By delivering world cuisine in ‘ghar ka khaana’ style, Rashmi Daga’s FreshMenu is disrupting food-tech in India

In 2014, when Rashmi Daga was working as a sales head with Ola Cabs in Bengaluru, she came across a fundamental gap in the foodtech space – access to fresh food. She found that in the past 6-8 years, a lot of people were trying to offer food which was pre-prepared and simple to deliver, and hence customers were not showing excitement for that food. This observation, coupled with a love for food and a passion to run her own business, prompted Daga to found Fresh Menu. And there has been no looking back since.

What started as a cloud-kitchen based food delivery startup in Bengaluru’s Sarjapur area has today expanded to Mumbai and Delhi and Gurgaon. Through its 38 kitchens, the startup serves close to 17,000 orders a day with an average order value of Rs 280. Their signature dishes, including yoghurt parfait, quinoa brown rice biryani and roasted chicken caesar mega salad marry international cuisines with the local palate, thereby striking a strong connect with the consumer. It has hit annualised revenues of Rs 1.50 billion in FY18 and is all set to expand operations to Hyderabad, Pune and Chennai.

Daga attributes the success to Fresh Menu’s focus on curating unique food experiences and her Marwari roots. “I am a Marwari who grew up in Delhi. So the love for food was inevitable,” says Daga, who could cook a full meal for 8-10 people right from the age of 13. Interestingly, the IIM-A alumna worked with firms like IBM, Johnson and Johnson and TutorVista before setting up her art and culture ecommerce startup, Afday, in 2011. But she had to discontinue the venture as it failed to scale substantially. She then worked with startups like Bluestone and Ola, and eventually, founded FreshMenu.

Over the past four years, the startup has perfected its food curation and delivery model, and is now focusing heavily on strengthening its website and app. It is also building a close-knit community of food lovers through exclusive memberships and events. “Our vision is to make FreshMenu an extension of a personal kitchen for a user and one of the flagship food brands that have come out of India,” says the proud founder.

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