Spotting a gap in the existing market plays an important role in starting a company. On identifying the opportunity in the food delivery business, Mithun Kalaga and Aravind Thodupunoori worked towards a solution and established a business.
According to founders, three years ago there were not many options to order food excluding Dominos. Individual restaurants did deliveries but in a highly unorganized way. Existing food ordering websites also depended on the restaurant delivery services. There was a lack of reliable websites from where customers can order food from any restaurant of their choice. This gap led Mithun and Aravind to start GetMeFood in 2012. It is a based in Hyderabad with operations in 35 areas across the city.
GetMeFood.in allows users to search restaurants, check menus, and place orders for delivery or takeaway. Unlike other food ordering websites that rely completely on the restaurants to deliver the food, they have a dedicated team of delivery boys driven by call center support that handles the logistics and ensures customer satisfaction through timely delivery.
Mithun, a BITS Pilani graduate, has 5 years of experience in the IT sector with his stints in Satyam and HTC Global Services. Aravind, a product of Institute of Rural Management, has 4 years of experience in implementing large scale World Bank projects for the Government of Andhra Pradesh as a consultant.
The food delivery portal was started with an initial investment of Rs.10 lakh. The amount was primarily used into pre-launch survey, marketing expenses, and man-power costs. The major expenses of this bootstrapped venture were maintaining e-commerce portal and manpower (delivery staff). Founders are looking forward to raise investments for expansion to other tier-1 and tier-2 cities. They firmly believe that their idea has the potential to turn GetMeFood into the most comprehensive and trusted food ordering website in the country.
A majority of food joints do not have a home delivery service. Many have constraints like minimum order value requirements, high delivery times, and limited delivery distances discourage customers from ordering food. GetMeFood has a hybrid delivery model that helps to list the restaurants that do not provide delivery facility makes the website more comprehensive.
Explaining the constraints of the business, Mithun states that food delivery is a time-bound service.
We promise an average delivery time of 45 minutes. However, there are quite a few unknown factors that might impact the delivery times such as traffic, delay from the restaurant, and issues with the delivery bikes. We have learnt from experiences and reduced the effect of those factors on deliveries.
GetMeFood has successfully delivered more than 60,000 orders with transaction volumes exceeding Rs. 2 crore on a marketing budget less than Rs. 3,000 a month. It is investing more into technical innovations on the website (Google Map integration to calculate delivery charges, automated SMS, delivery boy tracking, etc.) to make the ordering process more convenient to the customers.
The most important input to any startup is the feedback it receives from prospective customers. Mithun values his customers’ valuable suggestions on improving their services.