In an exclusive interaction with Restaurant India, P Sandeep, Co-founder, Hello Curry talks about his continuous effort to make his Indian QSR model a success and also highlights about strategies like ‘30 minutes home delivery’.
What inspired you to venture an Indian QSR when people are rushing towards the western food?
I contradict the above statement which says ‘people are rushing towards the western food’ as the big brands that sell western foods like burgers and pizzas also had to indianise their offerings before establishing themselves here in India. I strongly believe people are rushing towards convenience and value that these QSR chains offer and there is a wide gap in the market in terms of authentic Indian cuisine being served in a quick service format. This is the gap that Hello Curry wants to address with its innovative concept.
Do you think that people will prefer eating out at Hello Curry when Biryani is available at a road side eatery/ kiosk at a lower cost?
Hello Curry strives to create value through quality, value for money and convenience. Hence, we believe that there will be a segment of market that would appreciate our concept and become loyal to the brand. Food service retail market is catered by takeaway joints, fast food chains/QSRs and fine dining restaurants in the same order on the value scale of consumers. While the takeaway points or road side eateries are an affordable, low involvement purchase, the fine dining restaurants are positioned as a high involvement decision to satisfy consumer emotion, celebration, taste cravings etc.
What is the reason behind starting your restaurant from a Tier II city when today most of the brands are targeting the metro cities?
We targeted Hyderabad due to its burgeoning IT industry and the city also had a good convergence of population from different regions and cultures. This will help us to test the concept and refine, adapt and standardise to replicate it in other cities and metros. Moreover, what other best place that one can think of to start an Indian fast food than the city of Biryani.
How has been the consumer response till now?
Right from the first week of operations, the customer base grew exponentially. The customers really appreciate our packaging- where we provide customer to eat Indian food without having to bother for plates and cutlery. This made it easy for customers to opt for Indian food while travelling, lunch in office cubicle, last minute parties and much more and home delivery within 30 minutes.
What is your plan of expansion? Are you planning to enter Delhi-NCR?
We are in the process of making Hello Curry a national brand with pan India presence. Currently we want to undertake phase-wise expansion in other metro cities simultaneously strengthening our backend infrastructure and supply chain. In the next three years we would like to open 100 stores covering major cities including Delhi-NCR.
Western QSR is known for their quick service efficiency. How are you integrating it in Hello Curry to join the fast growing QSR race?
In quick service, the major challenge we face with Indian food is in its main product offering. The preparation itself takes 15 to 20 mins for a typical Indian dish; we had to innovate on processes and technology to develop ways to serve a customer flat in two minutes across the counter or 30 minutes in case of home delivery. After a yearlong continuous research, we were able to develop the right product mix and processes that suits for a quick service operation. Right now, we are building a strong supply chain and establishing key vendor contracts.
What is the major problem according to you that an Indian quick service restaurant faces in India?
As the Indian cuisine is vast and fragmented, standardisation of the product is a major challenge. The key is to have a localised menu with a standardised product.
What all marketing strategies have you adopted to make it a number one Indian QSR brand?
As we are at the early stage of our growth cycle, we are investing heavily on brand building exercises. We will leverage on our fist mover advantage to grow in this category and become market leaders by addressing specific needs of our customers like taste, value for money and convenience.