Category Archives: Mumbai

Bangalore top Indian city for professionals to move into among Indian cities

Linkedin had announced in June 2014, that it had a base of 26 million professionals in India, which is 2nd largest after USA – Hindu news article. Linkedin analyzed (original post on Linkedin blog) movement of technology professionals between Nov 2012 and Nov 2013. If we compare just the Indian cities, which appear in top 10 cities globally, Bangalore (or Bengaluru) comes to top in both absolute and percentage terms.

Linkedin Moving professionals

You may view the chart directly on Tableau public site.

Advertisements

Mumbai MongoDB Meetup’s first session

Mumbai MGauravAtMumbaiMUG1ongoDB Meetup group started late last year and had it’s first meetup on Feb 8th, Saturday. The speaker, Anand George, a MongoDB and Node.JS professional gave an excellent introduction. A MEAN (MongoDB, Express.JS, AngularJS, Node.JS) user for past 2 years, he showed a presentation and then went on to show CRUD in front of audience in Mongo Shell. The audience had prior experience in relational databases, like postgres, nosql like neo4j as well big data technologies like Hadoop. There were folks from Ugam Solutions (analytics), IBM (SI and product), Wipro (SI), Open Solutions (now a part of Fiserv), Exa India etc etc. Later we were joined by Gaurav, VP, Engineering, ScaleArc (the sponsor of the event), who asked generic questions on nosql. We even touched upon git.

 

 

 

 

 

At the end, we had informal meeting and snacks. We discussed that we could meet every 2 months. We collected what are useful topics for different people.MUG1Snacks

 

Organized foodservice industry

Foodservice includes the following formats.

  1. dhabas
  2. restaurants
  3. kiosks
  4. express counters
  5. food stalls
  6. ice-cream parlours
  7. fast-food joints
  8. casual and fine dines
  9. juice bars

The organized players are the following and their presence is shown in the table below:

Retailer No of outlets No of cities
Haldiram 20 1
Yum! Restaurants India 507 50
Barista 310+ 26
Cafe Coffee Day 1350 185
Baskin Robbins 425 55
McDonalds – North 130 32
McDonalds – West 140 13
Costa Coffee 17 7
Domino’s 500 110
Mad Over Donuts 38 4
Nirula’s 72  
Speciality Restaurants 91 24
Subway 250+ 50+
Sagar Ratna 70+ 30+
Yo! China 50 14
Lite Bite Foods 65 7
Blue Foods 120+ 6+

Rise of rural India

Rise of rural India

Neelkanth Mishra, a classmate of mine from DPS Bokaro and IIT, Kanpur opines on India’s rural growth story, provides some recipe for betterment as well in an Indian Express article – Rethinking Rural.

Rural roads, cellphones and electrification lead to better
productivity, phone penetration, electricity usage and vehicle ownership

He currently serves as India Equity Strategist for Credit Suisse. I have seen him being quoted in newspapers, TV channels many times earlier, but a great full article.

Offline Product Search Engine into Junglee

Amazon had forayed into India as online product comparison avatar, Junglee. Online shops had listed the product prices over there. Now, it has started showing offline shops for mobile and TV products in the following cities: Bangalore, Kolkata, New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Gurgaon. It just lists store addresses and phone number, but doesn’t show the availability or price.

Shops selling Samsung Phone in Mumbai

Shops selling Samsung Phone in Mumbai

It is an interesting route for world’s biggest marketplace Amazon and a different model as well. Amazon USA, UK etc have 2 models:

  1. An inventory-based model, where they sell, what they have in their warehouses.
  2. Additionally, it has a marketplace model, where they allow sellers to list their products in the marketplace and the website visitors can buy on the platform.

The latter is very successful in emerging markets esp BRICS (Brzil, Russia, India, China) as well as Korea, Indonesia etc.

The 3rd model, wherein a location-based price comparison sites show prices from offline stores near you is interesting one in country like India. As a first cut, Junglee Nerby aims to drive web users to make a call to the stores and drive footfalls. I can not find any monetization built into the product as yet.

Comparison of services

Portal Launch Year Products Cities Shops USP
Junglee by Amazon Feb 2012 (site launch). May 2013 Nearby Launch 2 categories, mobile and TV Bangalore, Kolkata, New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Gurgaon Handful Coming from Amazon
PriceBaba 2012 Electronic Items Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai, New Delhi, Pune, Gurgaon, Noida 400 Stores are listed post personal visit by verification team
Wicfy 2011 Multiple Pune, Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Kolkata Lots Patented iso-pricing technology and interesting retailer-crowdsourcing model

Competitive Landscape

500 Startups recently funded Pricebaba.Another player is Pune-based Wicfy, which takes crowd-sourcing model to find cheapest price for a product and had raised money from Eco System Ventures. Naaptol have an Android app listing prices of product from stores, which never expanded beyond Mumbai. MySmartPrice also lists products from e-retailers. A yet-to-be launched portal, IndiaOrders will launch with 60 stores of Mumbai showing their wares for online buying. It takes slightly different route of enabling a buyer to get the products delivered to their homes. Interesting twist here is that a buyer can go to the store for queries, refunds, exchanges as well. It is an interesting segment with increasing middle class of India, but getting constantly updated price from retailers is a challenge. IPO-bound Justdial had a portal called Quick Quotes in works, which they had announced in Feb, 2012. That got coverage from Medianama in Sep and other portals as well. But, that page has been taken off Justdial website since.

TastyKhana receives strategic investment from DeliveryHero

TastyKhanaDeliverHero

[Updated on 13 June] So, Tastykhana has announced on their blog about receiving 5m reportedly valued at 15-18m.

TastyKhana (website) is a food home delivery company having a presence in 6 cities across India. According to reliable sources, it has received strategic investment from either Global Founders Capital or directly from DeliveryHero, a European company having presence in 13 countries across 4 continents. DeliveryHero had raised 50m last year for global domination [Techcrunch news]. India will be their 14th country. Global Founders Capital is a joint VC fund by Samwer Brothers and ex-CEO of DeliveryHero Fabian Siegel having $194M in its warchest right now. As I pointed in the rear end of my blog post earlier, food home delivery is an increasing revenue generator for not just mom and pop food joints, but also fine dining like Speciality Group’s Mainland China, Mezzuna etc.

DeliveryHero

The journey of TastyKhana has been a long story of patience, conviction, determination, customer-focus, and pivoting like any start-ups. I had heard Shachin Bhardwaj speak at Startup Saturday Pune in Sep 2011. He had started TastyKhana during his tenure at Synygy in Aug, 2007. He quit his IT job within 3 months to focus on his start-up fulltime. For a year, they were experimenting before finding focus. So, in real sense TastyKhana started in Oct 2008. They had delivered food worth Rs. 3.5 Cr by Aug 2011 (8 Cr now) to more than 50,000 customers (now in 1.5 years it has doubled to 100,000). They had only 200 restaurants in Mumbai and Pune on-board at that time, which has swelled over 500 (348 in Pune, 108 in Mumbai) in Aug 2012 and then to 1000 in Pune, Mumbai, NCR (Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon) and Bangalore now Apr 2013 [Source: Restaurant Owner page]. They were receiving 5000 orders a month of an average ticket size Rs.700-800 in 2012. Shachin was able to get angel funding from one of his previous colleague, Chetan Shah to scale up. One of the learning he shared is to take funding in Lacs, not in Crores, so that you learn fiscal responsibility. Interestingly, TastyKhana was just 20 days away from bankruptcy during first 6 months’ of their existence, which is one of themes covered in an earlier blog post.They acquired Food On Wheels to get on-board 3-4 delivery boys, so that they could use own technology solutions to improve the operations. They focussed on solving the following problems of customer:

  1. Serve as aggregator of menus. No more do you need to keep paper menus stuffed in fridges, but have it online, when doing food order.
  2. A customer could use online payment options instead of just COD (Cash on Delivery).
  3. 3 channels to order available are: Online, mobile (using site at that time, now also mobile app) and phone (by calling TastyKhana helpline).
  4. Another convenience factor for a customer was increasing the radius of home delivery of a restaurant by paying a delivery fee, which the restaurant would normally not deliver. TastyKhana was able to achieve this because of its own delivery boys’ network in the city. The customer incurs cost according to delivery distance and order amount, e.g. if order is a small ticket-size and the location is far from restaurant, the charges are more.

For a restaurant owner, they had the following proposition:

  1. Zero overhead with great margins.
  2. Keep the bottom line low, as logistics is taken care of by TastyKhana. They only pay for orders, not for idle delivery boys’ entire time [I call it Operations as a Service, OAAS ala SAAS (Software as a Service)]
  3. Get alternate sales channel on TastyKhana website, phone line and also Facebook app for food ordering and reservation.
  4. In addition, there is valuable data, they get free statistics, feedback from customer on switching, churn ratio and spending capacity of the area’s customers.
  5. While dropping food orders of a restaurant, they are able to drop TastyKhana branded menu of other restaurants.

The technology differentiator has been built by CTO, Sheldon D’Souza and Senior Software Architect Pradeep Singh (First employee of the company).

  1. Focus on automation and scale
  2. Acceptance notification of food order from restaurant
  3. SMS to delivery boy

Once TastyKhana reached scale, they are able to deliver invaluable analytics like “Chinese food eating customers are spending more than Rs.1000/-“. This insight can help someone looking to start a restaurant.

Competition

It’s a crowded market for sure with Europe based Justeat (Jan 2011 investment into Hugryzone. Raised 41M afterwards), Foodpanda (launched June 2012 in India) and home-grown players like titbit, Deliverychef, Delivery, Bigbite etc. Some of these power local search engine like burrp (powered by JustEat) , while India’s leading local search engine forayed into food home delivery on its own. Most restaurants have a phone line for home delivery, while many take orders online and in mobile apps as well.

Deciphering restaurant bill post budget

[Update: 24/Apr/2013] Restaurants and hotels across India will remain shut on April 29 in response to a call by the Hotels and Restaurants Association of India (HRAI) to protest against the new service tax by the central government.

Eating at AC restaurants like Speciality Group‘s Mainland China etc got dearer – [ref: Dine and While], as they are increasing prices by 5-10%. The ‘Indian Restaurant Report 2012′ released by Franchise India last month estimated the current market of Indian restaurant industry at Rs 75,000 crore and forecast it to reach Rs 1,37,000 crore in 2015, growing 17 per cent a year. But the last two quarters have seen growth slowing down on account of cautious consumer sentiment, with brands such as Jubilant FoodWorks’ Domino’s Pizza and McDonald’s reporting lower same-store sales than last year.

Further to Revenue Department’s bringing such restaurant under Service Tax as of CBEC circular 2 years ago in Feb, 2011, the service tax was increased. According to new fare, the calculation needs to be done as follows:

Charges Final Cost
MEAL Rs. 5,000 Rs. 5,000.00
SERVICE CHARGE 10% on food bill Rs. 500.00
SERVICE TAX 4.95% on food cost + service charge Rs. 272.25
VAT 12.5% on food cost + service charge Rs. 687.50
Total Rs. 6,459.75
You pay a maximum tax of 29.19%

Service Charge

The levy is usually 5-10%, although there is no minimum or maximum. The restaurant can decide the rate as per a February 28, 2011 circular. The amount raised is to be shared among staff. For instance, Sea Lounge at the Taj Mahal Palace doesn’t levy a service charge. If Service Charge is included, you need not include tip. Many patrons overlook this and end up paying twice. So, it is nice of Barbeque Nation Andheri West to put up this notice.

No tip at BBQ Nation

BBQ Nation Service Charge, so no tip

Service Tax

All restaurants don’t necessarily show it on t he bill.

VAT, Cess and Charity

These are other components.

I am reproducing 2011 circular as it relates to restaurant:

1. Services provided by a restaurant

1.1

Restaurants provide a number of services normally in combination with the meal and/or beverage for a consolidated charge. These services relate to the use of restaurant space and furniture, air conditioning, well-trained waiters, linen, cutlery and crockery, music, live or otherwise, or a dance floor. The customer also has the benefit of personalized service by indicating his preference for certain ingredients e.g. salt, chilies, onion, garlic or oil. The extent and quality of services available in a restaurant is directly reflected in the margin charged over the direct costs. It is thus not uncommon to notice even packaged products being sold at prices far in excess of the MRP.

1.2

In certain restaurants the owners get into revenue-sharing arrangements with another person, who takes the responsibility of preparation of food, with his own materials and ingredients, while the owner takes responsibility for making the space available, its decoration, furniture, cutlery, crockery and music etc. The total bill, which is composite, is shared between the two parties in terms of the contract. Here the consideration for services provided by the restaurants is more clearly demarcated.

1.3

Another arrangement is whereby the restaurant separates a certain portion of the bill as service charge. This amount is meant to be shared amongst the staff who attend the customers. Though this amount is exclusively for the services it does not represent the full of value of all services rendered by the restaurants.

1.4

The new levy is directed at services provided by high-end restaurants that are air-conditioned and have license to serve liquor. Such restaurants provide conditions and ambience in a manner that service provided may assume predominance over the food in many situations. It should not be confused with mere sale of food at any eating house, where such services are materially absent or so minimal that it will be difficult to establish that any service in any meaningful way is being provided.

1.5

It is not necessary that the facility of air-conditioning is available round the year. If the facility is available at any time during the financial year the conditions for the levy shall be met.

1.6

The levy is intended to be confined to the value of services contained in the composite contract and shall not cover either the meal portion in the composite contract or mere sale of food by way of pick-up or home delivery, as also goods sold at MRP.

Finance Minister has announced in his budget speech 70% abatement on this service, which is, inter-alia, meant to separate such portion of the bill as relates to the deemed sale of meals and beverages. The relevant notification will be issued when the levy is operationalized after the enactment of the Finance Bill.

Local Restaurant Food Festival Discovery on Website and Mobile: Case of Lemongrass Mumbai

I had been to Lemon Grass, Malad West yesterday and enjoyed 30% off on ala carte menu on some (Rs. 2000/- ) minimum food purchase. We just went there because of preference of the host, but for a neutral and adventurous person like me, it’d have been nice, if there I could fish out such an offer and go there instead of 25 other options nearby in Infiniti Mall Malad. Google Search threw me to web pages on asklaila and burrp. At both these places, the information was incomplete. Minimum amount to spend was not specified. I tried harder and found website of the restaurant – LemongrassCafe.In. A slideshow has that, but you might easily miss that. While on that page, I couldn’t help, but notice that FB page had low fan count and above all, Twitter widget was broken stating:

We couldn’t find the twitter data of your account at this time!
Also, the restaurant had spent on an OOH ad on New Link Rd, Malad West for a few days to promote this festive offer.
[Update: 25 Apr 2013: I have observed that engagement on Facebook page has increased considerably. Also, the management is now responding to user complaints in burrp]
%d bloggers like this: