You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.
Born out of a simple yet unconventional idea of empowering homemakers, Mumbai-based startup ZuperMeal strives to connect home chefs and consumers via its mobile app. Launched this July by Pallavi Saxena along with two IIM graduates Balasubramanian A and Prabhakar Banerjee, the startup has already won backing of Celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor and hospitality business expert Ravi Saxena, who promotes kitchen appliances brand Wonderchef.
Pallavi is not new to the world of entrepreneurship. She along with her husband Ravi has first-hand experience in successfully running restaurant businesses like Sodexo, Gloria Jean's Coffees, Yellow Chilli and Wonderchef, both in India and abroad. The idea to build a sustainable business around home-cooked meals is what she always wanted to do. Banerjee, on the other hand, had deep interest in starting a technology enabled food delivery business of his own.
Whereas, food enthusiast Balasubramanian quit his job to start on his own post realising the huge potential of home-cooked food market in India. When Pallavi shared the idea with the other two, they quickly decided to team up to execute their act and thus, ZuperMeal was born.
More than just enabling transactions for home-cooked food through its platform, ZuperMeal’s underlining motive is to boost food processing at the household level. Thus, empowering home cooks become home chefs and market their signature dishes to consumers longing for healthy and hygienic food.
Speaking on the same lines, Pallavi shares, “A vast majority of people crave for tasty and healthy home-cooked food. On the other hand, there are millions of women in India, who cook food at their homes for their families with practically no recognition and income either. We wanted to leverage their talent pool and provide them with a platform to earn both an income and recognition, thus making our own contribution towards women empowerment.”
Apart from enlisting home chefs on its platform, ZuperMeal also offers different menu and specialties from professional chefs and working professionals. Apart from handling delivery and payment settlement between consumers and providers, the team identifies talent, curates their best dishes, fix prices and finalize presentation as well. Further, they also teach home chefs about hygiene, food safety, storage and other health related topics.
Why Chef-driven Model?
ZuperMeal makes efficient use of the existing home kitchens, thus eliminating the need for expensive brick-and-mortar infrastructure of restaurant kitchens. Explaining on why a chef driven food-tech model more sustainable, Banerjee says, “Brick-and-mortar infrastructure, rising rentals, increasing service tax and value-added tax constitute over 20 per cent of customers’ food bill at a restaurant. While, an online chef marketplace model like ours does away with those capital costs. Our model goes even further in making use of existing home kitchens of individuals, and we also have a complete control over the pricing, thus guaranteeing lowest costs, easy scalability and best possible margins.”
Service area: Mumbai
Delivery time: 30-40 minutes
Team strength: 15
No. of chefs: Over 150
Average meal price: Rs 150-200
Mode of offering: Mobile only
Profit margin: Net 15%
Daily orders: Around 60-70
MoM growth rate: 80%
Expansion plans: Around 3 cities by mid next year & 500 towns pan India by 2020 with 60,000 home chefs on platform