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Healthy Hustle: Payal Rohatgi Serving Warmth Of Ghar-Ka-Khana The celebrated actress and Bigg Boss famed Payal Rohatgi ventured into her entrepreneur project Healthy Hustle along with her business partner and husband, the Indian gold medalist wrestler Sangram Singh. As the cloud kitchen is serving home-style food to the railway passengers and expanding her business, in conversation with Entrepreneur India, she opens up about her business plan, investors, and more

By Arundhuti Banerjee

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Payal Rohatgi (Instagram)

One of the common elements between an actor and a sports star is fitness, which comes not only from regular exercise but also from a healthy eating habit. It is not surprising then that actress Payal Rohatgi and celebrated gold medalist wrestler and motivational speaker Sangram Singh came together with their new venture, Healthy Hustle, a cloud kitchen that aims to serve healthy home-style food to railway passengers.

From the inception of the venture to their future business plan, Payal opens up

How it all started: Considering the fact that Sangram Singh is a wrestler and also a motivational speaker who gives talks on healthy eating and highlights the importance of nutrition in daily life for everyone, whether they are sports players or not, Payal mentioned how that core idea gave her the first thought about exploring a food business.

Payal said, "I am quite well versed in the importance of healthy eating. It is a lifestyle for both of us. When I started to think of business ventures, I wanted to do something that would eventually become commercially viable. I realised that the vision of the Fit India movement by the Government of India has a lot to do with what we feed our bodies."

"With that thought, I developed the idea of starting a food venture where I can provide food to the public as well as school kids with the right nutrition value. That is how I started the cloud kitchen, Healthy Hustle," she further added.

Why to collaborate with Indian Railway: It's been a year now since Payal and Sangram started the cloud kitchen and took their food orders via the food delivery app Zomato. However, being a traveller who also observed that the mass population across the country travels via train, and in their on-board meals they miss out on the warmth and healthy touch of ghar ka khana, she found a potential business there.

Payal explained, "One of the reasons to collaborate with the Indian Railway is to scale up my business because the Indian Railway is a huge network for any business. When it comes to food, we know how a huge population is travelling by express train across the nation. We also know that most of the time the food served in restaurants is not healthy because it is not made with the best ingredients, be it refined oils, vegetables, or ghee. We are aiming to serve homemade food for the passengers."

With that intention, they have started to serve food at the Andheri station in Mumbai. However, she has a plan to expand the business.

What's in the menu: The actress shared how she is very conscious of the ingredients that are being used in the food rather than the menu with specific food items. Therefore, when it comes to Sabzi, she kept an open window, and her kitchen served a dish based on which vegetable was freshly available on that very day. "As I am maintaining a great deal of quality control with the right oil, ghee, fresh vegetables, etc. right now, I am offering two price points. I have a full plate of poha and one plate of dal khichdi in desi ghee worth Rs. 150. Under 150 rupees, I have multiple options like payaz ka paratha, methi thepla, and the and the rot-sabzi combo with seasonal vegetables. I have a combo meal worth Rs. 300 that includes dal, sabzi, one plate of rice, roti, and one sweet item. I am hopeful that with the increasing number of orders, I will be able to lower the cost without compromising on the quality of the food."

Accessible and affordable: As the actress is involved in the thick and thin of everything, she shared how expanding the business will only help more people access healthy food, and it will become affordable from the price point as well. Talking about the steady number of orders, she said, "Since I have a cloud kitchen, my cooking is limited, and therefore I am unable to take bulk orders." For my venture to be profitable, I need bulk orders so that I can also cut down on the cost of every meal box. I am getting regular orders between 10 and 15 every day when the system is on. However, many times I am unable to take orders, especially when I am travelling for investor meetings and other ommitments. I really need to build a management team."

Being in charge is the key. Though her business is getting slightly affected due to its manpower and she is the only person to monitor everything, Payal has a reason to be in charge and control the system to gain authenticity. Mentioning the high standard of hygiene and healthy cooking maintenance, she said, "I am always present in the kitchen, and everything is happening on camera. So that the kitchen staff is always aware of their every single action. You see, the FSSAI license is in my name, so if I cannot maintain transparency, it will really come on me!"

Calling all the angel investors: Payal feels the need to expand the business by building a central kitchen at the key railway stations in Mumbai, like Dadar and CST, since Andheri station has only 14 express trains. Asked about how she is planning to raise the fund, she shared, "For the financial investment, I am looking for angel investors as I want to scale up to Rs 5 crore. Currently, I have my own pitch desk and financial planning for the development of the business. Since my father is from IIT Kanpur, he suggested that I directly meet investors with a development plan. He also suggested that I meet people from the National Stock Exchange and venture capitalists. It is all new learning for me because, as an actress, I never knew these structures that I am learning now. I did not know that there are capitalists who can invest in my vision for five years to start a steady venture."

"I want investors who are allowing me to do the operations, finance the vision, and at the same time monitor everything for transparency," she signed off.

Arundhuti Banerjee

Content Editor

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