Milliways founder Tom Raviv is serious about growth and was proactive about bringing in support to help accelerate the business from the get-go.
Revisiting the chewing gum category
Milliways is a Stage 1 FMCG brand producing better-for-us, better-for-the-world chewing gum. Founded by Tom Raviv, an ex accountant and investor, the small brand launched at the beginning of 2021 in D2C channels and on Amazon. Tom and his team have big plans to take on the market incumbent and transform the chewing gum category for the better.
“Every chewing gum piece we have chewed since birth is still on the earth. It’s time for the industry to change and we are excited to be the driving force behind it.”
Navigating the FMCG industry
“I knew nothing when it came to supply chain or getting the product out there with retailers, D2C or Amazon”
With a background in finance and investment, Tom clearly understood the principles of business. However as the brand’s launch date was nearing, there were elements of the FMCG industry that he needed support in navigating. ‘Are these normal prices?’, ‘What should I respond to this?’, ‘What do I do next?’.
As a proactive founder and experienced businessman, he knew he needed advisors who understood the business and, critically, how to succeed in FMCG. This would keep him on the straight and narrow with his business plan.
Engaging a weekly advisory service
Tom engaged YF to give him a fixed amount of advisory time each week in the months prior to launch and since. He requested that the time did not have specific agenda or structure – it was simply to be his time to have a knowledgeable brain on the business. During this time, the pace of learning was steep and grounded in best practice.
“The conversations changed depending on what the business needed. The beginning was all about admin, heavy lifting and ensuring agreements are in place on the supply chain side alongside the basics such as information request lists from suppliers. Now, it goes far beyond supply chain. We could be diving into sales, legal documentation, or financial models”
Amazon’s favourite and top seller in a few months
Tom launched the Milliways brand successfully in January 2021 and has seen significant growth every month since then, including having all three SKUs in the top 20 category sellers on Amazon. He feels confident in his business and knows what he needs to work on week in and week out to deliver his targets.
Tom and Milliways is a fantastic example of a brand that moves quickly and right first time. They invest ahead of the curve to keep the business moving in the right direction and avoid costly mistakes further down the line.
3 Things Tom Learnt
1. Have fun. The most important thing is to have fun. If you don’t take a step back to enjoy the journey then there is not much point in doing it.
2. Be patient. Things don’t happen overnight which is why it is important to remind yourself to enjoy the experience. If you are patient and on the right track, things will grow and your plans will happen.
3. Step out of your comfort zone. “I never saw myself in a sales position but just before this I was out on the streets going door to door. The most progress I have made has come from trying new things, speaking to new people, and learning to sell myself.”
“Knowing that I have YF to support is huge – if something comes my way and I don’t know how to deal with it, I know I can just ask.”
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