Is India hungry for one more food app? Mast Kalandar launches MK Dabbawala


Over the last one year, nearly every metro city in India has been giving birth to a new food ordering app. Now, Mast Kalandar has joined the app wagon.

Gaurav Jain and Pallavi Gupta, the duo behind the North Indian restaurant chain Mast Kalandar, which has taken south India by the storm, have shut down their website and launched their service exclusively via app. If you visit their website, it simply redirect you to the app landing page.

The food joint has raised funding from Footprint Ventures and Helion Venture Partners. In its decade-long journey, till date, Mask Kalandar has served 1.5 crore meals. Their USP has been serving food that can be consumed daily without hurting your stomach (or your pocket) - food that is authentically North Indian, without any additives or preservatives. Mast Kalandar serves everyday meals, at a reasonable price range of Rs 100-150 per plate.

Gaurav says, “Technology had to be inevitably a part of the solution in order to reduce human interference, thereby decreasing the delivery time.”

MK usually delivers within 45 minutes. Hunger pangs don’t necessarily read time, so the founders thought they could reduce delivery time by going the app way.. The solution was simple, fast and interesting.  Gaura say, “All along we realised two things: The first was the need of a hungry stomach; the second concern was want of the tongue that needed something new every day.”

So MK did two things:

  • They decided on a daily changing menu to bring enough varieties.
  • Packaging has been changed to resemble the traditional dabba, which makes packing faster.

Gaurav says, “To address the want of the tongue, we decided on a daily changing menu. With a limited number of items, we made it easy for the customer to order, and for us to make it. By doing this, we also cut down on the lead-time.”

Now, anybody who orders from MK Dabbawala will be treated to food that is traditional with a modern twist, and will have it on their table in 25 minutes. Tasty food from a menu that changes every day, and superfast delivery, is what MK Dabbawala promises and delivers.

A closer look at the current food tech scenario in India shows food technology begins after food is prepared. According to IBEF, the Indian food services sector is reported to be a USD 50 billion market with a 15-20 percent growth Y-o-Y.  Though the food tech space is getting crowded, it doesn’t show any sign of slowing down anytime soon with Dazo (formerly TapCibo), YumistTinyOwlSpoonjoySwiggy, and in the market.

(Here are 17 fresh foodtech startups that are feeding the hunger of Smartphone owners.)


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