Pampering the palate with 48 Asian cuisines
Bengaluru start-up delights diners with new flavours from little-known regions
Exhausted after a long commute from one end of Bengaluru to another in maddening traffic, you just want to flop into bed when hunger pangs strike. Shuddering at the thought of hitting the road again, you decide to order in. But you’ve tried all the nearby options and are bored of the favourites too. That may be the right time to try out 48East, the Asian gourmet food delivery service, and savour its offbeat offerings ranging from Korean to Uzbek, and Yemeni to Indonesian delicacies.
Started in August 2016 by industry veterans Joseph Cherian and Nabhojit Ghosh, 48East is a Bengaluru-based food start-up that delivers Asian gourmet food on demand. Featuring a wide range of ethnic, regional cuisines, it has been delivering fine Asian fare at people’s homes for over a year now.
Representing 48 countries from East and West Asia, 48East serves up not only familiar food from China, India and Thailand but also more exotic items, ranging from brightly coloured West Asian desserts to the subtle and light flavours of the South-East and Japan, and from the hearty meals of Central Asia to great khaana from across the Indian subcontinent.
Nabhojit does the food planning and research and Joseph looks after marketing, sales and finance, while both focus on different aspects of design and strategy.
Nabhojit has more than 30 years of experience at leading hotel chains, a private equity firm and a leading food tech brand in India.
With expertise in global cuisine and kitchen setups, he has had stints at Oberoi Hotels, Radisson and Taj Hotels.
Joseph, an alumnus of Harvard Business School, has over 20 years of experience in managing global markets, setting up and scaling new business verticals for brands such as Papa John’s India and McDonald’s. He’s travelled widely across the Asian region, is excited by the vast swathe of flavours and combinations he has tasted in different countries and wants to bring that zest, those aromas into Indian homes.
But why adopt the delivery model rather than start a restaurant?
Joseph says: “We wanted to offer clients a new taste and flavour experience. Though Asia is home to several ethnic cuisines within each region, consumers know little about this diversity. The gourmet Asian food served in most boutique restaurants and five-star hotels is limited to Indo-Chinese or East Asian cuisines. Menus rarely feature delicacies from across Asia and, when they do, not everyone can afford them. So, we started 48East hoping to create a wider awareness about this gastronomic variety and offer eclectic Asian cuisine at affordable Nabhojit Ghosh and Joseph Cherian, Founders, 48East prices customer.”
Regular customer Carolyn Theresa Simon says: “48East offers a great variety of Asian food that you can enjoy in the comfort of your home. Not just Sushi or Chinese Manchurian, there is a whole lot more waiting to be discovered. Most of us don’t realise that Indian food also falls under Asian cuisine, and how can we forget our Middle Eastern cousins. At 48East, it’s all about exploring different parts of Asia. From dumplings, baos, dimsum and the humble laksa to Persian rolls and innovative Asian desserts, they have it all. The ordering and delivery experience is seamless too.”
The mains are priced at ₹180-200, the sides average ₹160-180 and combo pairings are priced at ₹260300. Most of the desserts cost ₹110200. With a menu that changes weekly, 48East offers handpicked dishes from Uzbekistan, Lebanon, Turkey, India, Thailand, Laos, Indonesia, Japan, apart from other Asian countries. to the
Though Asia is home to several ethnic cuisines within each region, consumers know little about this diversity... So, we started 48East hoping to create a wider awareness about this gastronomic variety and offer eclectic Asian cuisine at affordable prices to the discerning customer.”
What about funding? “We were bootstrapped for about 6-7 months, to ensure that the model works. Then we received $250,000 in angel funding from Agra-based ACPL Exports and pre-Series A funding of $500,000 from the Al Dhaheri family,” says Joseph. Starting with one kitchen, the company now operates five kitchens and processes over 9,000 orders a month. They have invested ₹2 crore in the infrastructure and hope to break even in four months. 48East serves more than a dozen areas in Bengaluru and hopes to expand in the coming months.
Vidya Amarnath, Director, Paterson Energy BIJOY GHOSH