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Looking for easy way to order food? Go online

Last updated on: April 9, 2012 15:43 IST

Looking for easy way to order food? Go online

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Meghana Biwalkar

She is a self-confessed foodie. It's this passion for food which inspired her to start Deliverychef.in. Meet Aditi Talreja, the 23 year-old owner of this online aggregator for restaurants and other food providers

The first step

Aditi moved to India armed with a degree in business management and two years work experience at Morgan Stanely. "When I moved to India, I was clear I wanted to start an e-commerce venture. I dabbled with lot of ideas before zeroing in on the food business. I realised that people in India do order a lot. Thus, I felt the need for an online space where people could simply log in and order food," says Aditi.

A concept that's been well accepted abroad, is now slowly getting recognition in India as well. "When we started out there weren't too many players in the market. This gave us the boost. Also, we gave people a cooler, trendier option to order food and that's what sets up apart," piques Aditi.

Deliveyrchef started its operations in Mumbai in October 2010 and it has now extended its services to Navi Mumbai, Thane and Pune.

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Initial hurdles

Though a cool idea, it wasn't easy to set up deliverychef. "As exciting as it sounds, it was still a very new concept in India. Also, my age worked against me in the beginning. Thus, getting the first 15 restaurants on board was a challenge.

People had lot of doubts and they didn't want to lose customers in case the idea failed. We had to work hard towards making them understand and convincing them take it's a good value proposition for their business."

But, that's history now. Today, Aditi has managed to bag over 350 restaurants in Mumbai and is only hoping to add more.

Convincing people was just one aspect of the business, the other was mapping a vast city like Mumbai. "Though restaurants are willing to offer free home delivery, they are very particular about where they want to do it. They also have limitations like minimum amount and so on.

It took us almost four to five months to map out the regions and work out other particulars like timings and minimum order," points out Aditi.

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On the go...

But, after the systems were set in place and the dry run was successful, Aditi with her team of six to eight members set out to take orders. To ensure that the site was an instant hit with the customers, the team made certain they had all the popular and big brands on the site.

"We thought it would be a wise thing to start by first adding well known names, like Mad Over Donuts or Swati Snacks, before introducing smaller restaurants to the list".

Well, did this work well for them? Yes, says Aditi confidently. "Since our launch we have grown consistently and our efforts have also benefitted the restaurants as they have also grown their home delivery business to quite an extent with us."

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Personally, she has also grown wiser and more confident in the past two years. Ask her about numbers and sales figures, just like any large company would answer, she says, "There are too many players in the market and a lot of interest in this business, hence we like to stay mum about the numbers," says Aditi.

Well, it's better to be guarded. After all the market is now being flooded with other players like hungryzone, foodkamood, justeat and so on.

But, she is not deterred by the competition. "It's nice to see more and more players entering the market. This will only open up the market much more and there is a lot of scope in this area for each player to grow," says the confident Aditi.

She adds, "It's not just direct competition. We also face competition from individual restaurants, which have their online menus. But, we constantly update and innovate our site so that we make the most of this new and exciting space."

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Serves you right

So, how does she plan to stay ahead of the game? "Our primary role is to enable our customers to order online. For this, we provide flexibility of ordering food from any location," she adds, "Other than the online ordering services we also have ratings and reviews about various items. There is also a system through which you can like certain products." This encourages the customers to try out new places.

Apart from individual orders, they also focus on party and corporate orders. And, from time to time they offer discounts to their customers.

In addition to this, they cash in on the festive season or events like cricket. For instance, during the Holi season they were offering colourful pizzas.

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The road ahead

Aditi is the sole owner of Deleverychef.in. "I got a lot of support from my family during the time of launch. Though we are self-funded at the moment, I want this business to fund itself soon enough," she confirms.

So far, she is happy with the response she has received. "It's encouraging when you see the numbers growing." It's this success that keeps her going.

In future, Aditi hopes to reach out to major cities in India. We also plan to take the site forward by adding recipes and other interactive options on the site."

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A word of advice

Plan well! "I learnt that it's always a good thing to plan in advance. Envision different scenarios and work out various possibilities. Of course, things may not always work as per the plans but it always gives you a base to start off with.

Also, it's easier to edit and make changes to an already existing plan. Isn't this better than to always start from scratch?" asks Aditi.



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