Pam­per­ing the palate with 48 Asian cuisines

Ben­galuru start-up de­lights din­ers with new flavours from lit­tle-known re­gions

The Hindu Business Line - - EMERGING ENTREPRENEURS - PARIMALA S RAO

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.

De­liv­ery model

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

Fund­ing, ex­pan­sion

dis­cern­ing

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

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