FreshMenu: With about 36 kitchens across India.

FreshMenu is a startup founded by Rashmi Daga in 2014. Currently, it has a team of 1500 employees across country with about 36 kitchens.

Ever since its inception in Bengaluru, the company has expanded its services to Mumbai and the Delhi-NCR area. It pioneered the concept of app-based food delivery kitchens in the country. A team of about 1,500 – FreshMenu.com operates 36 kitchens (across the country) and runs its own delivery fleet to ensure a friction-less food ordering experience.

We got an opportunity to talk with Rashmi. Read her story to know more about their journey as an entrepreneur.

Rashmi: Founder FreshMenu

Give a brief info about your start-up?
FreshMenu is a food company that serves freshly-made, chef-cooked meals in the most convenient packaging. Ever since its inception in Bengaluru, the company has expanded its services to Mumbai and the Delhi-NCR area. It pioneered the concept of app-based food delivery kitchens in the country. A team of about 1,500 – FreshMenu.com operates 36 kitchens (across the country) and runs its own delivery fleet to ensure a friction-less food ordering experience.

What made you start your start-up and what problem does it solve?
Founded in 2014 by IIM Ahmedabad alumni, Rashmi Daga; FreshMenu was aimed at rescuing food-seekers from mundane meals. FreshMenu is on a constant quest to whip-up interesting food options in kitchens (spread across a city) that deliver freshly cooked food to customers.

Tell us about yourself, your previous jobs/ventures? What were you doing before this start-up?
Armed with an MBA from IIM, Ahmedabad, Rashmi started her career as a Business Manager at IBM in 2003 where she handled an extensive portfolio of corporate and government clients. She then went on to enjoy successful tenures at LifeScan (One of the fastest growing franchisees of Johnson & Johnson) and TutorVista. Rashmi started her entrepreneurial journey with Afday.com, an online business which focused on selling curated art and craft products. During this period, she developed a network of artists across India. Subsequently, Rashmi also worked with segment leaders such as Bluestone.com and Olacabs. At Bluestone, she launched successful offline sales strategies like small format guide stores and home-trial that saw significantly higher customer conversions than online sales. At OlaCabs, Rashmi was responsible for strategic alliances with several online travel companies as well as large corporates to accelerate sales.

Where is your start-up based out of? Why do you think that is the best place for you?
We’re based out of Bangalore and Bangalore becomes the easiest choice for most start-ups because of the availability of talent and the general ease for business.

As a start-up founder, what are you paranoid about? What keeps you awake at night?
I’m not paranoid about anything, but the competition in the industry keeps you on your toes. The quality of the product is something that takes most of my attention and ensuring your food stays on par with a quality you have built, is a daily battle.

Who are your competitions and how are you better than them?

We really don’t have competition in our very own niche market, as most food providers are aggregators, that said brands like eat.fit and Faasos share the same market with us. We run our own kitchens and therefore from recipe, to execution and delivery – we handle the whole chain. That works to our benefit.

How hard is it to have a work life balance as a start-up founder and how do you manage it?

It isn’t hard when you’re driven. You haven’t been forced into the role when you are the founder, so you make changes to your life to allow yourself this managerial role.

Have you raised funding? If yes, then we would like to know the details. If no, then please tell us if you are looking to raise.

We received Series B funding in January 2016 of $16.5million led by Zodius and Lightspeed and raised $5million in Series A round of funding in 2014 from Lightspeed.

What’s the biggest misconception people have about you? Why do they have that? What’s the reality?

Most people assume that I have a lot of attitude. I am just a serious person. I obviously also have a fun side. But you need to get to know me better to discover it.

What gets you excited about this company?

FreshMenu is my baby, everything about it excites me.

Tell us how a day in your life looks like? Your schedule for a day right from the time you get up till you hit the bed at night.

My day is a unique mix of family time and work time. I try very hard to keep them exclusive of each other, but that’s just an ideal situation. They mix and effect each other in a very special way.

Tell us about your team and how did you meet each other?

I built my team from scratch, and several of them continue to work with me from when we first began FreshMenu. I make it a point to meet everyone recruited into my FreshMenu family.

 

 

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