boyce talks about this journey and what is to come…


Please tell us a little about yourself and Godrej & Boyce.


Godrej & Boyce Limited is one of the biggest companies in India in multi-technology products. One of the products we design and manufacture are beverage vending machines. We are in the business of table-top tea and coffee vending machines, and we sell our machines in the domestic as well as international markets like SAARC countries, the Middle East, South Africa, Canada and even USA. We build a wide variety of machines, which can dispense beverages like tea, special and instant coffees, and some specially designed machines even dispense oatmeal.


Our machines have got very good acceptance by customers, due to its technology, flexibility in usage, quality of the output (product) and the varieties we offer in them.


How did the association between Vendekin Technologies & Godrej come about?


We at Godrej & Boyce are entirely into the development of technology for coffee vending machines. We were looking for a technology partner to provide us with a tech platform to integrate digital payment systems, cloud computing, and IoT (Internet of Things) in our vending machines, in order to make life more convenient for our end-users. That's when we came across Vendekin, who have created an excellent ecosystem of future-ready smart vending machine technology in India. We tested Vendekin's technology with our machines and found them to be flexible and easy to integrate. It took us hardly a month to integrate all our tea and coffee vending machines with Vendekin's tech. With our machines and Vendekin's smart systems, we were able to offer digital payment gateways (for commercial coffee vending machines), consumption reports, inventory management, machine health alerts and many customer-centric offerings to our clients.


How easy was it to set up a Vendekin device on your existing vending machines?


We found that Vendekin’s technology is ready for integration with any kind of vending machine, from the basic machines to the more premium ones. Integrating Vendekin’s technology into our machines didn’t require us to make any sort of changes to our systems or the machines itself. It was as easy as plug and play into our systems.


How do Vendekin powered machines differ from the normal ones?


The machines without Vendekin’s technology are free-vend machines, which means they do not really have any payment systems in them. After integrating Vendekin’s smart vending technology with our machines, they became digital-ready and equipped with digital payment options for India and international markets too. So we were able to offer our machines to our international clients too with digital payment options integrated with payment gateways accepted in their countries.


What has your experience been with the vNetra platform? How is analytics helping you increase sales?


Note: vNetra is a Google Cloud powered, GDPR compliant, AI/ML-driven back-office vending management software for vending machine operators to remotely track their sales and manage operations on their fingertips anytime, anywhere in the world.


vNetra is one of the most important aspects of the total vending machine technology package offered by Vendekin. It’s not just about the digital payment options offered to the end customers. vNetra is like a full-fledged ERP system for our vending machines and vending services. It captures the machine’s health data, provides a real-time report of the machines, data related to consumption patterns, customer interests as per the location of the installations and a lot more similar technical and demographical data. This information helps us configure the machines to suit the customers’ requirements. We were delighted to know how vNetra can offer customisations in terms of products to our customers. When we first demonstrated the analytical segments of vNetra to the admin department, who oversee and analyse customer satisfaction, they were delighted with all the data points made available to them.


The cloud-based platform for these machines provided them and vending operators with a lot more control and insight over the products and their consumption. Data such as consumption patterns based on products, customers, inventory level and total collection from the customers and even discounts, everything gets captured on one platform. So vNetra makes our machines complete in terms of vending, from analytics to management.


Are people accepting this new tech? How user-friendly is it?


During and post-pandemic lockdowns, people were on the lookout for a touchless retail experience. Not that the touchless payment options and vending machine experiences weren’t popular before, but their acceptance increased multifold during the pandemic. Our machines equipped with Vendekin’s smart vending technology served two purposes. One, it offered a personalised selection of coffees, products and configurations that could be selected through their mobile phones. Secondly, they offered safety to our customers as the touchless systems protected them from coming in contact with any contaminated surfaces and spread of the virus. We saw that the acceptance of this technology increased multifold, especially with the ones powered by Vendekin, because of ease of use, operational speed, the intuitive user interface, really everything as a package attracted our end-users.


What was the process followed to integrate Vendekin's technology in your machines?


We started with a trial run on 10 of our machines in different customer locations. We got the customers to use the Vendekin app and give us their feedback. We found that they were well accepted, as not much training was required for the customer. We studied this and many other points and after seeing a positive response, we began implementing Vendekin’s technology in our machines. This system has now become an integral part of all our coffee vending machines and now we design machines with Vendekin’s technology factory fitted in it. In fact, it has become a milestone for us. In the future, we plan to offer these machines as an OEM with Vendekin’s solution factory integrated into them.


Given the success and acceptance of this initiative, clients are now requesting that we implement this smart tech into their existing field machines too, of which there are thousands right now in the market. And since this tech is flexible and backwards compatible, we can now offer it as a solution to existing customers as well. We got their accounts created, and they can simply plug and play the system into their existing machines and become a part of the Vendekin network.


How has the overall experience been with Vendekin's team, from integration to support?


From conceptualization to implementation to support, the journey was smooth. All this is because of the support from Vendekin’s tech and commercial teams. We saw the shortest implementation time that any technology can take, in comparison to all the systems we have worked with so far. Within a month’s time, we were up and running the new tech in our vending machines. The customers were loving it and their fulfilment levels were high. We thank Vendekin technologies and its complete team for their support, help, their technological prowess and their guidance. And for making sure the whole experience was not just fruitful but also very pleasant.


Does the success story of Godrej & Boyce with Vendekin Technologies inspire you? Your retail business or your existing vending business too can harness the power of unattended retail and catapult sales and become future-ready by creating a touchless vending machine experience for your brand, whether in India or abroad. Or maybe you are just looking to diversify and invest in a new business, a new source of income. Drop us an email on marketing@vendekin.com or call +91 9555712713 to know more about the several ways that Vendekin Technologies can help.