Food is one of the things that join us all. The love for food is unanimous amongst Delhiites. This was clearly the scenario in the December 2014 edition ofStartup Saturday. Marked by the huge turnout, this event was the 7th year anniversary edition of HEADSTART NETWORK FOUNDATION’s Startup Saturday Delhi (SSDEL), which saw people from all walks of life in huge attendance. It was jam packed session where people were standing for the whole session but still they didn’t want to leave as our guest speakers gave pointers about how to start a F&B Business.

Startup Saturday takes place on 2nd Saturday of every month with the purpose of bringing entrepreneurial minds together and inspiringthe aspiring entrepreneurs by providing expert guidance from established entrepreneurs who are the masters of that particular field. Along with Delhi, Startup Saturday is organized in 12 other cities on the same day!

The Agenda for this month’s SSDEL was ‘How to start a food and beverage businesses, the challenges and opportunities related to it.’ There were eminent speakers from different verticals of this field, covering the legal, marketing and health aspects of food business.

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Each session involved discussion on a particular vertical, followed by an elaborate Q&A round. The event ended with an extremely interactive panel discussion, followed by an interesting quiz, as a celebration to mark the 7 year anniversary of SSDEL.

The event commenced with a detailed video of how HEADSTART NETWORK FOUNDATION has grown into becoming one of the most established networks for small entrepreneurs and businesses, and how, with the course of time and equal participation, this network has helped them logistically, financially and strategically. It was closely followed by an introduction to various HEADSTART’s initiatives by our host Gagan which are HEADSTART HIGHER, CO-FOUNDER PROGRAM and THE HEADSTART CLUB.

SSDel’s volunteer team who were hosting the event, ensured that the audience is having a great and interactive time by ensuring equal participation by all in the audience.

The schedule of events that took place in the December edition of Startup Saturdayis as follows:

1. Legal aspects of the F&B business:
The first session of the event covered the legal aspects of F&B business which was taken by CA Gaurav Mital, Partner, Taxlane. He made sure to cover all the points regarding the taxation part of an F&B Startupand also enlightened the young F&B enthusiasts about various licenses to be attained before starting the food business.

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2. The second session was taken by Mr. Ashish Tulsiyan, Co-Founder, POSist who covered the operational vertical of the business. Mr. Tulsiyan’s own story and experience from the F&B industry was an eye opener to all. He briefly discussed the SWOT of the F&B business and his 3 rules for starting an F&B Business which set the tone for the rest of the event. Mr. Tulsiyan repeatedly stressed on the fact the food business is not a side business, wastage monitoring, ERP system is indispensable.

He closed the speech with the unit economics about the wastage, pricing, fixed and variable costs. He also discussed at length about his software, POSSIST, which is a point of sale software, which helps the F&B business in managing their cash flows.

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3. The third session was taken by Mr Rohit Chadda, CEO, FOODPANDA, an online food ordering website, and a marketplace for all types of F&B businesses. He discussed about the marketing aspects of this businessan also gave references to the marketing model of foodpanda. He stressed on the importance of timely delivery along with the quality of food. And, the most important part of a Restaurant business is to create a good user interface for your restaurant.

Mr. Chadda elaborated on the luring mechanism that makes people order food. He articulately talked about how reviews and branding plays an important role in enticing people to order food online. He also explained how FOODPANDA helps F&B businesses attain that. Being abreast with the sales trends and market mechanisms, he also informed the enthusiasts about what sells and what not (case in point, biryani and burgers!!!). He also discussed how demographics play an important role in deciding your target market, Delhi being the unhealthiest city, and Gurgaon being extremely health conscious.

He also talked about his experience of how FOODPANDA provides a strong marketing platform to businesses and has helped many a number of F&B businesses in scaling the number of orders tenfold.

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4. The last session was a panel discussion hosted by Gagan and the participants were Mr. Tulsiyan, Mr.Chadda and Mr Sumit Kumar, owner of FRSH, a relatively new and fresh concept of delivering health food across Gurgaon. They discussed the challenges and opportunities faced in the business, the importance of technology and the funding part.

The panel debated on when to raise venture capital, with Mr. Tulsiyan stressing on the point thatthe entrepreneur should think about VC Funding only when he has the unit economics in order. There was also a Q&A round with Mr Sumit Kumar, from FRSH, talking about how to handle the logistical aspects of the business and keeping the food fresh at the same time, ensuring timely delivery. He also talked about how one can upscale his food delivery business to other geographical boundaries.

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The event concluded with a short quiz where 2 winners won the brand new book Young Turks by ShereenBhan and we immediately headed for the networking session over snacks.

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The interesting conversations continued, with exchange of business cards. It was great to see such energy flowing and it further strengthenedour pledge of building this entrepreneurial community through various Headstart Events.

Write up by

Yadunandini Gupta,

Headstart Volunteer at SSDEL