Food unites people, beyond cultures and boundaries. The best way to know people from different regions is to share and appreciate culinary diversity. As modern cities have encouraged work-related migration from different parts of the country, even the world, earnest longing for authentic native food has brought together 3 food-loving techies at Zelish. Here they are, sharing their love for food, beautifully seasoned with their desire to create a successful business out of it.
What inspired you to come up with this unique FoodTech offering?
We are three ex-colleagues (Arpit, Rakesh, and Saakshi) from different parts of the country and happen to be foodies too. Naturally, a lot of our conversations centered around dishes from our native places. However, our love for food was not translating to delicious options, primarily due to our limitations.
Arpit, never having learnt to cook, had no clues about how to cook, what to buy, or how much to buy. So, to fulfill his craving for “Ghar ka Khana”, he would resort to ordering food from various places – not the most healthy choice.
Rakesh, and his wife, ordered quite frequently too, to avoid the hassle of managing the kitchen for 3 meals everyday.
Saakshi had the luxury of home-cooked meals but finding options everyday to keep the family interested was becoming a daunting task, more than the actual cooking process.
We shared our problems with each other and heard similar problems from our friends and colleagues. To validate our hypothesis, we surveyed over 500 people to get enough conviction that this is a growing issue for urban households.
We started manually solving it for some – making meal plans for individuals, sharing pdf with them, making amendments, ordering grocery & then interacting with their domestic helps to familiarize them with the recipes & offer assistance in cooking it.
We continued this for over 50 people and then we decided to create an App for this.
What unique skills do the founders bring to the startup?
All the founders have rich corporate backgrounds from MNCs to Startups including Aditya Birla Group, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Future Group, Happay, Shopclues, and MyGate. The team has a combined experience of almost 40 years.
Beyond our professional expertise, food is our passion. We are foodies and we are ready to go the extra mile to get our food authentic. Our founders have been in the food space even before we decided to start Zelish. Rakesh was a founding member of a startup in a healthy lifestyle space – build a meal plan & supply fresh food to the subscribers, primarily with health conditions. Saakshi has successfully run a homemade food blog and Arpit has worked with grocery retailers.
All these learnings come handy when we take any step in Zelish.
How do the customers make the best from your offerings?
Zelish aims to make the cooking experience fun. An average person spends up to 5 hours per week, deciding what to make, shopping, or ordering groceries. We reduce this drastically to a few minutes. The customers need to tell us their dietary preferences & we suggest meal combinations suiting that profile. We also auto-populate the grocery cart scaled to the number of members in the house and all the fresh ingredients will be delivered to the doorstep. We take this a step further by sharing step-by-step guided recipes with consumers so that it helps them make the meal easily & authentically.
What is your TAM/SAM/SOM?
We tried to analyze all the single & double-income households & bachelors in urban areas. Based on our analysis, we see a Total Addressable Market (TAM) of roughly USD 5 Billion and a Serviceable Available Market (SAM) of about USD 165 Million. We are currently focussing our energies on getting double-income households onboard which would get us to a Serviceable Obtainable Market (SOM) of USD 50 Million.
How do you see your startup affecting the socio-economic fabric of society?
At Zelish, we believe in the benefits of home-cooked meals. We truly believe that homemade food is the healthiest version one can consume & our meal plans ensure we truly take care of all macro & micronutrient requirements of every consumer.
In the long run, we are looking at running specialized programs for domestic help, especially cooks to upskill them & find them relevant job opportunities.
Home – https://www.zelish.in
Founded – 2019
Category – Foodtech
Funding – Seed Capital
Arpit Joseph – linkedin.com/in/arpitjoseph
Rakesh Edavalath – linkedin.com/in/rakeshedavalath
Saakshi Jain – linkedin.com/in/saakshi-jain