In an exclusive interview to Restaurant India, Siddhant Wangdi, Founder at Meatigo talks about the growing trend of meat startups in India.
Meatigo was started in June 2016 by setting up operations in Delhi and Gurgaon initially and then expanding to Mumbai in December 2016. Meatigo is founded by Siddhant Wangdi who was part of the Tata Administrative Services – the flagship leadership programme of the TATA Group where he worked in cross functional stints across companies, sectors and geographies. Siddhant has always been passionate about food from an early age and he says his travels just made him appreciate food and more importantly meat and seafood. This was the key factor which led him to believe that his calling would be in the world of food instead on Powerpoint Slides and Excel Sheets. In 2016, after coming back to India, he felt it was the right time to venture out into the world of food and started Meatigo.
What was the whole idea starting Meatigo?
Meatigo was born out of a desperate attempt to find decent quality, hygienic meat for a recipe in the market. Having worked and stayed abroad for the past few years with access to be best of meat and seafood, the visit to the elusive local butcher shops and even modern retail outlets back home in India can leave anyone horrified. There was absolutely no regard to maintain right temperatures, hygiene standards, quality and moreover knowledge of the meat products. We felt that there had to be a better way for meat lovers to find quality meat & seafood and started Meatigo with the vision of being the go-to-place, where our customers could find the best selection of quality meats & ingredients at their doorstep at the best prices to help prepare dishes that are the center of attention on the table
Tell us about your product quality?
Meatigo is more than an online meat shop - it’s a quest for us to ensure that our customers not only eat but also appreciate and learn what good quality meat is and should be. At Meatigo, our selection is thoughtfully crafted to cater to every type of meat lover, we have created options so that there is always something that you would want to eat every single day and then provide on demand delivery to customers directly at the doorstep at chilled temperatures.
For the busy office goer with overflowing schedules rushing to catch the morning meeting or working late evenings, our variety of Sausages, Bacon & Cold cuts (Salami, Ham, Pepperoni and Lyoners) are the perfect accompaniments for a quick hearty breakfast. In the evening, skip that takeaway unhealthy meal and just heat some oil in a pan and throw in our range of Kebabs & Meatballs. 3-4 minutes on the pan and we assure you that dinner never tasted better.
We also provide right protein for health freaks. For the continental food lover, our Pork selection - chops, steaks and ribs are carefully created.In December, we introduced our Signature Range which consists of ready to eat and easy cook range of Momos, Japanese Delicacies, Meat Paranthas and Italian Chicken Wings. We ensure the best of packaging is used by our partners to preserve the freshness and we constantly ensure that the product reaches our customers at the right time and at the right temperatures, so there in no compromise on quality and safety.
Tell us about your supply chain. From where did you get the best meats?
On the supply side, we have a strategic supply partnership with Ample Foods, the company behind the Prasuma Meat & Delicatessen. Prasuma has been serving the finest meat over the past 30 years earning a reputation for their product and service excellence among top restaurants, modern retail outlets and chefs nationwide with accreditation and accolades to match. They work directly with few selected farms and source the best meat available assuring the highest quality standards in the industry. Meatigo then provides the delivery of the meat & seafood to customers’ right to their doorstep all in controlled temperatures. With an order size of ~Rs 800-1000, Meatigo earns a varying margin on the order depending on the product basket. At the same time, to add to our top-line, we have also started the supply of our products to standalone restaurants seeking quality meat & delicatessen products.
What is your expansion plan? What are the key areas you are focusing?
We plan to launch in more cities in the future. We'll definitely be expanding to Bengaluru and Kolkata in the coming months and thereafter will look into other cities which have potential.
How is your journey in industry from the beginning?
Apart from starting the business, the next big challenge in the journey we faced was the storage and transport of meat. Maintaining the right temperature is one of the most critical aspects in the meat business, more so when dealing with fresh and chilled meat products. Right from the farms, to the factory where the processing takes place, to the time of delivery at the consumer’s homes, we are involved in the process directly and thus are able to ensure that optimum temperatures are maintained. The other part where we have focused on is the packaging. All our products are Cryovac vacuum packed which is the best packaging standard of meat products in the world and also unique in India.
What are the factors that are driving the demand in the market?
If you look at the macro level, the growing middle class who have shifted to satisfying their protein needs with meat continues to grow the demand for Meat & Seafood. India’s per capita consumption of meat still remains very small, in fact insignificant compared to developed markets but this also means there is a huge demand and potential in this market. The market is expected to triple by 2020 vs. 2016, according to the India Food Report. At the same time, as consumers start travelling and are exposed to new foods (in particular meat & seafood), the evolving palates is helping boost the demand for processed meat such as cold cuts, bacon & pepperoni.
What is the average Shelf life of the product?
At Meatigo, our product portfolio is largely focused on the Fresh & Chilled Segment which means that our shelf life is ~30 days versus the one year shelf life of frozen category which is prevalent in the market and our competition. While, this increases the risks of managing inventory, it is a conscious call that ensures our products has the highest quality in terms of taste and texture versus the frozen products which is available in the market. We've always believed that you get what you pay for, and once you order from Meatigo, you'll understand our value difference.
Are you planning to Tie-up with online food product sellers?
We are definitely looking to expand our product portfolio to ensure that we always have what our customers are looking for and hence we are evaluating options of possible tie-ups with other food sellers. Recently, we have tied up with a manufacturer of sauces – we tried their recipes with our meats and fell in love with the Japanese Sauce and within a week we listed their products on Meatigo. As we are now growing, we plan to raise funding to help us expand and grow the brand and we are also evaluating options for funding.