How this woman entrepreneur’s food app is helping home chefs in Noida earn Rs 1 lakh a month
Dr Mona Dahiya has a successful career as a practising IVF Super Specialist, helping childless couples become happy parents through her clinic, Little Angel IVF, based in Noida.
Somewhere along this journey, the good doctor wanted to help women by providing them with employment, particularly work-from-home, opportunities.
A little research across metro cities with over 2,000 correspondents—both consumers and homemakers—indicated that over 10 percent of homemakers were keen to start a home kitchen if they had a platform that was able to address their challenges and help them run a business in a professional way.
The consumer research also established that 90 percent of respondents preferred home food over eating outside. Also, 97 percent trusted home food to be healthy and hygienic.
Wholesome and homemade
These two insights led to Mona Dahiya starting upalong with her husband, Narendra Singh Dahiya, with a two-fold mission of having a startup from every home (Ghar Ghar Startup) and Healthy Nation. She claims that Homefoodi is the world’s first mobile application for homemade food by home chefs.
Mona explains, “We connect home chefs from diverse backgrounds and cultures who have a passion for cooking with consumers who desire regional authentic home food that is delicious, wholesome, and prepared in clean and hygienic home kitchens.”
According to her, none of the chefs have a cloud or commercial kitchen and what they cook for consumers is exactly the same they would serve their families.
Partnering for healthy food options
Banoffee Pie on Homefoodi
Homefoodi is responsible for selecting all the home chefs on its platform. Mona explains the process. “As a practice, the Homefoodi team visits the aspiring home chef to check for food quality, hygiene and cleanliness of their kitchen, and packaging standards. All home chefs are 100 percent FSSAI-certified. We enter into an agreement with home chefs after they qualify for all standards so that our commitment to users about food quality, health, and hygiene standards is always valued.”
Homefoodi was incorporated as an organisation in 2018 and enrolled home chefs and went live in Noida in late October, 2019. All chefs are supported in marketing, delivery, packaging, banking needs, online payments, FSSAI registration, food presentation, etc., so that they can focus on just cooking. Homefoodi has a chef app and a customer app on Google Play Store and iOS.
The platform currently has over 150 home chefs from Noida. It claims to have received 400 new registrations, and over 20 new submissions every day.
“These home chefs have the flexibility on how many orders they can fulfill as they have many responsibilities and also since they don’t run a commercial kitchen. Earnings is based on their hours of operation and the number of menus being listed. Most of the home chefs will be doing a turnover of Rs 30,000 to 50,000 per month this year. Some are on course to earning one lakh a month,” says Mona.
Dr Mona Dahiya with home chefs at the launch
Mona provides us with examples of enterprising women on the platform - Hoormaal Kashmiri Kitchen by Anupam Tickoo offering authentic Kashmiri dishes, Bliss Full Bites by Vasundhara Gupta has a huge fan following for her fresh and soft signature baked products, and Aji Ruchi by Sheetal Khandelwal is the go-to home chef for South Indian food in Noida.
Homefoodi’s revenue model is based on the commission charged from every chef on the total value of business they do from the app. Mona says that it is 50 percent lower than other foodtech mobile platforms in the commercial space.
“We are committed to every home chef to help them achieve their full potential by promoting them through personalised videos, posts, and on-ground activations so that they can reach out to countless consumers and create their own unique identity. We are humbled with the encouraging response from consumers and we will close our first year’s operations with one lakh orders,” she adds.
Her future plans for Homefoodi include expanding its presence to the top 10 cities in India with over one lakh chefs on the platform. “Our vision is to unite the world through localised home food experiences and be present in five key global markets in the coming five years,” Mona signs off.
(Edited by Evelyn Ratnakumar)