Rajesh Sawhney taps into $300 billion food retail market with Innerchef

MUMBAI: Tapping into the lucrative $300 billion food retailing market in India, former Reliance Entertainment president and GSF Accelerator founder Rajesh Sawhney has launched InnerChef.


InnerChef is an online food discovery and delivery platform, which is at the intersection of two global mega trends: eating different and eating better. The company will deliver great recipes in a box with all its ingredients, which are measured and prepped allowing one become a chef in 10-20 minutes.


While the food retailing market in India is pegged at $300 billion, the Indian restaurant market is pegged at $50 billion. The home food delivery market is growing at 40 per cent per annum and is expected to be $10 billion in size by 2016. While bulk of the business in this industry is in the unorganized sector, the share of the organized sector is increasing rapidly. With the advent of Internet and mobile, the combination of food and technology is disrupting old business models and is creating new paradigms. According to recent estimates, over $2.3 billion has been invested in “Food+Tech” businesses so far of which $1.2 billion was in 2014 alone. Innerchef’s mission is to provide a new kitchen experience that is in sync with the needs of a “globally-aware” yet “time-poor” consumer. 


The company’s chefs shop for fresh ingredients, prepare exotic sauces and seasonings, package them to precise measurement with simple recipe instructions to follow. With InneChef, one can experience the thrill of cooking and plating a dish that’s fresh and tasty within minutes. 


InnerChef currently offering 16 recipes and plans to take the number up to 25-30 recipes over the next one month, which will be refreshed on a weekly basis. While the launch menu is primarily western cuisine comprising salads, paninis, pastas and specials, InnerChef plans to add oriental and Indian cuisine in the coming weeks.


While InnerChef has commenced operations in Gurgaon, it plans to expand to three metros namely Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore in the coming quarter and cover the top 10 Indian cities with multiple kitchens within one year. Plans are afoot to have 100 kitchens in a span of two years.


Adopting the model of hyper local distribution, InnerChef will deliver fresh food twice in a day: lunch (11 am to 2 pm) and dinner (5 pm - 9 pm). Additionally, the company is also exploring options to provide on-demand service in the catchment areas. 


Customers can order recipe boxes through a mobile responsive website and soon-to-be launched mobile app.


The four other co-founder of InnerChef along with Sawhney are DiGhent Cafe founder Bal, professional chef Heena Karia Thakkar, Skybulls founder Uday Bansal and former Barclays New York product manager Rahul Samat.

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