Sameep Arora, a techie and now a Co-founder of Cookass, along with his colleagues, Pradyumna and Manish, have started this novel concept in the city. Here are excerpts from the interview.
Think it’s your day off...wake up late, have late morning breakfast and lie on a couch reading a good book or watch a nice movie. And if you are too lazy to cook at home or get out of the house for food, or don’t want to order food that comes to be expensive for you, no worries. Here is another remedy, a novel concept that is gaining weightage in Bengaluru. For most of the young crowd, “Cookass” has seemed like a remedy. Cooks at your service, who will carry groceries to your doorstep and cook it at your place and the cuisine you like..........that’s Cookass for you.
What is cookass all about?
Sameep: Cookass is a personalised kitchen management solution. We provide cooks for one meal or on a monthly subscription. All a person has to do is go to our website, cookass.in. He will have to tell us what he wants, when he wants it and how many people the food has to be cooked for. Once he has done that, a trained cook will reach his place along with the groceries in and around 45 minutes time and Rs 30 will be charged minus the grocery expenses. We have cooks who are specialised in Chinese, American, Continental, Mexican, and Indian cuisines.
How does your cook work?
The groceries will be only as much as the person has asked for and will be charged on the actual retail price. The person can also tell us his preference e.g. whether they want it cooked in less oil or they prefer garlic or not. The cook will reach the place and will take care of the kitchen entirely. We also design meals for a person depending on their health standards. If a person is diabetic or has cholesterol problems we look into all of this. Our cooks will offer a complete healthy food package.
Why the name Cookass?
We wanted a name that would stand out, that people would remember. We also wanted it to be rather kick-ass. Hence, we went with the name Cookass.
How did you venture into Cookass?
“Having lived with our parents during childhood and in hostels during college, we never really had to think about food. But when we started working and were living by ourselves that is when we had to worry about what to eat for the next meal. Food from hotels and restaurants was unreliable and expensive. Hence, me and my other friends sat, brainstormed and came up with this novel concept.”
Are your cooks certified?
Yes .We have about 15 cooks who are well versed in Indian and International cuisines.
How has been the response so far?
The response has been tremendous and, quite frankly, very heartening.
Who is your main target customer?
Every house with a functioning kitchen is a potential Cookass customer.
What about transportation charges?
Rs 30 per person per meal and the actual grocery cost are all that we charge.
Why didn’t you try to open it in Delhi?
We wanted to open it in Namma Bengaluru itself. Here there is young crowd and hence I feel there is lot of scope for food start ups. Besides, here people come from different cultural backgrounds and hence, there is variety in the food that people prefer to have. All international cuisines we are catering to is also in demand.
Why do you think the investors are actively investing in start ups?
Well, we have no investors. Our start-up is currently self-funded. However, here people are quite experimental. They work hard and like to experiment on new things. Here, there is growth for start-ups and scope for innovation. People like to experiment with the variety of food here. This gets reflected in the high interest shown by VCs investing proactively in this food-tech space.
What are your future plans?
We want to present eating at home as a better alternative option to people. The kind of personalisation and transparency on quality and hygiene that you get with Cookass cannot be warranted with restaurants. We are happy to come up with a first-of-its-kind concept in Bengaluru. We want to extend our services to entire Karnataka and then to the rest of India.