College mates, Anand Tarcar and Surendra Prajapati are the latest to move into the startup space through Foodel, an online home delivery service, reports Shoma Patnaik
Goa’s bustling food market motivated college friends Anand Tarcar and Surendra Prajapati to venture into business. The duo launched Foodel, a food home delivery service on July 7 and post-inauguration are busy working on the nitty-gritty of the business. Both partners have middle class background and are first in their families to enter business. They are keyed up about their venture and sound determined to make a go of it.
Operating a home delivery service has its challenges, but the friends say that, they are ready to test their skills after running a catering business for a brief period. The catering business, Grandma’s Hut was started in a small way some months back and still continues to run.
“Success in catering made us scale up and launch a bigger venture,” says Tarcar. “We studied other home delivery chains to understand how things worked and are confident about standing out from the rest,” he says, explaining that, the service as of now will cover Panjim- Bambolim- Merces- Porvorim and Verna.
For the food the outfit has tie-up with about 10 restaurants and also with providers of local, home- cooked meals. To order food, customers will have to log on to the Foodel website, place the order and wait for food to arrive. There is going to be no minimum limit on an order and even small value orders will be delivered at the doorstep is the promise of the partners.
“Home delivery services work on timing, pricing and quality of the food. We have got the three essentials worked out,” says Prajapati. He explains that, customer service executives will handle queries from clients and delivery boys will make the last mile run to the doorstep. The venture as of now employs eight people.
Tarcar and Prajapati were classmates at BBA course, Dempo College. In college they both discussed ways of getting into business before moving their separate ways to earn their living. While Tarcar went on to study further and enrolled for marketing management degree in Pune, Parajapati took up a job in the automotive industry. However after meeting again, they got down to fulfilling their dream of becoming businessmen and started a catering service.
The food industry interested me after staying in Pune and eating restaurant food,” says Tarcar. He says that, he worked with startups like Swiggy and Food Panda and decided to adapt their business model to Goan conditions. According to the duo, with large number of outsiders moving into the state for work and most of them being single, the market for home delivered food is untapped.
Both partners invested their own money as seed capital to startup the venture. The duo have put in about Rs three lakh of capital as of now and plan to go in for bank funding depending on the needs of the business.
“I always wanted to start my own business. People talk about experience and advise you to work for few years before taking the plunge into business. But things are changing and the notion of experience no longer holds true,” says Prajapati. “I always wanted to be in business,” chips in Tarcar.
The journey to entrepreneurship is never too easy for startups and the friends say that, the first hurdle was overcoming family resistance.”Parents want security and they prefer their children to do a job,” says Pajapati while Tarcar discloses that, his family has given up on him because of his unwillingness to listen to advice.
Goa’s food industry is buzzing with players. There are restaurants, takeaways, roadside joints, hotels etc. Several among them offer home delivery, so garnering clientele could be quite a task. But demand for home delivered food is robust and Tarcar and Prajapati foresee no difficulty in getting customers.
“We managed to make our first venture of catering work despite being newcomers to the food business and are certain to make Foodel viable too,” says Prajapati.
Both the partners estimate eight months time period for the business to break-even and start earning. They point out that, they are happy coming back after staying away from home due to working outside. “The state startup ecosystem is improving and we are keen to become a part of it,” chips in Tarcar.