Online healthy food startup Healthie delivers in Delhi-NCR, Bengaluru, Mumbai, and Hyderabad. Operating from 18 kitchens at present, the startup is eyeing 100 kitchens as it expands across India.
At a glance:
Founded in: 2017
Founder: Rajesh Sawhney
Based out of: Delhi-NCR
For Rajesh Sawhney, running an internet kitchen is no challenge.
For the over three years that he ran InnerChef, it moved from ingredient boxes to an internet kitchen, serving up different kinds of cuisines, gourmet food, and desserts. However, during his travels to New York and Singapore, Rajesh saw an emerging trend for health foods.
This was the starting point for Healthie, where discerning and health-conscious people could choose from a range of healthy food.
When Co-founders Rajesh, Sanjeev Singhal and Bal DiGhent were looking for ideas before starting up InnerChef, they first thought of an ingredient box. The idea was to send a box filled with prepped ingredients in the perfect amount required to create a dish, the recipe for which would also be provided.
This concept was launched in April 2015, but within a few months, the trio realised that the model would take time to scale, and that the Indian market would take close to five years to warm up to the idea. That is how InnerChef moved on to become an online internet kitchen.
Tweaking the idea further to offer healthier food options was the next step for Rajesh. Healthie aims to provide quality healthy food suited to the Indian palate and taste.
Rajesh explains: “I think ‘eating healthy’ is a global mega trend. It is just about beginning in India. I wanted to create a brand in India that can provide fresh and healthy food with an Indian touch. During the extensive research we did before the launch, we found that most Indian consumers feel that healthy food is not tasty. That's why my brief to our team was to create meal experiences that are healthy as well as tasty. In fact our punchline is #HealthieBhiTastyBhi.”
While a part of InnerChef, Healthie started operations in August last year and works differently from the core InnerChef business. A team of six women curates all the meals, which are then rolled out from 18 kitchens across Bengaluru, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Noida, Delhi, and Gurgaon.
“We brought a world-famous chef from Italy, Michel Basadella, to help us further this winter,” Rajesh says. Being a serial entrepreneur, finding the right partners wasn’t a challenge for Rajesh. Also, Healthie had the added advantage of having access to InnerChef kitchens and supply chain.
Healthie is constantly curating new experiences, and the recipes are “carefully crafted keeping in mind the macronutrients and micronutrients required for a healthy balanced life.
The team launched a new category – “Organic Bowls” - last month, and also provides Indian staples like khichdi.
Healthie claims to be the first food company in India to have a complete Black range; this includes sandwiches (Black Beast), Black Rice Bowls, healthy desserts (Black Hole), and juices and smoothies (Black Beauty).
Like InnerChef, Healthie also works on a central kitchen and hub-and-spoke model. The team claims Healthie is growing at over 100 percent quarter on quarter and claims to already have over 30,000 customers.
The healthy foods market is fast picking up in India. As of 2016, the healthy foods market in India touched Rs 10,000 crore in revenue. While this is less than 10 percent of the overall food market, many believe that the market will pick up pace in the coming years.
Startups like Healthifyme and Mukesh Bansal’s Curefit, which has a healthy food subscription service Eatfit, are banking strongly on growth of the healthy foods space. Curefit has, till date, got funding of close to $60 million, in debt and equity rounds. Startups like Raw Pressery too are focused on health foods.
However, the closer competition to Healthie would be Eatfit. In an indirect sense, Healthie also competes with FreshMenu, the Bengaluru-based cloud kitchen startup.
This year, the Healthie team is looking to raise more funds and grow its brand across India and across different categories.
“We want to provide this unique experience to more people in India. From the existing 18 kitchens, we plan to expand to 100 kitchens in two years. We are also exploring a unique format to launch in retail as well,” Rajesh says.