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How TastyKhana's COO founded a curated marketplace for SMEs

The startup is a curated marketplace that exhibits and sells non-mass produced items from small entrepreneurs across the country

December 21, 2018 / 05:13 PM IST
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, this year has seen active fundraising in the startup space, where e-learning and online food ordering firms nabbed a majority of the big bags – six and three respectively. Here is a look at the top 10 startup deals in India in terms of capital till September 2020, according to Venture Intelligence (Image: Moneycontrol)

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, this year has seen active fundraising in the startup space, where e-learning and online food ordering firms nabbed a majority of the big bags – six and three respectively. Here is a look at the top 10 startup deals in India in terms of capital till September 2020, according to Venture Intelligence (Image: Moneycontrol)

Vinamra Pandiya, known for pioneering the cloud kitchen in India with startups such as Mom’s Kitchen and TastyKhana, has come a long way in his entrepreneurial journey in India.

“We were first one to start taking orders on the internet,” said Pandiya. His journey first began in 2006, when started an online food service called Mom’s Kitchen. The startup was good in marketing, but due to the recession of 2007-08, they were not able to scale up, he said.

After three years, Pandiya joined TastyKhana as its Chief Operating Officer (COO) and as a board member. The Delivery Hero-backed startup eventually got acquired by Foodpanda in 2014.

“We worked with Foodpanda for 5-6 months and then founding team left This was around second to the third quarter of 2015,” said Pandiya.

With the online food sector at its peak and competitors such as Swiggy and Zomato entering the market,  Pandiya shifted to the curated marketplace and founded Qtrove in 2017.

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The startup is a curated marketplace that exhibits and sells non-mass produced items from small entrepreneurs across the country.

Working with more than 800 local entrepreneurs seeks to empower local entrepreneurs who are producing unique products in their vicinity and give them a widespread national platform.

“We launched the platform with 30-35 products with 5-10 sellers across the country,” he said.

They strictly follow a ‘no discount – no sale’ policy as opposed to the popular business model followed by other big e-commerce players to ensure their vendors get the best deal for their products.

“When we spoke to the sellers, although they were present on bigger platforms. They were kind of invisible," said Pandiya.

The startup is thinking of scaling into Tier 2 cities as there is traction from these cities on the platform.

“Apart from Top 4-5  cities, I have cities such as Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Guwahati and others. With disposable income rising across, now people want to experiment. So now we can see Tier 2 city in order to scale up,” said Pandiya.

The startup has recently raised Rs 350 crore funding from Springboard Ventures.  It plans to further intensify their marketing, customer acquisition efforts and vendor network to provide enhanced services to their customers with a whole new set of offerings.
Sabahat Contractor
first published: Dec 17, 2018 08:23 pm

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