11 December 2015
Today we easily order our clothes, grocery and vegetables through app, but when it comes to ordering cakes, we rely on website. But no more as FoodyTreat makes ordering cake easy.
With the launch of mobile apps like Grofers and Big Basket, it is clear that technology is entering the food industry. This year witnessed the launch of such mobile applications that made ordering of vegetables and grocery items easy and quick. While these activities are going on nationally, there are two individuals who decided to make ordering of cake and confectionaries easy, in Pune.
Foody Treat is one of its kind mobile applications with whose help you can order bakery items in most areas of Pune. The food tech firm, started by Harshwardhan Wani and Jagdish Narkhede, has delivered 200 plus cakes within a month.
The duo launched their website on October 2, this year, and the mobile application on Google Play on October 17. Presently, the firm is managed by the duo and three delivery boys.
Both the founders have exceptional experience in technology. Wani has over 7 year of experience in sales, marketing, human resource management with leading organizations in the Telecom, IT, ITeS, BFSI and manufacturing sector in cities like Pune, and Bangalore.
He left his hefty salary job and decided to work on his own idea; which demonstrates his risk-taking quality. He loves the dynamic nature of his life as an entrepreneur along with everyday challenges, and keeps on learning from failure and success.
Co-founder Jagdish Narkhede is an IT expert, lovingly addressed by his US clients as Jags. He has 15+ years of experience in design and development of custom software applications. He is managing his other two firms as well, Shift Digital Media and Upcron Systems Pvt. Ltd. in India.
These days, cake and confectionaries are required in every occasion; such as birthdays, anniversaries, office parties and farewells. The demand of bakery items have escalated but the delivery is still conventional. Last mile delivery of items remains the biggest hurdle in the cake ordering process.
He has observed that most cake vendors don't focus on the delivery aspect of the cake and related products. For some, ‘customer delight' as a concept doesn't exist in their business vocabulary. With the annual market size of INR 750 crore in Pune city alone, the business surely has huge potential.
The size of the industry is huge and untapped. Food delivery startups are trying their best to deliver general food, but they haven't realized the huge potential of bakery industry. This is something that Wani decided to take advantage from.
“The food delivery market in India is around INR 13,200 crore, and is growing at 30% per annum. However, less than 3% of the orders are placed online. Cake and related food products segment is also a segment that is large in terms of sales, but is fairly untapped in terms of online ordering,” says Wani.
While sharing more information about cakes market, he pointed out that around 20,000 cakes are sold every day in Pune, and this generates revenues of approximately INR 750 crore per annum.
Foody Treat is equipped with an efficiently functioning website and app that allow smooth booking of cakes of customers’ choice from different vendors. The food tech startup has a delivery team in place that takes care of deliveries all over Pune. They concentrate only on cakes and confectionery; which helps them remain focused. The firm has tie-ups with almost all branded and unbranded cake vendors in Pune.
Foody Treat also offers cakes and bakery products made from substitutes of sugar. But the company's founder suggests that very few ask for sugar-free/sugar substitute's confectionery products as of now.
Wani mentioned of some of the most critical challenges that he faces: getting vendors on board as partners, managing logistics/delivery team, and delivery of cakes in area where customer’s preferred vendor does not exist.
He overcomes such issues by brilliantly using his HR experience. He recruits delivery boys on part, full-time and commission basis. Sometimes he also undertakes delivery of cakes personally along with delivery boys to ensure customer satisfaction.
Foody Treat has already started delivering gifts and other birthday items along with cakes in case if the customer demands the same. Foody Treat primarily focus on deliveries that can help them make more revenue in the near future.
Hindustan Unilever recently made it in the headlines by selling its bread and bakery products manufacturing brand, Modern, to Nimman Foods. Modern is famous for its high-quality bakery products and has 45% of market share for bakery products. They said it was sold as a part of their strategy to exit non-core business.
The company made it profitable after purchasing it from the Government, back in 2002. Is this the sign of problems in the industry? Is this deterring investors and entrepreneurs? While sharing his opinion on Hindustan Unilever's exit, Wani stressed on the point that if the company doesn't have people having core experience and interest to run the operations, it is better to hive off the business at the right time. Business involving food can never go down, but customer's tastes and expectations keep on changing, so, the company has to adapt accordingly or move out of the business.
a. Start as early as possible, don’t wait for the right time, it’s always ‘now’.
b. Success and failure only add to experience, so take them in equal stride.
c. Be ready to experiment and innovate in order to adapt to changing customer requirements.
8 December 2015
People do show their concern over the increasing gap between citizens and politicians or ward officials, but no one worked towards narrowing it. Krushnaal Pai, instead, took this opportunity and developed NetaG, a mobile application, which made reporting of civic issues effortless.
We often complain about potholes on road or scattered garbage around the bin, but neglect it since reporting to the ward official is another hassle that we happily want to avoid. Krushnaal Pai, 26, considered this as an opportunity and developed a mobile application, NetaG, which connects citizens and ward officials, easily.
It is this year’s second quarter when the app, launched under Light Vision Technologies Pvt Ltd, made buzz amongst concerned citizens, politicians and social workers in the Pune and PCMC areas. With the launch of this application, citizens find it easy to connect with their ward officials and report civic issues in their area.
Converting an idea into a well-drafted product is colossal task. However, such tasks look small in front of its ideator. Pai created its prototype and launched it on trial for 100 users in January 2014. For a year, he worked on his dream project to make it user friendly and presented the final version in January 2015.
The mantra for successful business is meeting their potential customers’ requirements. Pai, with NetaG, did what was missing from the system, resulted in its huge success. This app made reporting of civic issues effortless. While citizens are happily informing their ward officials about local issues in their areas, politicians and aspiring candidates took it as an opportunity to serve the society and started addressing these issues.
Another attractive feature of this mobile app is reporting these issues by being anonymous. Thus an individual, if not willing to come forth and report the issue, has a chance to be anonymous and give regular updates on civic problems.
Every product requires a marketing budget. For startups, this ratio increases depending on the competitive market and product. Pai took a bold step of handling the marketing responsibilities, all by himself. He actively circulated the buzz on the social media, which helped him achieve a milestone of 4000 users within 6 months of its launch with 20% resolution rate.
“This is a good start considering the fact that I am working alone. However, I would like to increase this number. I believe the growth can be accelerated up to 400 percent in few weeks with minimal team, mentorship, and funding,” said Pai sharing his future vision.
An app does require monetization strategies to be able to sustain itself in the market. On which, Pai says, “We are planning to go the ad way, but don’t want to hamper user experience at this point. Ads are usually profitable when an app crosses 50K users. Till we achieve that milestone, NetaG would be add-free and will remain bootstrap.”
Pai has certainly narrowed the gap between citizens and their respective ward officials. Since this app is very well welcomed by the users, it won’t be long to get an app that may help you file police complaints about crimes in your locality. When asked about this, he says, “I would definitely want to work on such app in near future. I feel our cops perform an extremely demanding job with very little resource and connections.”