Vinay Menon and Priyanka BajajName: Vinay Menon (left).
Info.: Founder at IVDisplays Digital Services Pvt Ltd and MeraTiffin. He’s a Post Graduate Diploma in Marcom from St.Saviers Collegiate, Kolkata. having  leadership roles with Calcutta Yellow Pages in its formative years driving revenue and growth, he launched b2b.Sulekha.com in Kolkata. Delivered more than 60 IT consulting projects.
Name: Priyanka bajaj (right).
Info.:  Co Founder at IVDisplays Digital Services Pvt Ltd a Commerce Graduate , Digital Marketing Geek, Avid learner. She Manages Operations at Meratiffin. Founding and Key member in implementation for MeraTiffin.

Q1. What is MeraTiffin ?Meratiffin is a food delivery platform for home cooked food. It curates menu from home chefs, home based caterers, hobbyist and professional chefs and makes them available on Android Devices. Our location based algorithm allows a user to view, compare, select, order and pay from their mobile device for meal of their choice in their neighborhood.

Q2. How you got the idea ? 

1.2 Billion People and 1.2 billion opportunities in food. With people consuming food 3 times a day, food is the way to go. Working folks are pressed for time, they hardly have time to cook and hence fail to carry lunch box, Singles and folks living alone are the most needy for home cooked food, the opportunity always existed, it was just a matter of time. Healthy, safe and affordable Food delivered on Premise is our USP.

The Start: 

We had developed robust software’s on Mobile Phones for our customers while delivering consulting projects, we always had captive software development capabilities. It was just a matter of time that we moved from consulting to managing our own Product and projects. And Meratiffin got evolved.

Startup story of MeraTiffin:

Meratiffin was developed to enable our users discover good healthy home cooked food in their neighborhood. Our user can place an order within 10 seconds and in 3 taps. We are incubated at Nasscom 10K startups in Kolkata.

Q3. What is your Office culture ?

We operate out of Nasscom Warehouse in their Incubation centre. We will be having our own office soon.
Smart Casuals in thinking and attire. We are pretty laid back but when it comes to customer delight we make no compromises. All customer quests are answered under 5 mins. Our culture is aligned to meet these goals.

Q4. Do you take Interns ?

Yes we do take interns. We look at content and communication skills as the prime criteria. We also look at creative side of interns when evaluating them for a suitable fit with us.

Q5. Tell us about your Referral program ?

We have a campaign called “Hum Saath Saath hain”. Our users invites another user to our App, the moment a new referee joins our App, 7% discount is credited to their account (on the app) which can redeemed on their first purchase at meratiffin. When the referee makes a purchase, the referrer also get 7% discount on the account. A user keeps referring more users and earns more credit. 7 in Hindi is Saat and this is how we have coined “Hum Saath Saath hain”

Q6. How MeraTiffin Differs from Zomato , Foodpanda , Tinyowl , Tiffin Treat ?

None of the above mentioned Food Tech companies are delivering home cooked food and does not work on food discovery nearby. Tiffin Treat we are yet to evaluate but the concept should be good if they are in tiffin delivery services.

Q7. How hard was it for you to reach at this level ? 

Extremely hard to get where we are today and we understand that the journey is long and bumpy.

Ups and Downs :

When we discussed the possibilities of making such a service available to our users, they were ecstatic, that was a big plus and it really helped us to get attention of our users. Convincing Home Chefs and Home based professionals to list with us was a challenge. Discovering them was a big problem and still is. They do not have a customer facing brick and mortar outlet. Delivery management and Quality consistency is also something we are working jointly to get a uniform taste across. Packaging is another concern. We understand that we need to consistently work with our Kitchen partners and we are upto it all the time.

Q8. Share a WOW! moment in your startup journey of MeraTiffin.

Our first order on the App was a WoW! moment and it went well, start to finish. Getting selected at Nasscom was a WoW! too. We were part of the winning team at “Egiye Bangla” a start up reality show aired on Zee Bangla on prime time. Connecting with so many industry veterans and experts is a WoW.

Q9. What was the biggest roadblock in this kind of food-ordering system and how you tackled it ?

Roadblocks are a way of getting better and we have always welcomed them. Development of any software comes with bugs, implementing security layers are always a big issue. Curating menu’s and maintaining Quality and consistency is also a concern area. Logistics and managing customer expectation are always a challenge. Deciding on “must have features” and eliminating “nice to have features” in our software has helped us keep the App usability high with our customers. Creating touch points with our customer during their buying cycle has worked well in meeting customer expectation.

Q10. If you’d like to conclude a lesson from your startup journey , What’d be that ?

The start will always be tough and will keep getting tougher as things progress. This itself is a positive sign, keep improving and be open to align and meet customer expectations, this will help us gain grounds and win trust of our customer. Once you have made a name for your enterprise aka brand in customer’s heart, there is no way a enterprise can fail. The pot of the gold is not at the end of the rainbow, it is the journey itself and the feedback’s from customers which are gold nuggets which help to fill the pot. The wealth is with the customers and the trick is to make them part with it happily. We are focussed on creating customer delight to reach our Goals.

Vinay Menon sharing his views on Developer’s Interview.

    It is a good intitative and I read Richa Singh’s interview , was really impressed with her startup “Yourdost.com“. Startups can always do with PR and giving them exposure will be appreciated well. Will go through the complete list soon. We can see your e-mag is also on a startup journey , I am sure you would cover many interesting founders as you progress. We at meratiffin wish you good luck with your initiative. Let us know if we could be of some assistance to you.