The Three Basic Necessities of any human being is Food, Shelter and Clothing, and in exactly the same order.
Apparently, the Sartup ecosystem has made a thorough research on the same front as is evident from the growing number of newbies entering the food business.The year 2015 is surely emerging as the year of e-restaurants and online food delivery industry in India as more and more startups are trying their hands at the food industry, as you really can’t go wrong here. According to a report by Tracxn, out of 145 food tech companies that operate in this country, 66 were launched last year and within a year the food space has grown to such an extent that it is indeed trying to take away the spotlight from the technology and transport segment with more number of venture capitalists investing in this piping hot industry. “Food like travel is a high frequency behaviour and just like e-commerce, consumers look for different options on food and hence discovery and availability of choices are interesting value propositions in food. In other words, food has better prospects than travel and e-commerce combined,” says Amit Anand, managing partner and co-founder of Jungle Ventures.
Breakfast, brunch or wellness induced meals,yu name it and they will bring it to your doorsteps in a platter. K Ganesh, a serial entrepreneur who recently invested in FreshMenu says,“There is a lack of availability of wholesome and nutritious meals being delivered at your doorstep and startups like FreshMenu and iTiffin are doing well in this industry by using technology and taking this vertical in the startup ecosystem to a whole new level,”.
Most of the working class consumers are in a continuous state of crisis with regaards to the food they eat. After a hard days work one surely deserves a sumptuous meal and that too without any hassles. This is exactly what these food chains have been doing in recent past.
One such example is Brekkie,a Bengaluru-based startup which aims at serving wholesome and nutritious breakfast at the customer’s doorstep. This came into existance when three friends Nikhil Behl, Haripriya Raje and Ashwin Chandrasekaran, realised that skipping breakfast which is the most important meal of the day, is becoming a trend and a serious problem among the young urban population, they decided to come up with Brekkie.Within a short span of time, the startup has gained a lot of popularity in Bengaluru and has recently raised their seed investment of an undisclosed amount. “In terms of month-on-month, the company has seen quite a steady growth of 30% and that’s been just based out of Indira Nagar and now we are planning to expand rapidly to other areas as well,” says Ashwin, co-founder of Brekkie.
Another startup which has been in the spotlight for quite sometime is iTiffin. Backed by cricketer Robin Uthappa, this startup is purely based on the concept of providing wellness induced meals. Its founders Tapan Das and Ryan Fernado are constantly working towardsproviding meals that will help people fight lifestyle-related disorders. Recently they launched a series of wellness products like Munchboxes which are snacks that can be consumed between meals and i-Atta, a special type of flour for diabetic patients. They are in the process of raising $10 million to invest towards pan India expansion.
We have all heard a lot about how the famous “Mumbai Dabbawalas” cater to the food needs of thousands of Mumbaikars, but recently Box8, a Mumbai-based on-demand food delivery company has been in news about the kind of work they are doing in the food industy. Amit Raj co-founder of Box8 says, “Demand has never been a challenge for us in spite of growing number of players in the food space. This market is young and every startup has its own strategy and approach to capture this industry. Food space unlike other categories is vast and the opportunities that it offers is humongous, so if you have a right team in place then challenges and competition shouldn’t affect you in any way,”.
According to investors, apart from the prospects of earning good revenue one of the interesting things about this industry is that it is highly scalable. However, the challenges involved in this industry range from cooking and catering to people as the volumes grow because of the constraints like manpower and logistics. Another challenge that these startups face is the retention of customers for long. Going by the general trends there is a dropout of around 2% of the customers everyday due to delivery issues.
This for sure looks like a promising feild to look at for the Startups, but the Mantra for success here will be to draw a perfect balance between the opportunities and threats that the market has to offer. Food has always been and will always be a matter of prime importance to everyone, hence, the F&B industry will always remain a pivotal industry for the new startups.