KyaKhanaHai: Serving Healthy and Cost Effective Food

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KyaKhanaHai or K2H is a Bangalore based startup and is founded by Lalatendu and Amit Chotaliya. They offer ‘Healthy’, ‘Nutritious’, ‘Tasty’ & ‘Cost effective’ meals. K2H was started in 2016 and have served half a thousand customers with more than 4000 deliveries.

“Our menu is designed in a way that each day of the week has new dishes and different options. We offer subscription options which lets our foodies forget the hassle of ordering daily and enjoy a great meal every day”, says Lalatendu. 

We got an opportunity to talk with Lalatendu, one of the co-founders of K2H. And I am sure; his story will inspire you. Let’s look at the journey and see how he and his team are working hard to help people to convert their dreams into reality.

Give a brief info about your startup?

KyaKhanaHai or K2H is a full stack delivery only food & technology (not food tech) startup. We started in late 2016 and are in operation since early 2017. In the last year, we have served half a thousand customers with more than 4000 deliveries.

What made you start your startup and what problem does it solve?

Being a migrant professional in Bangalore (as more than 70% in IT) every meal during work or at the shared room always started with a conundrum “oye/hey! Aaj Kya Khana Hai?”. There were quite a few options around the workplace but none that we could eat every day. There were delivery services as well but either they were too costly or/& too stereotypical with quick prepare meals. And to add to that we have many friends/team members who preferred a ‘vegetarian meal’ only. This leads us to design and work on a solution that will offer ‘Healthy’, ‘Nutritious’, ‘Tasty’ & ‘Cost effective’ meals.

Our menu is designed in a way that each day of the week has new dishes and different options. We offer subscription options which lets our foodies forget the hassle of ordering daily and enjoy a great meal every day.

The technology platform is very mature with features to accommodate unplanned outing/eat outs and planned vacations without any loss to the consumer. It also has capabilities to alter the order in-case you dislike something our chefs have prepared for the day. We created this to move from ‘kya khana hai?’ to ‘Waah! Kya Khana Hai’.

Tell us about yourself, your previous jobs/ventures? What were you doing before this startup?

I have done my Masters in Computer Application from one of the oldest universities of India, Utkal University. Post that I have been employed with MNC’s and startups in various roles from being a Developer to Delivery Manager. In 2016, I along with my Co-Founder Amit Chotaliya and a founding team (Abhiyank Saxena, Sateesh SV, Subrahmanya Hegde) started IdeaApplied Technologies a Software Technology company. IA Technologies offers services around IoT Platform development, AWS Cloud Services, Web and Mobile application development. In early 2017, Amit Ranjan & Shuchi Jain along with the founding team got together to launch KyaKhanaHai under IdeaApplied FoodWorks Pvt Ltd.

Where is your startup based out of? Why do you think that is the best place for you?

We are based out of HSR Bangalore and operate our main kitchen from Koramangala. Bangalore was a choice for many reasons the important ones being a large migrant population, especially from the Northern half of the country. Abundance of skilled professionals in Technology and other areas.

As a startup founder, what are you paranoid about? What keeps you awake at night?

I am very finicky about ‘Time Commitments’, may be due to our inherent attitude of chalta hai & hota hai it bothers me a lot. Also meeting customer expectations and keeping them happy over and over again is something that we as a team target. Most of my awake time goes thinking of what could go wrong or what did we miss today. The fear of being mediocre is something that keeps me anxious and energetic most part of the day.

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

There are many competitors in our segment, both large & well-funded and small or localised. Fresh Menu, Cult, Box 8 to name a few large one and numerous tiffin services operating in small pockets.

We are no comparison to the large ones on matters of scale and marketing and we do not try to better them. We just try to be the ‘Best at what we do’ and that is serve ‘Healthy, Nutritious, Tasty and Additive & Preservative free pure Vegetarian meals fresh to our customers.

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

More than finding a balance in our lives it sometimes becomes a challenge to manage the work/life balance for our team members. We plan a feature or option to launch and create a schedule and then someone has some personal event that they have to sacrifice. It bothers me when we can’t avoid the work exigencies and a team member has to miss a personal commitment.

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 are self-funded and bootstrapped till now. We are planning to seek out investment soon as we are now confident of the model and are looking to grow aggressively.

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

People (other than family) think I am always energetic and a very active person. I don’t miss an opportunity to catch-up on my sleep and get my couch-potato mode on, that’s usually what my wife complaints about most weekends that I get to stay home.

What gets you excited about this company?

The best thing about this company is ‘The Team’, all of us have been very fortunate to be in the company of each other. Then there is the trust and confidence our regular customers show in us. It is this love for our service that keeps us going and very optimistic of the road ahead.

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.

Usual weekdays start with waking up with my 7-year-old son around 5.30 AM to help him get ready for school. It is more of just being around him then doing anything, my wife does most of the stuff. A quick check of emails and our order dashboard, a glance at our team message board, that’s most of my morning routine. I usually am the first to reach office around 9.30AM and its another exciting day each and every time. Call and plans with the Kitchen Operations, discussion and plans around the Technology platform. Then around lunch, it’s a frenzy with all of us planning and scheduling the deliveries. The core team most of the times jumps in to augment the delivery team. Mid-afternoon is when I have a break that I use to go to the Gym and train for about 90 minutes. Post that its back to the assessment of the day, discussions and planning around the technology and operations. Most days I reach back home around 9.30PM and spend bothering my kid while is finishing dinner and prepping to sleep. The next couple of hours are usually following the news and watching some tele.

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

The best part of the company is the team we have. We have worked together for around 5 years including a previous organisation. This makes it easy to understand and be open to each other.

 Amit Chotaliya – CTO – A true blood gujju with a flair for everything technology. He is responsible for all our products and also the clever ways to keep the tech cost effective.

Sateesh SV – Head Of Operations-     The workhorse of KyaKhanaHai, he manages everything from technology to the cleaning staff. With his immense experience in IT and Software and knowledge of workflow, he keeps everything in synergy.

Subrahmanya Hegde – Head of E-commerce & Customer Interaction – An expert e-commerce architect and developer with rich experience of working on multiple e-commerce platforms. He takes care of the e-commerce platform and also manages the customer related functions.

Abhiyank Saxena – Java Lead and ERP Specialist – A master in everything algorithm and logic, he is responsible for the ERP and Inventory part of KyaKhanaHai. Also with his knack for alogrithms he assits the team with resource and people movements.

Amit Ranjan – The joker in the pack- He is the key developer for the UI/UX and expert at keeping the work environment cheerful. He is the foodie among us who also can cook and most times oversees the quality and taste of everything that is prepared in our kitchens.

Shuchi Jain – Currently being a good mother to her 3-month-old boy, she controls and manages the Menu. She is also our mobile expert with primary experience in iOS development.

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