The idea of someone studying in one of India’s premier management institutes doubling as the owner of a modest tiffin service is rather incongruous. But that’s exactly what thirty-five year old Dinesh Yadav has managed. As a second-year PGP student at IIM-B, he is also part owner of Anushree Tiffin Services which operates out of Mira Road in Mumbai.
Mumbai’s dabba service has been praised for decades for its entrepreneurial ingenuity and efficient delivery. In a city that has lakhs of workers running the country’s economy, a home-cooked meal makes all the difference. With that as inspiration and past experience of living in a hostel without proper meals, Dinesh came up with the idea of running his own enterprise. He started in June this year and cleared the benchmark of 1000 meals within a month, serving 35 customers a day.
With a background in electrical engineering, Dinesh says that he loves cooking and always wanted to start a business which did not require much capital investment and special knowledge. “In this business the requirement of working capital is minimal. Your receipts from customers are generally one month in advance and payments to suppliers are after one month,” he explains. He iterates that the business is scalable since it can be started from home.
Dinesh has handed the operational reins of the business to his wife Rekha of 9 years, who handles the groundwork in Mumbai while he looks into the online support and tele-orders sitting here in Bangalore. “I consolidate the orders and send them to Mumbai, where my wife looks after the actual operation i.e. cooking and delivery. It is difficult working from here, but there are advantages being at a place like IIMB. My friends here give me important inputs and feedback about my start-up,” he says.
Each of the ‘Standard Gold’ tiffins contains six rotis, one vegetable curry, one dal, rice, pickle and salad. They charge Rs.75 per meal and interestingly, offer a 20% discount to IIMB graduates working in Mumbai. The enterprise is on the verge of rolling out corporate lunches with elaborate menus. They focus on providing lunch and dinner to residents in Mira Road using their own deliverymen. They also send tiffins for lunch through Mumbai’s celebrated Dabbawalas on the Western Railway line.
The duo is very particular about hygiene and insists on serving only vegetarian food. Given the surplus of tiffin services in the city, Dinesh feels it is the hygiene factor that works for them. “We only use good quality oil and purified water for cooking,” he clarifies.
Dinesh says that he plans to expand the business once he graduates and intends to apply the IIM learning in running the business.
-Raintree Media Features