Does a tiffin service marketplace for food delivery make more sense in India? Takeurpick thinks soJubin Mehta
The food tech space has been buzzing with investor activity. Almost everyone attempting to start in the space has managed to raise funds. After FoodPanda and Zomato, Bangalore based Swiggy just raised $2 million from SAIF Partners, Tapcibo is backed by Freecharge CEO Alok Goel, Mumbai based TinyOwl has grown to a 400+ team with funding of over $19 million and NCR has Yumist which was founded by ex-Zomato CMO Alok Jain and is backed by Orios Venture Partners. And there are few others. For all of these mobile first startups, the claim to glory seems to be the technology that is underneath what they do. And they all either deliver food from restaurant or are experimenting with setting up their own kitchens. In this crowded online space, what happens to the existing tiffin services that have existed for decades? Well, Takeurpick has picked on that thread and started to become a Zomato for tiffin services. And they are in Mumbai which ofcourse is also home to the best food delivery startup there has ever been- Dabbawallas.
Sunil Kumar, a mechanical engineer with over 10 years of experience with product marketing (whose mom runs a tiffin service) and Ronette Rodricks, a management graduate with experience in HR got together to start up TakeUrPick. "You have to search in OLX, Quikr, call just dial and than speak to multiple tiffin vendors for your requirement to order a tiffin! This was a huge dilemma and one fine morning I called up Sunil and said I want to be the Zomato of Tiffin services," says Ronette. They talked about the idea of bringing multiple tiffin vendors under one roof and provide one stop solution to customers seeking tiffin services for lunch and dinner.
"Tiffin services market in India is very unorganized and to bring organization to such a sector has been a steep learning curve," says Ronette. The duo started on their journey by personally visiting tiffin vendors all across Mumbai and explained the proposition. The initial plan was to launch the website and than start taking orders through our website. "But we thought we need to test the waters before we start sailing in the sea and decided that we would do some marketing activities like Ads on Quikr, OLX, Just dial subscriptions, Facebook web clicks campaign and see the response," says Sunil. The response was satisfactory and in the four months since then, the startup has managed to get 50 subscriptions. The number is nothing to boast of and is unlikely to interest an investor but in a sector which sometimes seems to be too active for its own good, a steady non-glamorous approach almost seems heartening. The duo put together a small team and have launched the website recently and are now taking online orders.
What's on offer?
Takeurpick offers standard veg and non veg meals from multiple basket of vendors like Ruchira Tiffins, Mumbai Kitchen, Majhi Aai, etc. Continental, diet and diabetic food is also on offered by some of the vendors. Tiffins services have traditionally existed with fixed menu models but Takeurpick is allowing customization.
"We provide customer service to the customers by checking whether they have received their meals, feedback on the meals and any suggestions of improvement which in normal circumstances the tiffin vendor wouldn’t be able to do," says Ronette. And how does one order? Takeurpick doesn't have an app as of now. A customer can order via phone or the website (which works on mobile). Takeurpick is doing 10 deliveries a day at the moment.
Takeurpick is still in very nascent stages and is still streamlining its logistics as well. Completely bootstrapped, Takeurpick's target is to have 1000 monthly subscriptions in the next 3 months in Mumbai. If the duo manage to setup their processes properly and scale up in the coming months, their efforts in the tiffin service industry might become lucrative for one of the larger food delivery startups.