First books, later fashion and electronics, and now food and beverages has become the emerging category in Indian ecommerce which allows the consumer to order food through web without leaving the convenience of their home. One of the pioneers in the space is EatonGo, a Bengaluru-based food ordering platform which functions out of their own kitchen in Bengaluru.
In conversation with Digital Market Asia, Udit Saran, Co-Founder of EatonGo shares his insights about the journey of EatonGo and its growth potential in the Indian market. EatonGo is currently serving from an array of more than 40 food items including Indian and continental options.
EatonGo was launched in February 2015 and has since then gathered 3,000 customers where 75 per cent of them are repeat customers. The business model of EatonGo helps it maintain quality assurance and keep cash-burn low as all the food orders are processed in-house. “From 5-10 meals in a day we have moved to serving 400-450 meals per day in just six months,” said Mr Saran.
Currently, EatonGo functions as a website but eyeing opportunity in the mobile space, EatonGo seeks to be available on the mobile platform by the end of August 2015. The platform is facing 40-45 per cent of its traffic from the mobile platform and with a mobile app EatonGo seeks to enhance the user experience on the platform.
Marketing pundits see large potential in the market and this opportunity makes way for fierce competition in the food ordering space but Mr Saran is undeterred and said, “Competition is a worry for players like Myntra and Flipkart where the supply chain is very large but at EatonGo we have our own supply chain, our own kitchen. Therefore, price war or service war cannot happen in the early stages of our business,” pointed Mr Saran.
“Lack of options and requirement of the minimum cap for order calls for a platform that solves this problem,” explain Mr Saran highlighting the marketing differentiation of EatonGo. Unlike most restaurants and eateries, EatonGo does not press for a minimum limit for an individual food order. It is focussed on standardising its recipes, creating a benchmark and then moving to tie-ups with food merchants.
Nevertheless, one of the concerns that continues to haunt most of the internet-led businesses in India is the wave of consolidation. It movement has already started in areas such as taxi and minimally in ecommerce but according to Mr Saran the food industry is still 10 years away from the consolidation wave.
Going forward, EatonGo seeks to put a central kitchen in place which will help it get 60-70 per cent of its target audience in Bengaluru under its gambit. It is also keen on promoting the concept of a calendar and position it as one of the key attributes of the platform, added Mr Saran. The calendar will help in maintain app stickiness and loyalty which will help the consumer plan his meals for future.
Concluding the discussion, Mr Saran added that, “India is not an easy place to run a business. Every month I am faced with pain of 10 different agencies for different certifications (regulatory and taxation) but I am happy that we have entered the market when the start-up ecosystem is so strong in India.”
“We created a core team where all three of us are from different domain and since we have different fortes our combined capabilities helped deal with challenges typical to a food start-up,” he concluded.