This serial entrepreneur’s Hoi Foods dishes up tasty, high quality food for guests of budget hotelsNeha Jain
Delhi-NCR based Hoi Foods is working on bringing consistent, hygienic and premium food experience to the budget hotel guests in the region.
At a glance
Startup: Hoi Foods
Founder: Indrajeet Roy
Year it was founded: 2017
Where it is based: Delhi - NCR
Problem it solves: Provides food in budget hotels
Funding raised: Undisclosed seed investment
Indrajeet Roy’s consulting job allowed him to travel to different cities and stay in various hotels. From his extensive travels, he came to figure out a universal truth: a great hotel needn’t always serve great food.
“There always seemed a mismatch in the stay experience and food. Hotels with good stay are everywhere and growing. With many brands of budget hotels chains spreading in the country the domestic travellers have a lot to cheer about. However, the food experience had always left a bad taste in my mouth,” he says.
Taking a cue from his own experience, he realised this was a great opportunity to fill a gap in the industry and started Hoi Foods in 2017.
Hoi Foods is a food brand for budget hotels, which exists to bring good quality and standardised food experience to budget hotels in India. It works closely with hotel kitchens and ships them pre-prepared meals daily. The meals are prepared and served based on the occupancy of the hotel.
Indrajeet says, “After working with a few food processing manufacturing plants and with my frequent hotel stays I came to realise that food can travel and stay fresh for a longer period of time if it is mixed with science.”
Indrajeet notes that the greatest challenge, in the beginning, was getting the supply chain and quality control in place. Additionally, ensuring product availability and right quality from hotel staff was another important aspect. “We overcame this by making the whole product serving foolproof and creating our own hyperlocal cold chain,” Indrajeet explains.
Hoi Foods has built a frozen and freshly packed food supply chain to offer consumers food, and also claims to help hotel owners in serving Hoi’s full menu with minimum fixed costs and higher margins.
Indrajeet, 29, is an industrial engineer from IIT Delhi. He has been a founder of two startups.
“I had a partial exit in my first startup named, SkillWill - an edtech company, and then built a niche boutique consulting firm called Sookshm,” he says.
It is a well-known fact that starting up in the food and beverages industry is no easy task. Indrajeet decided to speak with industry veterans and discuss the problem-solution fit with them.
He says, “I discussed the idea with industry veterans like Sanjiv Mediratta, Director-Cafe Coffee Day Global Ltd, Sandeep Kohli, ex-MD, Asia Pacific, Yum Restaurants International, Pawan Raj Kumar, Founder, Supa Foods, and everybody was game to invest and participate in building Hoi Foods.”
The total team size currently is 19 people in direct payroll while some work is outsourced to 55 others.
The average order size for Hoi is Rs 180. The platform has four centralised kitchens in Delhi-NCR. The packaged food is delivered to hotels on a daily basis.
Hoi Foods is currently earning revenue of Rs 50 lakh every month, and serves over 50,000 meals per month. The services are currently available in 250 hotels in the Delhi-NCR region. It has official food partnerships with OYO Flagship chain, Treebo Hotels, and Fab Hotels.
The startup has raised two rounds of seed investments. The second round saw participation from Alok Mittal, ex-MD, Canaan Partners and Founder, Indify, Sandeep Singh from Hong Kong, and Sujatha V Kumar - Google Brand Head India.
According to a statistics report, the Indian F&B Industry market size is forecasted to be $46 billion in 2020. In the hotel F&B space, Hoi Foods is competing with all the organised and unorganised local F&B outlets.
Talking about its differentiator, Indrajeet says, “Standardisation and hyperlocal cold chain to work in multiple outlets is the key for our business model, which has not been done by other hotel F&B firms.”
For the future, the startup has plans to expand its reach, starting with Bengaluru and Mumbai. “Our plan is to go pan-India through hotels and develop a hyperlocal cold chain to serve these hotels. In F&B we don't have fixed rentals and we intend to pass on this benefit by increasing quality and reducing prices,” says Indrajeet.