The food ordering business in India is very undervalued right now: Raymond Andrews

Adgully is back with a new edition of its annual feature – TRENDING NOW – where we present the strategies and views of a cross-section of industry leaders as they go about reclaiming lost time and market opportunities and build for a stronger future, armed with the lessons of the pandemic period.

Over the last few weeks, Trending Now 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 Raymond Andrews, Founder, Biryani Blues, speaks about how the food industry in India will transform in the next five years and more.

What are the opportunities that you see emerging in the year ahead?

The whole food ordering business in India is very undervalued right now. It is nowhere close to what the international markets are. People are now working from home. I think cooking time or spending time in the kitchen has gone down considerably. In the next few years, we will see a lot of online ordering that’s going to go many folds.

So, this cloud kitchen convention has quickly disrupted a lot of the traditional industries, where people used to drive down and park and go and eat. That’s going to be more limited to experience, ambiance and alcohol kind of meet-ups. The regular ordering is going to be at home. So, the whole Amazon, Netflix generation, which sits and watches rather than goes out with the family or to the movies, is slowly changing. And when you are watching online, you are also ordering online. So, I think it’s a very big change that’s going to happen in this coming generation.

What were the challenges that you faced in the last two years due to the pandemic, as well as now as the industry is recovering?

We were a badly hit industry. However, this was also an opportunity to change the way people thought about eating. So, the delivery business really supported a lot of restaurants and that really boomed. And now it is there to stay. A lot of people got habituated to ordering in, and then they’ve seen a lot of cuisines do deliver well. A lot of things hit in the first six months of the pandemic. Since then, the benefits have come along. We as a brand are seeing a lot more business right now than we were during the pre-pandemic times from the same number of stores. When Covid struck, we saw a lull in business and had to brace for the impact. There were also larger issues of people losing their lives to the coronavirus; our own teams had gone back to their hometowns; and there were job cuts across the industry. But, we’ve somehow come out of all that and right now, the picture is looking very optimistic.

What are the trends that you expect to dominate in your sector in 2022?

The trends are different for different brands. It depends on how you are strategising and what are you doing to get your share of the pie. The pie is definitely going to grow and you get a lot of research on how much the QSR segment is going to grow, how much is cloud going to grow, etc. But I think each brand has to build their own niche and get a bigger share of that pie. And we are working on that. We think we will be at a very healthy number.


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