In an exclusive interview with Restaurant India, Nilesh Shah, Co-founder Fusion Resto shares his opinion about changing segments in food and beverage industry.
How did you come up with this idea?
The journey started way back in 1996 when we decided to come up with the software. There was much of business software then software for a particular industry or a vertical. So we gave it a thought and gradually moved to F&B space. This software takes care of everything from POS to delivery, store control, warehousing, catering, analytics, loyalty programs and many more. That’s how technology works. From last five years, we are also into mobile space; where we are having orders done through mobile, receiving feedbacks, giving home deliveries and managing all the stuff through internet and mobile space.
How do you see the competition in market?
India is such a big country and world is on the other hand a big territory to play. Honestly, I would rather feel like let ten more people come in and join the bandwagon of software developer. There is ample space for people to play over and take share of money. I really do not see people around as competitions. Probably there are people who see us as competition but we see them as fellow entrepreneurs sharing the same level of passion and interest and doing something innovative in technology. When you’re alone and talk about technology, you may be considered as bragging but when there are ten others talking the same language, then they feel that there is a need of that particular thing. Let’s see this through a new perspective; instead of focusing on competition, let’s focus on customers.
How do you sell your brand using technology?
Earlier, we had to educate the customer that why do they need a software but these days people are tech savvy so we do not need to educate them on these basic grounds. People are aware that they need a system to run their business. It’s just to decide which system they want.
How do you see the changing market segments affect the food service industry?
It is giving more options to the palates. Today there is a trend of organic tea, organic food and healthy living. Somebody is coining this term and somebody is making business around this term. Then again, India being nominated as the youngest nation; we are now looking to the opportunity what we could bring to the table. Change is the only constant and things are falling accordingly. Change will bring revolution, change will create innovation and change will bring evolution.
What is your target audience and what are your expansion plans?
Our target audience is anyone who wants tasty food or beverage. It starts right from a four- by- four food card to 4000 sq feet restaurant. From a vendor who sells ‘kulfi’ to a restaurateur, everyone is using our system. We bought tabs and Bluetooth printers with eight hours of battery back-up that will at least give you a day long support. They are also portable so that at the end of the day you don’t have to worry about where to put the device. For this kind of business, we don’t need ERP because there are not tons of things to be done; there are just ten of the things which need to be done. For completing those ten things we have provided with light software which makes it easy even for the person who owns a two-by-four cart. We started this innovation from Kolkata then we moved to West, then whole India and Middle-East Asia, Africa, South Asia. We’re in forty countries right now and we’re adding five to six countries every year considering the fact that F&B is the common language world speaks.
Tell us something about your journey?
Journey was something like walking into a park and the park was ‘Jurassic Park’. Things were not as easy as it seems to be. In 90’s we had to make people understand why they need technology, why it is helpful, why it is so costly and what we would get out of it. We had to make investors our customers; we had to make them believe us, at times asking them to fund us so that we could provide them the technology which would keep them ahead. There were times when investors wanted their money back because they didn’t find the technology worthy. We did exhibitions to make people understand technology. It was really tough to create a niche for ourselves. That is how we have been growing. Each entrepreneur has its own story; each business has its own ups and downs. Just focus on your goal and go ahead.