Coronavirus: How Feed My Bangalore rapidly scaled to provide 1 lakh meals pan India

In a conversation with YourStory's Shradha Sharma, K Ganesh, promoter of Bigbasket, Venkat Narayana, CEO of Prestige Group, and Juggy Marwaha of JLL spoke about what motivated them to start the initiative amid the coronavirus outbreak and what helped them to rapidly scale across five cities.

When the government announced the lockdown to combat the spread of coronavirus cases in India on March 24, it was clear from the start that the underprivileged, who rely on a daily wages to feed their families, would need support to tide through these difficult times.

Within three days of the lockdown, K Ganesh, promoter of BigBasket, Venkat Narayana, CEO of construction firm Prestige Group, and Juggy Marwaha of international property consulting firm JLL, banded together to begin the ‘Feed My Bangalore’ initiative that provides meals to underprivileged families to ensure they have some means to survive the lockdown.

A pan India movement

“We've been telling people that this is the biggest crisis. There are so many people--self-employed daily wage workers and children who are on the streets--who don't have food to eat. We, as a country, can do something about it,” said Ganesh.

“It all started as an initiative between friends, corporate friends and connections. The clear preambles that we set [were]...we will not step out as much as possible to maintain the social distancing. We will keep this very corporate, and very transparent. And, we will only have a workforce that is committed to this initiative and will last till the last day of the lockdown,” said Juggy.

Juggy got in touch with Ganesh to start this initiative amid the COVID-19 outbreak with a target of providing 500 meals in Bengaluru. The priority was to use a scalable model that strictly follows social distancing norms.

The founders stated that the initiative has seen a strong response from industry leaders, endorsements from celebrities on social media and support from the municipal authorities of these cities.

“We have touched about a lakh of meals between three cities not only in Bengaluru, but we have also started Feed My Hyderabad and Feed My Mumbai,” said Ganesh, adding that they plan to start operations in Chennai and Noida.