For food delivery biz, expectations have grown tremendously: Rashmi Daga

Over the last few weeks, Trending Now – Adgully’s annual feature that presents the strategies and views of a cross-section of industry leaders – has been bringing insights from industry leaders on how their organisations are geared up to seize the opportunities in 2022, break through the Covid disruptions and find growth and remain resilient.

In an exclusive conversation with Adgully at NRAI’s Cloud Kitchen Convention, Rashmi Daga, CEO, Freshmenu, speaks about how the food industry in India will transform in the next five years and more.

What are the challenges that you have faced in the past two years and how is the road to recovery looking like?

If somebody had told us that it would be taking two years to go through this, it would not have been possible. But the pandemic period saw us living in the present, we were living day to day, and planning what best we could do for the day – that’s how we survived during these two years. Otherwise I think it was very tough with multiple lockdowns, with people falling sick, with families falling sick. With no certainty on the business, what will work or won’t work, it was extremely tough for all of us. But now that we have come out of it, it looks like we can conquer any part of the world.

What are the opportunities and trends that you see in the next five years?

Till two years back, Cloud Kitchen looked like a nascent part of the F&B industry. It was not even counted as part of the industry, because people thought Cloud Kitchens are somehow just food that comes out of the cloud and did not consider it equal to a restaurant business. But, I think in the last two years, what is very clear as a consumer trend is that all of us need food delivered to our doorsteps more than ever before and it is going to replace a part of our home cooking occasions.

Meanwhile, the dine-in occasions will stay for entertainment, socialising and for a lot of other occasions. For the food delivery business, the expectations have grown tremendously and I believe the choices are humongous today. It has become a key part of the F&B industry, which is going to keep growing because of this huge shift in consumer behaviour pattern.

Where do you see this industry headed in the next few years?

The industry is going to mature a lot. A lot of things still have to happen for the industry in terms of maturity of businesses, processes, manpower, talent management, consumer expectation management, but at the same time there is so much that is going to happen in this space, such as automation at the kitchen levels, or more technology in the kitchens, more technology in knowing about the consumers, what they do, what their preferences are, etc. There is still so much more to unravel in the Cloud Kitchen space.


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