Home delivery has gained prominence in last one year, with more and more brands entering into the space, setting new standards both in terms of presentation and quality. Pracheen- is a home delivery brand that entered into the segment catering to the food of the pre-independence era where our neighbouring countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh who were still geographically part of the country called Bharat then. “Our customers get to enjoy various regional cuisines like rajasthani and goan under one menu. While our menu covers dishes from as far as Lahore to all the way till Goa, we make sure to create the dish in a way it was created in the respective regions hundred years back by either the locals or the ‘khansamas’ of the royal Kitchens,” shared Vidit Rawat Founder and Owner at Pracheen who is trying to use the same techniques and methods mentioned in the history of Indian cuisine. Excerpts from the interview:
How much money have you invested in coming up with this delivery only brand? Is it funded?
We have invested around 30 -35 lakhs upfront which also includes our marketing and advertising cost for certain months post going live. To begin with, my friend and I have invested from our own pockets. However, we are in talks with a couple of angel investors to raise our first round of funding as we are planning to go to PAN India once we are present across Delhi-NCR.
We see that with people going back to their roots, more and more brands are entering into ancient recipes, khansama style food. Why such a trend?
The only reason I see is the curiosity of the customer to try something new, something they knew existed in history but haven't experienced it yet. With the availability of choosing from thousands of options to order while sitting at your home, it's always about having the best version of any dish available. We live in a culturally driven society which is inspired from the kisse and kahaniyan we have heard of while growing up. If presented with an opportunity every consumer who loves eating good food will want to dwell into the history to try and taste the earliest known versions of their favorite dishes. This also tells us that no matter how much we want to try and experience global cuisines, at the same time our heart will always go out to rich and authentic indian cuisine. Which in exchange creates a huge opportunity for the brand makers to deliver such an experience.
Reviving good old memories
There has been extensive research and training while creating the menu. With the help of my team I was able to revive authentic recipes.. I have read several books, have gone through several articles and have exchanged numbers of emails with some food historians to fact cheque and be sure of what we select as the authentic recipe of any particular dish. Due to limitations of production of certain ingredients we have to recourse some of our key ingredients all the way from that particular region from where the recipe comes from. To ensure the authenticity of the recipe we take no shortcuts and we never substitute any particular ingredient required to prepare the dish authentically. For example, mathania mirch which adds color and body to the dish ‘laal maans’ is only produced in and around mathania, a small town in the Jodhpur district of Rajasthan. It's not easily available even in Delhi and hence, sometimes we end up procuring that one ingredient all the way from Rajasthan through our supplier.
How about the authenticity because according to chefs and experts no food can be authentic as everyone has their own style of cooking food and a recipe?
Authentic food is nothing but the first memory of any recipe experienced in history. We are just trying to eliminate all the changes which happen to a particular recipe over the time due to many factors like cultural impact, urbanisation or availability of any particular product. We are trying to break the chains of the present and deliver an experience which breaks the barrier of time and distance and take you to an era when the first time a recipe was acknowledged, loved, praised and hence, documented to be passed onto the coming generations.
Why delivery as a model?
I operated three restaurants in the past six years back in my hometown, a restaurant does and will always stand above any delivery experience an individual can have. However, I thought there is some consumer education I need to create before presenting them with the final product which will be a restaurant. I had a clear calculation in front of me, given the resources I have, if I would be able to give you the level of service I dreamt of. So then i looked at the next problem which i saw is why is no one catering to that percentage of the crowd who wants to sit back at home and enjoy with their loved ones while they are not compromising on the presentation and quality of the food. I am an ambitious person and I do want to open a restaurant, but I can't for now. I realised that there is a sideway where I can deliver an experience even if it's just in the delivery sector for now .
How many orders do you do in a week? What is the ticket size?
Currently we are doing 50-70 orders a week and the figure has been constantly increasing with time. Considering we went live just three months back and also the second wave, the numbers have been beyond our expectations. Our average ticket size is 1200 plus on weekdays and around 1500 on weekends.
Who are regular customers?
The curious ones. I have created a brand which calls out to every individual who doesn't want to compromise with the food quality and deserves to experience the best version of his/her favorite dish available at Pracheen-India before 1947. My target audiences are the individuals who really look forward to cherishing an authentic and quality derived meal while being in the comfort of their house.
What’s your delivery area? What's the expansion plan?
Right now we are already delivering to the entire Delhi-NCR through direct ordering. However, through aggregators we are only delivering in south delhi. We are already planning to expand to other parts of NCR like Gurugram and Noida to make our deliveries more channelised and shorten the time of delivery.
Also, do you think going forward customers will be more convenience driven and it will reshape the eating out behaviour?
Today the reason why a customer walks into a restaurant is very different from when they are eating at home. For me it's a false conflict as no matter how much I put focus on creating an experiential delivery, I can never make any individual experience the feeling of going out to your favorite restaurant while he/she is eating at home. Dining out has always been people’s first choice. However, there are times when we choose to stay in and still want to have a special experience. Hence, Pracheen-India before 1947 is all about giving you that quality driven ‘experiential delivery’.