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Two years, $100 million: One woman’s applesauce business plan

/ Nov 06, 2012 6:56AM / Print / ()

Two years, $100 million: One woman’s applesauce business pla...

All women entrepreneurs know building a new business is seriously tough work and getting to the point of being able to hire staff can take years.

But for 48-year-old Meena Mansharamani success came a little quicker than usual, and in the form of millions of dollars.

In an interview with Forbes, 48-year-old Mansharamani explains how she started introducing popular French applesauce GoGo squeeZ into the North American market in December 2010. Just two years later, the on-the-go snack is available on the shelves of major chains like Target, Wal-mart, Costco and Whole Foods, making US$100 million in retail sales.

It helped that Mansharamani had some experience in food, as the former head of product innovation at PepsiCo. But as she explains to Forbes, success came about with a number of pre-planned strategies including high growth expectations, an over-investment in demand, quickly building up the marketing and sales staff headcount, and constant customer communications.

She also convinced investors to get in early. "I wanted to build out the team ahead of the demand to get the demand going. It was a leap of faith," Mansharamani tells Forbes.

"We're bringing confidence, acting bigger than we are and, in some cases, getting ahead of ourselves."

Mansharamani started with two employees in December 2010. She quickly hired eight in marketing and six in sales, and moved the company into a New York city office. She now has 30 staff in marketing, sales and supply, and 90 in operations.

Check out Mansharamani's full strategy for growth, including her mantra for hiring wisely and keeping spending under control.

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