In a conversation with Restaurant India, Abhimanyu Maheshwari, Founder & COO Yumist, intent on building a brand of homely meals, talks about the â€˜Hub & Spokeâ€™ model Yumist works on.
What made you start Yumist?
It was simply the scale of the problem. The daily meal market in India has always been pain ridden, where consumers in their ever so busy lives have less and less access to simple goodness of homely meals. While everyone is building a brand of restaurant food, no one is building a brand of homely meals. This is what Yumist is endeavouring and this is probably the void which got us started.
How does it work?
When you open the app – we detect your location automatically – you select your preferred meal from our daily rotating menu – it takes a few seconds to place your order and the meal arrives hot within 20 minutes or less. We are operational in Gurgaon, South Delhi and Bengaluru at the moment.
You are from F&B industry and your partner is a techie. How are you integrating the same in delivering the best food?
I am an F&B entrepreneur and Alok is a tech entrepreneur. We bring with us a close to two decades of combined experience in our respective fields. Yumist exists as an F&B brand and we have no doubt that food is central to everything we do. Our entire operation is powered by technology at every level and it is at this sweet amalgam of food and technology where Yumist operates and allows for both of us to offer our best to Yumist.
You recently raised funding from Orios Ventures. Where can we see those funds getting used?
We raised our seed round from Orios Ventures in February 2015. The funds were primarily meant to prove out our model, allowing for enough iteration and learnings, while expanding geographically. We are currently in three cities and plan to gain further depth in our existing geographies through this raise.
What is the operation process?
We follow a ‘Hub & Spoke’ Model, wherein our central kitchen in every city acts as a hub which services our multiple fulfilment centres spread across the city. Our delivery executives are aligned to these fulfilment centres from where they make their last mile deliveries to the end user. All these moving parts are connected and powered through technology, which we tailor to our specific operational requirements.
How difficult/easy was it to get the people to order from you?
Since the gravity of the problem was such that compared to incumbent alternatives, the Yumist alternative was so compelling, that frankly it wasn’t the most difficult thing to get the early adopters to order from Yumist.
How is the response so far?
We have seen a 30 per cent week-on-week growth. The stickiness and repeats of customers have been spectacular; we have 70 per cent repeat customers on any given day.
What is the reason of rising food start-ups especially in the home delivery or fresh food segment?
Convenience and a cultural shift towards instant gratification is the main reason for food going the tech way. If we can order groceries and cabs at the tap of a button from the comfort of our living room, why not, it’s something we do at least thrice a day.
What is your unique marketing strategy?
It’s all been word of mouth. Besides using social media to get the word around, we don’t advertise.