Entrepreneurs: Sahil Bhat, Anubhav Jotshi, Arpit Koul & Love Sharma
Business Name: Foodivry
Welcome to Entrepreneurs of India #startupstories episode 50.
Years ago in Jammu, four best friends, Sahil Bhat, Anubhav Jotshi, Arpit Koul and Love Sharma had a brainstorming session. They decided to launch a business. The result? They founded Foodivry, the first online food ordering and delivery platform in Jammu.
They share the story of how they built Foodivry and the challenges they had to face in the process. A journey from being criticized to being praised to the skies!
What is Foodivery now? How do they keep the business intact? Let’s learn more about Foodivry in the this episode of #startupstories.
1) How did you get your idea for this business ?
Back in 2014 when four of us had a get together in Jammu at one of our mate’s residence. We were looking forward to order food at the place.
We found that in Jammu we have nothing like the online food ordering service where we can check and discover nearest restaurants and order food and pay for it. This was something not good . There we got our kick. And we started working and brainstorming.
2) Why is “now” a good time for this idea to exist ?
What’s better than this time for any startup to exist in India? The Government is supporting startups, merchants are realizing the potential of going digital. Jio has changed the way people used internet.
When we started people back then were using 1GB 3G pack for a month and in remote areas people were using the 2G network. The initiatives such as Demonetization, Digital India & Jio changed the face of digitization. Now people living in the remote areas have access to the high speed internet.
We believe that this is the best time for any idea to execute. Recently one of the page named i love jammu on Instagram posted, “we don’t have foodpanda but we do have foodivry”. This meant a lot to us. This drives and pushes us.
3) What was the reaction from your family when you first decided to become an entrepreneur?
When we started we didn’t tell anybody. Everyone was just saying we were wasting our precious time. As we all are childhood friends they sometimes thought that this friendship was not good for each one of us.
We didn’t utter a word as we didn’t want to waste time in explaining to the people.
But to our parents/guardians we only told one thing, “Have faith in us we are not doing anything wrong”. Even they are confused and say “what type of work is this, you wear what you want, you go whenever you have to no work ethics and all”. But that’s the way parents are they always care and they never stop loving.
4) What was your biggest mistake in business and what did you learn from it?
The Biggest mistake was when we started an e- commerce service named Shopersmania in our town. We developed a website & thought that’s it.
We were in a myth that we are all done and going to start a service & everyone will be following us. But we were wrong. Any growing startup/ business needs proper nourishment through advertising.
Broadcasting your idea to your targeted audience needs a lot of effort. Eventually we failed in that venture but we learnt a lot from that. We still go out & ask people as they don’t know who we are.
We listen to their opinions & criticism and try our best to fix the loopholes. We are still learning on the way & that’s the best part about being in a startup you always learn.
5) What is your biggest obstacle in the next 12 months and how will you overcome it ?
The obstacles are delivery fleet, on-Ground advertising & investment. We are looking forward to hire a freelancer delivery team. Investment will be made on Ground advertising in next 12 months.
Other than that expansion to different towns in the state and implementing proper listing model is what we are looking forward to.
6) What habits contribute to your success ?
We live with the moment. We believe in each & every member of the team , we discuss plans every day, we implement crazy ideas, we never stop thinking, we set small targets and enjoy like kids after achieving them.
Even though we are individually good in our departments, we still seek advice from the other members of the team and our mentors. Above all we never stop learning & implementing new ideas.
7) If you had the opportunity to start this business again what would you do differently?
Honestly speaking, we started at the right time in our city. When we look back at the age we were at the time we would not have done anything better than this with the idea.
We too have done lots of mistakes in between but then we have learned from the same and every mistake has made us stronger as a team.
8) What is your favorite inspirational quote?
There are many. To run a startup needs a lot of inspiration.
- “Whatever you do, do it for the good of people & don’t take shortcuts”
- We are never in lack of money. We lack people with dreams, who can die for those dreams” -Jack Ma
- “Great things in business are never done by an individual it’s done by a team of people”- Steve Jobs
9) Where do you find inspiration ?
Everywhere. Somewhere someone says just a thing but they don’t know that they inspire us.
10) What is your favourite book?
Think & Grow Rich by Napolean Hill , Tools of Titans by Tim Ferris , How I Braved Anu aunty and Founded a Million Dollar Company by Varun Agarwal and Shiva Trilogy by Amish Tripathi.
11) What advice would you give to someone starting out ?
Do your homework: study the field you are going to start your work, understand the highs and lows of the network and then get started.
A great cofounder: Steve Jobs needed Steve Wozniak. Bill Gates needed Paul Allen. Every great founder needs at least one great co-founder.
Patience: Patience is a dirty word when you’re running a startup. Nevertheless, we all need the patience to stay the course.
Focus on One Core Product: Most start-ups have a great vision and a great idea: ‘It’s going to be awesome, and we have a huge amount of ideas and features that are going to be in this start-up.’ Focus only on the core product or business, get that built, and get out there! It’s good to have a big picture of where to go, but then chop each feature or service off one by one until you’re down to the minimum core product.”
Be Prepared to Sacrifice: If you’re serious about building a great, enduring company, you have to be willing to sacrifice some things. A vacation in the first year is likely going to be one of those things, so take one before you start!”
Build Great Relationships: No business can survive without talented employees, eager buyers, reliable suppliers, and supportive stakeholders and communities. While building your product and looking at all the data you can collect in the digital age, don’t forget to build close relationships and expand your network. It’s all about people at the end of the day.”
Embrace Mistakes: You will make mistakes. Embrace the fact that you made the mistake, learn from it, move on, and never repeat it.” To all those who are reading this, yes you are going to shine, start now.
A big thanks to Foodivry team for sharing their inspiring startup story!
The core strength of any business is its problem-solving ability. Food delivery is not new in India. But it was an unexplored domain in Jammu. Foodivry successfully filled that gap.
So always pay heed to what people want and make the right moves. Focus on a core product or idea and be the best in it. That’s how you can become a king in your niche. As team Foodivry advises, always do your homework and be patient when you’re into entrepreneurship.
Check out the books recommended by Foodivry team!