Quitting a full time job and starting a business with no real certainty of success or whether the business has a lucrative future is no cake walk. It takes years of perseverance, hardwork and bucketloads of patience to consider the idea in all seriousness. When you start, you aren’t even sure if the idea is going to make it the next day. Will it make it through next week let alone sustain itself amidst the powerful competition? It gets even trickier when the idea of the business is offbeat and not something mainstream like most new businesses are.
A couple of weeks back I had a chance to meet the bold co-founder of India’s leading food home delivery service TastyKhana. We got to talking over dinner. The conversation, needless to say, was inspiring, revealing and truthful. He elaborated his struggles and successes and the one thing I could feel this confident man had in him was the conviction that he will make it, that he will go the distance.
Here is my tête-à-tête with Shachin Bhardwaj, co-founder of TastyKhana. I found no better platform would suit what he has to say than our Rendezvous with Lifestylerr section.
1. What Is TastyKhana?
TastyKhana is an online food ordering portal. You can order your food online from the web or mobile app (ios + Android) from 5000+ restaurants across 8 cities in India.
2. Tell us about its inception
It was started as a personal need. When working in the corporate sector, we used to end up staying late in office and used to order food very often. They only way back then was to call the restaurant and pay for food via cash. We thought that this process could be made easier by enabling online ordering and payment.
3. Is this something that was always on your mind?
Not really. Early 2007 this idea came up in my mind and then just grew on me as days went by. The site went live on Oct 2007.
4. What do you think when you hear someone say: “I think owning a business looks like fun.”
I smirk and want to know the context of the word fun. For us work is definitely fun as this is our passion but if someone sees the fun in context of relaxation, easy life then they are definitely mistaken.
5. We know you are an engineer, what are your other interests?
I love traveling and exploring new places. I love to swim and this is one of my ways to relax. I am an active follower of politics and someday I hope I will be able to participate in our democracy by being in the system. I am pet lover and waiting to have dogs at my home again!
6. What do you do to stay educated about new trends in the F&B industry?
Speaking to restaurant owners and customers keep you very well informed about the industry. Internet and news of course add to your knowledge
7. Why choose Pune?
I have lived here for 30 yrs now, so entire schooling and education were here. Pune was a natural choice.
8. There are a lot of similar businesses. Why should a prospective client choose yours?
Maximum choice of restaurants (5000+), service quality backed by our TrueKare guarantee, much better product than competition.
9. What is the best offer you’ve received till date?
Was from competition to join their team and they were offering crazy salary and benefits.
10. What do you do to insure the quality of service when food is delivered to the customers?
Our policy towards customers is simple – We are responsible for service. So if there is any problem, customers only need to follow up with us. We will internally deal with the restaurants.
Now there are other checks such as –
· Quality checks are done by our team before we add the restaurant on our site,
· Once they are live we continuously learn from our customers on the quality of restaurants.
· Every bad feedback makes the internal rating of the restaurant go down and accordingly hence suggest the best restaurants based on user feedback
· Our algorithm considers hundreds of parameters like – delivery timing, quality of food, consistency in service, pricing etc.
11. Tell us about your team.
My co-founder is Sheldon Dsouza, we studied together during our engineering days. He is the tech brain behind TastyKhana.
Vinamra Pandya is leading our operations, prior to joining TastyKhana, he was CEO of Mom Kitchen, a very popular tiffin and catering service provider in Pune. At TastyKhana he is responsible to ensure our service levels keep improving.
12. What is your favorite cuisine and restaurant in Pune?
I am not a foodie as such and love desserts more than food…so my favorite place is Baskin Robbins J But if you want a choice in food and restaurant then it would be Asian Food and Malaka Spice
13. Tell me about an accomplishment that you are most proud of in your career.
The entire journey of TastyKhana from zero to million dollar + company is something that I am really proud of. To mention more specific detail would be the ability to raise big investments, get investors on board and scale the company is something that we are really proud of.
14. What are your plans TastyKhana in the next 2 years?
To be the market leaders in India for online food ordering. If you want to order food, you should think of TK.
15. Are there any other challenges for a new setup besides funding?
Funding is just one of the spokes in the wheel, money is never the only challenge in business. Execution of ideas is the key.
16. Give me 5 words to describe TastyKhana
Pioneers, Innovative, Indian, Passionate and customer oriented
17. Your thoughts on Lifestylerr
Lifestyle and food bloggers are in vogue today and help users stay up to date with the latest food and lifestyle trends. I think Lifestylerr fits in very well in this segment will now follow your posts regularly J