Its Time for Indian Food Tech to Smell the Coffee....

2:52 AM Suvir Sujan 5 Comments

There has been so much noise about the internet food delivery space in India recently.  Internet kitchens, home chefs, restaurant aggregators, hyper local logistic companies, etc.  Most of the business models are not well thought through when it comes to trying to build a scalable and sustainable enterprise.

There is only one sure way to build a large valuable online food delivery enterprise in my opinion  - Using technology and tech enabled processes to enable quality food suppliers deliver via a network of logistic providers at scale. I feel many of the companies are missing the point - there is either too much focus on preparing the food or too much focus on delivering the food. Both of these should be enablers, not the main focus! This is a thin margin business in a industry that thrives on quality and variety. You cannot afford to build a logistics staff that is used twice a day (lunch and dinner) and is largely idle for the rest of the day. And you cannot scale a business by cooking and serving out of one centralised kitchen or a bunch of small home kitchens!  If there are a million orders a day, can the chefs produce 10,000 pastas from their home kitchen? Unlikely. There is inevitable food fatigue that can limit scalability if you are producing food from one central kitchen. That is a big issue with any one kitchen restaurant on the internet or not.

What a company needs to do is effectively  is to use technology to identify and empower  the current food supplier ecosystem (restaurants, caterers, home chefs, etc)  and the current logistics ecosystem to deliver quality food to the consumer in the simplest way possible.

Those who wake up and smell the coffee (literally :) ) and execute flawlessly will thrive under this business model. Those who don't may survive for a while, but most likely will end up in "hot soup" !

We are privileged to be partners with a food ordering company that gets it - TinyOwl.   Wish them all the luck in executing flawlessly.

UPDATE :   TinyOwl has merged with Roadrunnr and rebranded as Runnr.  Roadrunnr has innovated on a tech enabled delivery model that allows control of service without bearing the full time cost.  Possibly one of the best teams in the country for hyperlocal logistics we have met.  With TinyOwl's superior food discovery experience and Roadrunnr's capital efficient innovative capital efficient scalable logistics infrastructure, we hope Indian consumers are given a superior food delivery service via Runnr that delights while making profits along the way, which so far has been a myth in the industry. India will see emerge a very different food delivery company than rest of the world given the lower price points and we look forward to continuing our partnership with Runnr

5 comments:

Sir, as per your opinion on food tech startups companies like TinyOwl, Zomato are doing the same thing as aggregator as you described. but, still they could not be much successful as ola or uber did in Texi.

suvir waiting for the year end gyaan post to sum up 2015

Lobotus said...

This post is great!
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Mukta Bakshi said...

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Online Food Delivery