Jaydeep Barman and Kallol Banerjee were engineering graduates from Jadavpur University, who later pursued their masters in business administration, from the Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow and INSEAD, France. Frequent travels abroad introduced them to the QSR format, and as the two missed the street food of Kolkata, they decided to start a QSR in Pune in 2003, to offer fresh, desi wraps and rolls. They were one of the first to introduce the idea of ordering on the phone and through Facebook and Twitter. Their strategy was such that once the order was placed, the kebab wraps would be delivered to any place, including bus stops and railway stations.
Faaso’s received U.S. $5 million from venture capital firm Sequoia Capital in 2011 and used that to expand to 90 outlets across six cities. In February 2015, Lightbox lead another investment round in Faaso’s. The company plans to use the latest funding for capex as well as marketing, which has been through word of mouth till now. Moreover, they now expect to expand into 200 stores, strengthening their presence in existing cities as well as launching in new cities.
In the process, Faaso’s has changed its business model. “Instead of dine-in restaurants, which slows down the expansion process, we are setting up central kitchens to enable demand generation through a mobile app which connects directly to the store,” says Banerjee. This reduces complexity and enables the business to grow quickly. Currently, 60 per cent of its orders are for delivery, and 70 percent is generated through mobile apps. The entire chain – from click to tap (clicking to place the order to tapping on the door for delivering the order) is automated.
To cater to the changing buying patterns of the customers, Faaso’s is also increasing its menu variety. While many of the dishes will be prepared in its kitchen, it will also tie up with local suppliers of fresh food, own the quality and the menu, and deliver to the client. This is one of the strategies that is expected to ensure customer loyalty. On the people front, the company has a strong top management team. Now, the focus will be on building the support staff.Faasos Food Technology Lightbox Ventures QSR Sequoia Capital