Do you know what are the biggest complaints most of the customers have while ordering food online in India? If you are a foodie, you’ll know it. However, they are delivery time, quality and price. Don’t worry! Delhi-based startup Rocketfood wants to fix all the three complaints and much more than that by delivering hygienic food that resembles “Maa ke haath ka khana,” at affordable price in flat 30 minutes, neatly packed in pizza-like boxes.
Started by two friends – Abhineet Kumar and Anurag Singh, Rocketfood launched their operations in August 2014 and as of now, they are providing food delivery services in Indirapuram, Vaishali, Vasundhara and Noida. They want to completely change the way India eats and their convenient boxes allow you to eat on the go. They ships around 250 meals every day and 50% of their orders come through their regular customers.
While speaking about the idea behind starting Rocketfood, Abhineet says, “Dearth of delivery services which provide healthy North Indian food & below par customer experience, while we were in college prompted us to start Rocketfood.” Regarding the concept behind his startup’s name, he adds, “The name signifies our value proposition that is uber-fast delivery of North Indian cuisine.”
He further adds, “Our aim is to become a food company which owns the whole supply chain and whose primary mode of distribution is through technology.” Rocketfood is bootstrapped with initial investment of 25 lakhs. Today, it is hardly a year old and already has a team of 30 highly motivated and self-driven individuals.
Abhineet is IIT Hyderabad dropout and has a BBA degree from Amity School of Business in marketing & sales. He previously worked in Mast kalandar and iStrategy labs. He is a Kairos Fellow and attended 2012 Kairos Global Summit. He is a young serial entrepreneur with many startups under his belt.
While his cofounder Anurag is a mechanical engineer from Dayananda Sagar College of Engineering, Bangalore and have great experience working in startups such as OYO Rooms and Digitally Inspired Media.
With incredible competition in this space, Rocketfood is focused on changing the entire experience of Indians, who choose to eat North Indian food. They are completely different and innovative from other food startups in more than one ways such as – tech-enabled customer ordering, per serving concept, convenient packaging, 30 min delivery and individual pricing.
Abhineet says, “We are making the whole process right from ordering to consuming Indian cuisine more convenient than ever. We are a food company enabled by technology, it help us deliver the best customer experience, which has always been lacking when it comes to Indian cuisine.”
Rocketfood completely owns the supply chain and logistics of their startup, which is helping them to maintain the quality and taste of their meals. Even, their low-cost kitchens help them generate revenues much better than their competitors and they are achieving break-even in 6 months on store-level.
Since hurdles are always a part of startups, Rocketfood is no stranger to these obstacles, as Abhineet point out by saying, “There have been many challenges like, reaching out to customers, generating more leads, being prepared for sudden surge in orders, maintaining a lean backend by cutting down on cost, etc. I think it’s an ongoing process where you learn and evolve every single day.”
“The toughest decision in the initial stages was finalizing our Individual Pricing (per serving) because it was a totally new concept especially in North Indian cuisine. We are glad it worked in our favour.” He adds.
The Food service industry is reported to be a $50 billion market with a 16-20 % growth year on year. There is a great potential for food startups to excel in this industry. Anurag says, “Our growth rate for last three month has been: 25%, 36% & 70% respectively. In next one year, we see us all over Delhi NCR, shipping around 50,000 meals on a monthly basis & clocking revenue of $1.5m in a financial year.”
Since its inception, Rocketfood is all about creating incredible customer experience as well as increasing customer satisfaction because they believe that “happy customer is the biggest evangelist of a brand.”
The secret behind their unbelievable growth is the clear definition and bifurcation of their customer acquisition and retention strategies. They attract customers by offering them cash-back coupons, deals, offers and discounts. They have referral program and uses the power of digital marketing to reach out to new customers. They have even tied up with 10 corporates in Noida region.
As for the retention of their customers, they uses SMS marketing. They have even created a community of regular customers. To create a base of loyal customers, they have started to offer subscription model.
Both the co-founders are humble person, who says that their vision was important for setting the road map for their startup, but the effort of their team members was equally important in achieving their predefined objectives.
Speaking about the friendly and encouraging work culture at their startup, Anurag says, “We follow a transparent work culture where we encourage every individual to take up a project & give them all the freedom to execute. We make sure we assist/guide them wherever it’s needed.”
“Having played in the same cricket team, both Abhineet and I feel that running a startup is like any other team sport where every individual’s role is critical.” He adds.
They are even involved in community activities, where they donate food to underprivileged kids under their “Giving Back” campaign. They even encourage people to reduce water consumption. Finally, he has some rocket advice for entrepreneurs of his age –”Every champion was once a contender who refused to give up!”