The platform of this woman entrepreneur offers authentic regional cuisine cooked by chefs at home


Savithri Swaminathan lived in four countries in 10 years because her husband had a transferable job in a multinational. She has become a gourmet passionate about Indian cuisine and the great variety it offers.

“We returned to Mumbai with high expectations to experience this dietary diversity literally every day – but we were quite disappointed to see most of the restaurants offering the lowest common denominator that most people like,” says -she.

In a country where the cuisine changes every few miles, the family struggled to find authentic Andhran food in the city.

“In this cosmopolitan city, you are probably Telugite neighbors living in your own apartment building who cook this same Andhra cuisine at home for their families. What if you could access it? What if this Telugu family were willing to cook a little more, without stretching their cooking ecosystem too much, and that supplement was available for us to order? This is how the idea came into my head – and soon it got me so busy that I decided to quit my job at Hindustan Unilever and pursue my passion for food, ”she explains.

Savithri wanted to offer gourmets access to good homemade food instead of having to order in restaurants, both to get better quality of food and also to get a wider variety of dishes.

Raised in a family of government workers, Savithri moved to India due to her father’s transferable work, which led her to study at seven schools in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

“Although I complained growing up about the lack of stability and the need to make new friends each time, this trip allowed me to discover different types of people and their lifestyles, and I was able to appreciate the diversity that exists just within South India, ”she said.

She broke the family mold and obtained a business degree from IIM Bangalore, after which she followed the corporate path with stints at Hindustan Unilever, Unilver, Mindshare and others.

Real and authentic food

Like the idea of Authentic culinary stories sprouted, Savithri decided to make a pilot to check the waters. She started with the building she lived in, in Mumbai.

She explains: “I did a bit of preparatory work and trained a small group of home chefs. The day I messaged, announcing the launch of the service, I had 100 queries in an hour wanting more info, wanting to order, wanting to join as a chef, requesting more kitchens, etc. I knew then that the idea had merit. I started and worked on the pilot for about six months, fine-tuning the offering and strategies, and I finally recorded Authentic Food Stories in March 2019. ”

Authentic Food Stories offers authentic dishes from different parts of India, often lost cuisines, home cooked, by the home chef, accessible to others. This is done through a technology platform that connects home chefs who are expert in different regional cuisines (and ready to cook at home) with customers who want this authentic food.

“We offer the full range of dishes ranging from daily fresh products (starters, main course, desserts and drinks) to side dishes (idli dosa pasta, chutneys, podis, pickles, dips, sauces, etc.), weekend meetings, birthdays, anniversaries and other occasions) to special festival food (special food like modaks during Ganapati; gujiyas and puranpoli during holi; faral and laddoos during Diwali, for Thanksgiving and Christmas, etc.) to baked goods (from a panel home bakers who can make all types of personalized cakes and other baked goods for all occasions).

For the love of regional cuisine

AFS’s target audience, according to Savithri, is made up of affluent people (and / or upward mobility) living in large cities who demand high standards of food and value authenticity.

“These people are generally willing to taste food from different regions, national and international, and also crave food from their childhood. “

It offers 20 cuisines which include Punjabi, Gujarati, Kashmiri, Rajasthani, Marwari, Maharashtrian, Sindhi, Delhi, Eastern UP, Bihari, Bengali, Oriya, Tamil, Kerala, Kannadiga, Andhra, Italian, Mexican, Thai, Continental, Indo Chinese, Korean, Japanese and East Indian.

Its revenue model is quite simple. Leaders are paid for their efforts with an added margin.

Additional charges for delivery etc. are paid by customers.

Savithri says the competition is fierce and comes from different corners – eateries, eateries, even home-cooked meals, the friendly neighborhood chef aunt, bakeries, pickle shops, the maharaj who comes to the house to cook for the occasions, etc.

“They all compete with us at different prices and on different occasions. Our strategy is quite simple: compete by delivering unmatched quality of food, which can be tailor-made for the occasion, ”she adds.

As a solo founder, Savithri initially invested Rs 20 lakh to build the tech product. Currently, all profits are reinvested in the business.

The company has more than doubled each year – and that with just one team. Key occasions like Diwali, Christmas and Raksha Bandhan have grown exponentially because people are giving our homemade offers to their friends and family, ”she said.

Currently available in Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai, AFS was smoothly launched in Bengaluru earlier this year.

“We are also able to deliver non-perishable items anywhere in India. In the future, we plan to take on more chefs in Mumbai, build what we started in Bengaluru, expand to other cities and expand to more cuisines, ”she says.


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