Started by Jai Ojha, Avanish Jaiswal, Mrugnayan Kamthekar and Maharshi Upadhyaya, The Breakfast Box is a doorstep delivery service of the most important yet oft-skipped meal of the day: breakfast.
The idea came after a long brainstorming session. The founders knew they wanted to solve a problem that they all had faced - finding healthy and delicious breakfast options.
Ideation and creation
"Living on our own away from home, we often faced the problem of finding healthy breakfast option," says Maharshi. It was then they realised that the best way to ensure that everyone gets a healthy scrumptious breakfast is by delivering breakfast at people's doorsteps. "We got a nutritionist on board to help us decide a menu which changes every day of a month, "he adds.
The Breakfast Box works with healthy yet tasty mix of recipes that are packed and delivered. During initial days, the team realised that people wanted the product on certain days which is when they started opening up their product to the open market.
Setting up and scale
They started the first month of service with approximately 300 boxes and now for past four months they have a current average ranging between 1,200 and 1,500 boxes a month in Pune. With the increasing response and constant touch from people throughout Pune, Maharshi says they've been planning to expand and scale up they operations.
He says, "We have been approached by a couple of private investors, and local businessmen to align with them and take them on board. But we are primarily looking for a mentor who understands the idea and the vision of the group. Increasing the profitability is not the only focus."
Maharshi says that one of the key challenges was hiring the right set of people. They started with a home cook who did not have any idea about the kind of food they wanted to serve. So Jai helped the cook learn and adhere to the cooking format they wanted.
With the growing need for the product the team got people on board for deliveries on a part-time basis, since they serve between seven and 11 am. Later, they got a good chef who further on went to build a small kitchen team, which comprises of a head chef and two helpers.
Maharshi says, "Currently, we are self-funded. We reached our operational break even within four months of inception. We have been approached by a few investors who want us to scale up.”
In the coming four months, the team aims to deliver healthy breakfast to Pune and then gradually expand to eight other cities as well within two to three years.
While a $ 50-billion market, foodtech currently has several me-too companies in the space. After the stories of Foodpanda and Tinyowl hitting a rough patch, many investors believe that the business is ops heavy and can be capital intensive, making it difficult for every player to survive.
If you look at the amount of funding made in the space in the month of April alone, it was a whopping USD 74 million on a total of seven deals. In August, this dipped to USD 19 million. In September, this number further dropped to a total of two deals.
Replete with funding, many experts believe that several startups went through a heavy discounting and couponing phase. Customer acquisition is an expensive affair in the foodtech space. Sources claim that prominent food ordering platforms like Foodpanda spend anywhere between Rs 400 and Rs 500 for acquiring a single customer.