IAN today announced it’s investment in a Mexican Quick Service Restaurant, Poncho. The Mumbai based food chain started it’s first outlet in in September 2011. The amount of funding is undisclosed. Founded by two IIT alumni, Anshul Gupta and Amit Raj, Poncho has quickly scaled up to 6 outlets in the ensuing year. Kaushal Aggarwal, an IAN member has been guiding the startup and will be working closely with the firm.
Anshul and Amit, both foodies, started this up after their investment banking stint. Having made many overseas trips, they felt the need to do something with food in India and the first outlet was setup at Bandra-Kurla Complex in Mumbai. “We did a lot of research before setting up the first outlet. Having quit our jobs in June 2011, we setup the first outlet in September. And a lot of effort has gone in to be able to scale up very quickly,” says Anshul.
Padmaja Ruparel, president of IAN said, “This is our first foray into the F&B space and we believe it to be a very promising one. Indian consumers are indulging in eating outside and this niche can only grow.” Being a relatively low cap-ex industry, the QSR area has been very promising with multiple entries in the field.
Poncho offers Mexican food in an open kitchen style (like Subway). All ingredients, including the four different special chillies used here, are sourced locally from various parts of India and are displayed. Burritos and tacos are made on the spot to the customers’ preferences. Recently they’ve added pasta to the menu too. Targeting office complexes, the sales have been quick and they managed to break even within a couple of months. Talking about unit economies, Amit says, “We’ve been very frugal and and keep our rentals low which ensures a quick break even.”
Poncho has a 35 member team and plans to scale up to 15 outlets by the end of the year. Read more about Poncho here