KhanaGaDi as on date provides Meal on Seat Services at across 350 Railway Stations across India through a robust operating process at six sigma level and high end Tech framework that seamlessly bridges the entire process. They have already delivered around 1.5 lacs meals to Indian Train passengers. They provide 25k menu items to their customers across breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks category as well as deliver Diabetic friendly meals and Jain food.
KhanaGaDi consists of a small but efficient team of 15 people, managing the entire operations from their Jaipur based Operations Center. The team firmly believes in being assets light with minimum burn rate and targets to achieve Break-Even at EBITDA level by July 17 end. This would be a very significant achievement considering their 15 months of operations and with limited financial bandwidth.
Dishing Out the Story of KhanaGaDi
Amit said a mouthful about KhanaGaDi’s start, “The Food Quality available in Indian Trains or at Stations /Platforms is very substandard. There are a lot of issues pertaining to hygiene, quality and packaging. I was travelling to Varanasi in Nov 2014 after taking a break from my professional career of 18 years. It was a long haul journey and I was taken aback to find out that there is no pantry car in the Train, I had to practically survive on some snacks available with me and starved till I reach Varanasi. The thought of solving this huge problem with a mix of robust Tech and Food designing and logistics came to my mind and I booked the domain name khanagadi.com. While returning back to Jaipur, I started writing down the concept in Jan 2015 followed by a rigorous vendor engagement, training process for 28 stations of strategic importance.”
KhanaGaDi launched their pilot in Nov 2015 at these selected 28 stations and readjusted their products on the basis of immense learning during the pilot stage. Finally, they commercially launched their services with additional 55 stations in Jan 2016 and soon scaled it up to 150 stations in no time till June 2016.At that point of time, KhanaGaDi has 2 other Co-founders joining the Team, Rakesh Gupta who handles the complete Tech architecture and framework & Sunil Kumar Awasthi who takes care of the Vendor Engagement and Relationship Functions & Strategy at Pan India level. They had raised an undisclosed amount of early stage funds from Hyderabad based 50 K Ventures in June last year which also boosted their initial growth road map.
A Tyro to Stewardship at Train
Amit Deep Kumar, Founder and CEO is the archer in KhanaGaDi team who handles core functions of Strategy, Operations, Marketing, Finance and Fund Raise. Amit has over 18 years of experience in Strategic Operations and Marketing with brands like McDonalds, Reliance Retail, Manipal Health Systems etc and has worked both in overseas and in Indian markets in strategic assignments where he launched many products and services in Retail, Food Logistics, Health and Wellness and Health Technologies.
Amit believes in creating tech enabled products as they are assets light and can be expanded across geographies to firmly focus on operating efficiency, financial controls, growth hacking which could also reach at Break-Even much faster.
Nothing ventured, Nothing gained
Initially the receptivity from the consumers was a big challenge. KhanaGaDi was quite clear that they need to use technology to bridge the gap between their consumers and the vendors who will be delivering food across India right on Train Seat.
With this objective in mind, company’s strategies were primarily focused on giving a good and consistent experience to their consumers. They trained their vendors to acquire good manufacturing practices that had helped them as well to keep their basic cost in control including food costs and delivery costs.
KhanaGaDi has gradually progressed in their journey through robust processes of operations, back end tech which manages the entire order cycle on 10% automation basis and food designing skills to prepare combos and wide assortment of food menu items that passenger in Trains are looking up to.
They have even equipped their vendors with Android Seller app where they can monitor and process their entire orders, contact customers, get all information of orders, manage cancellations, refunds and also the customer complaint. It’s imperative in e-commerce marketplace model to recover their dues on time and thus they have integrated a mobile wallet link as well in Vendor app so that they can deposit the amount on time.
Practiced Evolution to vie in Startups
Relentless pursuit of passion to deliver quality meals to each and every passenger and sheer hard work is the mantra of KhanaGaDi’s team. They have consistently evolved themselves to accommodate the fast paced changes that happens in a Startup Environment. Never say die attitude keeps them going in the challenging times.
KhanaGaDi will be crossing over the GMV of 1.5 CR in April 17 and will further expand their services to another 50 Stations, They are also planning to introduce select beverages in specialized packaging looking at the summer season ahead.
The company has also introduced the pre-portioned meal boxes in various cuisines looking at consumer feedback as more variety and assortment is something which today’s consumer is looking for while travelling in trains.
Cogitating over Future Plans
KhanaGaDi wants to put an adequate foot on the ground so that better coordination can be made with their vendors across India by having regional teams in place. KhanaGaDi app is also available on the App Store and Google PlayStore. They are also looking to tie up with Indian Railways so that they can serve more customers in upcoming time. Recently, they are recognized as Bonafide “Startup” by DIPP, Ministry of Commerce, Government of India.