Leaping Caravan is a home delivery brand of Indian food from the Grand Trunk Road. It serves simple Indian everyday food cooked in the traditional way.
The food is inspired by locations along the Grand Trunk Road covering Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Punjab and Pakistan. From egg rolls to ‘qormas’, ‘bulandhsehri kebabs’ to soya keema mushroom, railway chicken to kadhi chawal, the spread is as interesting as the road it travels.
“As we looked at the best way of launching it, we realised that while it’s great to focus on the ambience, mood, service etc, the core of it all, the essence is food. And so we stripped away the rest, focused on the bare necessities, and the resultant product was a series of happy caravans delivering food to homes,” says Megha Tuli.
The brainchild of Megha and Shamsher Singh Mann, Leaping Caravan uses heritage recipes handed down by families and are made exactly the way the family made it. The duo has earlier worked at HVS, which is a hospitality consulting firm, and was part of its core consulting and valuation team.
Megha had been brought up in Riyadh, Jeddah, Zurich, Lausanne and London, she considers herself a bit of a nomad with friends and family all over the world. She holds a B.Sc degree in International Hospitality Management from Ecole Hotelier de Lausanne (EHL) in Switzerland and has a finance and hospitality background.
For a good price, one tends to get great food. But an evening at a Dumpukht could set you back by a couple of thousand at least. So how else do we access great food? Travel to the corners of the earth, reach the ‘romantic’ corners of Chandni Chowk and get the grub.
“We do justice to the Indian food and provide it to the average Joe. Each dish has a unique flavour as it is made separately – this might seem like an obvious statement, but actually most restaurants tend to make a yellow gravy, red gravy, brown gravy and then make 20 dishes out of these,” points out Megha.
Besides food from the GT Road, Leaping Caravan also has something called the comfort corner which basically consists of food items that most of us love and have grown up on but these are usually not available in most restaurants – such as rajma chawal, kadhi chawal, anda parantha, paneer burji, and ghee shakkar roti. “We aim to refresh Indian food – make it cool and sexy again,” adds Megha.
The startup claims to have a 70% repeat customer rate and has 97% plus positive feedback rate. “There are people who think that sometimes our food is normal – but that’s exactly the point. We are not aiming for the typical butter doused, garam masala induced, chopped masala type of cooking. Our food therefore lies in between home-cooked food and restaurant food,” says Megha.
Getting quality manpower, retaining, motivating, training, understanding and managing them are big challenges for the venture. The other major challenge is maintaining food quality. “If you’ve ever cooked anything twice, you’d know that it doesn’t always turn out the exact same. At the end of the day, food is a hand-made product and reducing the variance becomes very difficult,” says Shamsher.