Foodies, sit up and take notice. If you’ve heard of tasty bites at restaurant outside town, or in a town close by, but are not in the mood to ride / drive down, there is a way out. All you have to do is get ‘Foodzoned’. Order it online or call their home delivery number.
It’s a gourmet service brought to you by young lads from Manipal - Somil Khicha (founder and CEO), Gopal Krishna (co-founder), Akshay Bharadwaj (COO) and Monil Khicha (Logistics Head), technical team lead by Chinmay Nivsarkar and Samyak Gupta. By all accounts it’s an awesome deal for food connisseurs….
It’s a start up in start-up country, Somil Khicha, told Divya Cutinha in a wide ranging exclusive interview.
"Foodzoned was founded in 2014 as a unit of Khicha E Creations. Manipal had no system through which students could place food orders to restaurants of their choice, and get food delivered at their residential locations. As an alumni of Manipal University myself, I faced the issue of not being able to go to the restaurant of my choice because I did not have a vehicle to commute with ease and also it was difficult handling menus of each restaurant and go through a long process of ordering via calls, explaining the food etc."
Foodzoned provides a platform to connect the customer to the restaurants available on its website. The customer can choose from a list of menus, place the order and choose to pay for it on delivery or online.
Presently, the Foodzoned team consists of 7 members, inclusive of delivery personnel. "It has been a long journey and we value our customer feedback and have used it to improve our services over time. We have received mixed reviews over time, but we strive to be more customer-centric and to increase customer satisfaction," Somil added. Foodzoned has already delivered over 2,24,236 plus orders covering more than 150 delivery areas.
Using Foodzoned is beneficial. Customers save time and money. It’s also very transparent and there are no hidden charges. All menu prices are listed along with the delivery charge based on location, and applicable taxes.
Customers can select the items from the restaurant of their choice. Two main payment options are available: COD - Cash On Delivery (Customer will pay the delivery personnel once the order is received) and OP - Online Payment (Payment Options include, PayUmoney, Paytm and Lazypay which is a Pay Later Option with Rs 2500 credit exclusive for Foodzoned customers - no other website has it.
For those restaurants for which delivery is done by the restaurants themselves, delivery time information is provided by them and the same is updated on their website. For those restaurants for which Foodzoned provides delivery through its own delivery personnel called Fz Express, they aim to deliver within 45 minutes.
Currently they do not face any stiff competition in their core markets – Manipal and Mangaluru, although a few startups have recently emerged striving to emulate them. In Manipal they compete with a startup called FoodZozo, in Mangalore, Tiffinbox and in Surathkal, they compete with Foodfrolic. Presently they are operating in Surathkal, Manipal, Udupi and they have how extended their services to Mangalore. They have plans to move on to other cities in contiguous areas once their Mangalore operations stabilize.
Somil believes that Food E Commerce is currently a booming industry. "We see a great future ahead for this industry as more and more people are willing to get the best from restaurants around them sitting in the comfort of their homes. "Currently we aim to target the smaller cities and once we gain a strong foothold, we will compete with the Giants of the industry."
E-commerce in India is expected to grow from US $2.9 billion in 2013 to a mammoth US $100 billion by 2020, making it the fastest growing e-commerce market in the world! E-commerce is also witnessing a spurt in online food & restaurant service companies, which is expected to reach $2.7 billion by 2019.
"India's online food delivery market grew at 150 per cent in 2016. The market added merchandise volume of USD 300 million, despite reduction in the investments made in 2016 over the year before" he pointed out. This is one reason we believe the market will remain strong in the times to come.
Somil agrees that the biggest challenge in the industry is to plan and execute an efficient logistics chain to be able to deliver parcels to the customers within the mentioned time frame. "We strive to constantly make online food ordering an easy experience for the customer by improving our user interface and customer support systems. Recently we have introduced new payment options for customers as well."
Somil agrees that there has been more focus on E Commerce now than earlier. "Yes, E Commerce not only in food industry, but overall has boomed in the recent times." For young aspirants who want to get into this segment he has a message. "Having a startup of your own sounds exciting but newcomers should keep in mind that it will be a rocky road and they will face their fair share of speedbumps. If they have the will and perseverance to face the tough times, then starting a company of their own may just work. They should be clear about what they want to do, why they want to do it and what is the long term agenda behind starting their own operations."
Connect with Foodzoned on Facebook, Twitter and GooglePlus and YouTube. They also have a free android app foodzoned.com/app and you can order food online the fastest way possible.
Try it is what we say!