Delivering A New Food Culture

October 12, 2014 , by Shraddha Thapa, Leave your thoughts
Delivering A New Food Culture » My Dreams Mag
From the day "Dibbawalas" epitomised the delivery of food during the late 19th century in Mumabi, India, food delivery has taken a huge stride with the inception of internet. The "Dibbawalas" still carry a long history of themselves beginning their service of dropping at office bearers their home-made food since 1890. The "Dibbawalas" are among the few first to establish a systematic food delivery service at the time when communication was making baby crawl. Now with time moving really fast after the invention of Internet, the food delivery system too has gone through a phase-wise development. Nepal can never be an exception.

here was a time in Kathmandu when having lunch from your favourite restaurant during office hour used to be a far-fetched idea. But now Foodmandu.com is here for the rescue. Food delivery services may not be new for Western countries but it is comparatively unique and untested concept for Nepal.

Foodmandu.com is an online portal that allows you to order food from more than 100 popular joints in Kathmandu. It also delivers food right at your doorstep at table price. Similarly, Cake Koseli is a cake house that delivers cakes for different occasions. Both the companies impose minimal delivery charges for long-distance deliveries while short-distance deliveries are free.

While working for an IT Company in Kathmandu, Manohar Adhikari, CEO of Foodmandu.com always felt the need for trustworthy food delivery services. He had such a tight schedule that he often skipped his breakfast.
It was unimaginable for him to visit a restaurant for food due to time constraint. Feeling the need for the reliable food delivery services and also with an urge to do something unique in the field of e-commerce focusing on local market, Manohar launched Foodmandu.com in November 2010 with an investment of NRs 4,00,000.
Cake Koseli is brain-child of Ujjwala Rijal and Ujjowal Bhakta Pradhananga who began their venture while looking for fresh ideas after their graduation. They believe that people today are ready to pay a bulk of amount for a beautiful cake, as it has become an important part of any occasion. "So we commenced cake business but with a twist," the duo said. Through Cake Koseli, the duo aim to deliver luscious and attractive cakes at most affordable prices. The price of cake varies from NRs 500 to Rs 1,600 with customised size, design and flavour.
Popping out of the crease
For Manohar it was never a casual walk on the park. Primarily, everyone from his family to friends was little skeptical about Foodmandu. He was laughed at with people around him assuming the company will not last more than a year. But with the determination to run the service for at least a couple of years even if it wasn’t going to give his visible returns, Manohar gathered enough courage to start the project.
Back then people were reluctant to trust online services and the company hardly received any orders. Manohar says that one of the toughest challenges was to convince the restaurant owners that Foodmandu was a new concept in Nepal. Hence, they had to start the delivery service with merely 10 restaurants. One of the most important parts of a delivery business is having proper delivery boxes. For both companies having appropriate delivery bags/boxes was the biggest challenge.

Initially Foodmandu imported thermal boxes for better service but traffic police barred carrying those boxes on their delivery vehicle saying it was an illegal activity. So now the thermal boxes have been replaced by the customised thermal bags. Manohar also points out finding and retaining capable staffs as a major challenge for any business. “Proficient manpower is vital but it is also essential to know what they anticipate from their supervisors,” he said.

On the contrary, Ujjwala and Ujjowal garnered enough support from everyone. “We believe that the success of any business depends on how we understand customers and cater to their needs,” they said adding they have attempted to provide exceptional service to their current customers, who when satisfied, appreciate it among others.

Everything fell into right place when their initiation got into a shape. However, they agree that finding appropriate boxes for packaging is still a challenge. Cake Koseli delivers cakes in regular cake boxes nevertheless the duo are still looking for more environment friendly options for safe packaging and delivery.

Flourishing in transformation
Over the time, the online business has evolved so much in Nepal as people have loved this new concept of dinning. Today Foodmandu.com receives an average of 100 orders a day. They have cancelled several orders during rush hours. Cake Koseli delivered 110 cakes on Mother’s Day. "Foodmandu.com initially targeted corporate customers but we are pleasantly surprised to see that 60 percent of our clientele is residential while only 40 percent is from corporate world," asserts Manohar who has a point to recall.

"I used to work on deliveries on my way back home even after a year of establishing this business," said Manohar. Three years down the line Manohar still finds himself doing small tasks around office in crunch situations. He believes that as an entrepreneur one should never consider any task menial.

Rijal and Pradhananga believe the outcome is "commendable for a company like ours" that mainly survives on word of mouth marketing and push from social media. They are the worshippers of their work and don’t mind picking up phone calls, taking orders and delivering them. They know the kind of hats they need to wear as an entrepreneur. “Such a work culture not only improves the productivity inspiring a team spirit in the office but also improves relations between staff members,” the duo says.

Manohar aims at expanding Foodmandu outside the Kathmandu valley and plans to incorporate online payment services in near future while Ujjwala and Ujjowal plan to expand with a bakery shop within the valley. Both the companies desire to grow qualitatively. DREAMS not only wishes them all the best for accomplishing their future missions but also expect others to follow their footsteps in order to establish a new food culture in Nepal.

In conversation with Shraddha Thapa.

Tags: , ,

Categorised in: Food & Travel, Liefstyle

Leave a Reply

Connect with:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>