When Tapan Kumar Das came to Bangalore, he observed that people were not eating healthy. That was when the idea to spread awareness regarding the long-term benefits of healthy food struck him.
Tapan launched iTiffin in 2013. It’s an online-cum-offline tiffin service company that offers high quality healthy and delicious meal plans for homes and offices. With a seamless blend of advanced nutrition, food science and food service, it offers wellness meals and calorie-defined meals that are in accordance with the customer’s preferences.
The company assures qualitative and wholesome food to its patrons. “The idea behind launching iTiffin was to provide people with nutritious meals at their doorstep and make them aware of how lifestyle disorders can be prevented through good food,” says Tapan.
Early days of iTiffin
Although getting early customers and raising initial funding was difficult, in spite of these hassles, iTiffin delivered over one lakh meals in the first year of operation.
“Initially, it was a cumbersome task to maintain the quality of food as well as retain potential customers, but as time passed and people started realising the importance of healthy eating in the country, it became easy for us to deliver high-quality meals to our patrons. Since our inception, we have been bringing innovation and variety in the menu to avoid monotony and lure customers to opt for healthy meals,” points out Tapan.
Growth of business
The Bangalore-based company has grown remarkably during last year attaining the delivery milestone of over one lakh meals in the first year of its operation itself. “With over 5000 loyal customers in our kitty and an average customer retention period of 60 days, we were able to clock revenue of around Rs. 3 crore in the fiscal year 2014. Our USP of providing scientifically-designed nutritious meals for our patrons is the reason behind the immense success of iTiffin,” adds Tapan.
The company is looking forward to expand its orbit to each and every city across India. “We are also extending our product line by launching innovative meal plans that suit the requirement of our patrons,” adds Tapan. iTiffin is looking to raise $10 million to increase its product portfolio and propel its pan India reach.
Why healthy food segment is hot for startups?
The health food domain of the country has been growing at a phenomenal rate since the past few years, owing to the increased level of awareness among people regarding the benefits of a nutritious and balanced diet. The market is new and lucrative as not many players have entered the landscape yet. Over the past one year we have been witnessing a slew of startups making debut in the healthy food segment.
The brainchild of IIT Delhi alumnus FRSH offers healthy food like salads, juices and wholesome cereals among others. Backed by Flipkart CxOs, Spoonjoy, offers freshly cut fruits, sprouts, a combination of both, lunch, snacks on a weekly subscription basis. Another New Delhi-based startup Fresh Food ventured into nutrition food market with its flagship product Juice Up which offers a range of 100 percent raw and fresh cold pressed juices.
“Whether in the online or offline space, the health food segment is going to see a positive growth graph. As people grow more conscious about their health and develop an understanding about the importance of having a healthy lifestyle, food companies are going to see enormous growth,” says Tapan.
With the increasing trend of nuclear families, hectic schedules of the working population and the escalating demand for wholesome food at one’s doorstep, the future of the health food segment is promising in the country.
The segment of health and wellness food is estimated to rise to a whopping Rs. 55,000 crore this fiscal year. Due to the increased prevalence of lifestyle diseases in the country, people have now become more aware of the causes of these diseases. This has hence increased the market size of the health food sector, providing umpteen opportunities for food companies to launch healthy and nutritious packaged foods in the country. The fast-paced and hectic life of people has broadened the health-food market enormously.