Ex-Zomato CMO Alok Jain launches Yumist- comfort food on demand

Alok Jain is a serial entrepreneur who started out early way back in 2004. He founded Teepsy.com, an eCommerce store in the apparel segment which turned profitable in three months and saw an early exit. He then moved on to start up Photomasti, ThinkNet and Unyqe, all of which saw varying degrees of success. Post these efforts, he moved on to DealsAndYou and in his latest role, Alok was the CMO at Zomato. Quitting that role, Alok was bitten by the startup bug again and he startedd building his next venture in July, 2014. Today, I got a mail from Alok which announced the launch of this new venture- Yumist.We’ve been working stealthily on our food tech startup, Yumist for a few weeks now and we are finally ready to launch tomorrow (Wednesday, 29th October) in Cyber City, Gurgaon. At Yumist, we aim to bring comfort, homely and delicious meals to you on demand. Just download our Android app (coming soon to other platforms), place your order in a few taps and your steamy, fresh meal arrives in no time at all. Think of it as new-age, hassle-free food delivery.

The service has been in the works for a while and some time in early September when we were planning a story on food and technology, we had got in touch with Alok to learn more about his new venture. Here's what he told us,YS: Tell me about Yumist, what will it be doing on launch?

AJ: Yumist will bring comfort, home style and delicious food on demand to its users. Remember the time when you'd tell Mom you're hungry and a hot, fresh, delicious meal came to you super quick. We intend to bring back the same experience to everyday dining; using the power of tech, food science and a sophisticated supply chain. We (my co-founder is Abhimanyu Maheshwari, a seasoned F&B entrepreneur and a good friend) are launching in Gurgaon very soon.

YS: How big a role did Zomato play in pointing you towards this direction?

AJ: Food and tech are two areas I know well and am passionate about. The idea of Yumist has been with me for a long time, although the technology to make this possible didn't exist until recently. The stint at Zomato definitely opened my eyes to the massiveness of the problem Yumist solves.

YS: How do you look at the Food+tech space in India?

AJ: Food tech is at it's infancy in India. The industry is pain ridden and I can think of a dozen problems that need to be solved, and solved now. I'm happy to see some interesting startups working in this space, but there's a lot still to be done.

Yumist currently operates from 12pm-5pm in Gurgaon. Beginning very small, the idea is to get feedback from the early customers and improve the service. A lot of efforts are being made in the food and technology space in small pockets. For instance, there's the Quinto app based out of Pune that helps foodies discover dishes, there's Mealboat being built of Bangalore that allows people to find home chefs around them, and many more. Apart from online food ordering & delivery and the likes of Zomato, most of the startups are yet to penetrate into mainstream usage. As Alok mentioned, Food tech is at it's infancy currently and will be panning out over the next few years.

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