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Startup 06 Apr 2015

How tech-food players drove the food delivery biz in India?

With the growing number of more than two dozen food tech start-ups in the last one year, the food delivery scenario has garnered investor's interest as well.

By Nusra Deputy Features Editor

Do you still believe in visiting a restaurant? Or do you prefer to have food at ease in the cosy confines of your home?  Know how the food delivery scenario has changed in the country over the last few months.

The food delivery segment is tremendously growing over the years, in tandem with the change in eating habits and lifestyle trends, with increasing disposable incomes clubbed with hectic schedules.

Today, people are prone to placing food orders online and capitalising this trend, a lot of restaurants are yielding good returns by registering themselves on online ordering sites like foodpanda, Tastykhana, JustEat, HyderabadSpecial etc and many local ordering websites are also following suit, inviting players like Zomato and Taxi aggregator Ola to enter the segment.

Rohit Chadda, MD and Co-Founder, foodpanda shared, “Food delivery is booming right now. We see lots of companies entering into the business. But we are focusing on creating a place for the customer where they can order food online and get delivery which was earlier restricted to the international brands.”

What's trending                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

With the growing number of more than two dozen food tech start-ups in the last one year, the food delivery scenario has garnered investors’ interest as well. TinyOwl which started its operation early in September from Mumbai has raised two rounds of funding of approximately Rs 100 crore and is expanding vigorously to other cities as well.  Meanwhile, a player like Zomato which has proved itself as the global leader in restaurant discovery platform has announced its entry into the fast growing food delivery space.

On the other hand, Ola Cabs which recently acquired TaxiForSure has also started food delivery service in Mumbai by launching ‘Ola Café’ on its mobile apps.

Deepinder Goyal, CEO and Co-Founder, Zomato said, “Zomato will act as the tech platform allowing users to select their dishes and order their meal online and the payment will be done through cash on delivery. The restaurant has to manually accept each order from a user before it is processed as compared to passing orders from users to restaurants as other services do.”

Commenting on the same, Harshvardhan Mandad, Co-founder, TinyOwl said, “Food ordering is at a very nascent stage and it constitutes less than five per cent market share in the food market as people are shifting to apps and mobile phones has become a necessity today. Everyone wants food at ease.”

The game changers

Players like foodpanda, JustEat, TastyKhana and TinyOwl has brought a revolution into the Indian food delivery system. Today, entrepreneurs target at reaching out to a larger chunk and they believe that Internet penetration of business is a better and comfortable way than starting a restaurant and then making it grow with each passing day. 

foodpanda, the largest online food ordering platform has recently acquired two of its competitors, JustEat and TastyKhana, thereby expanding its market leadership in one of the biggest food delivery markets in the world.

Shachin Bharadwaj, CEO and Founder, TastyKhana commented, “The love for food is universal and it comes with the promise of instant delivery. You may be able to apply that math to online shopping for apparels and other items, but certainly not food. In fact, it is the opposite, as soon as a city sees an online food delivery option, they are curious to try it, which they do.”

According to a latest research by Sokrati, conducted on over 70 restaurants across India, it shows that in a span of just four months, there was an increase of 300 per cent in the number of food orders generated.

Although the online food delivery is an interesting urban phenomenon, the concept of home delivery offers a two-fold opportunity in the organised food services market, but India is yet to witness how the business model proves itself in capturing the Tier-II and III cities in the days to come.
 

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