The 40-year old Jaydeep Barman is the Founder and CEO of Faaso’s – the quick service fast food joint that serves wraps.
Faaso’s in a nutshell is the prodigy of two friends; the hero of our story – Jaydeep and Kallol Banerjee. It is one of the very few fast food brands which have born and brought up in India itself and has managed to become one of the fastest growing companies in the country, within a span of just 11 years. Their food items vary from rice to wraps to gourmet dishes to starters and desserts.
Personally speaking; Jaydeep hails from Kolkata and holds a degree in production engineering from Jadavpur University, an MBA from IIM-Lucknow and has also pursued the management programme from INSEAD, France. Impressive, right!!!!
Starting from scratch and achieving so much at such a young age; today not only does Jaydeep inspires the youth, but is also an answer to all those who think education is not necessary to become a successful entrepreneur!
Life as an Employee!
The journey of his career began soon after he completed his MBA!
Born and raised in Kolkata; Jaydeep had moved to Lucknow to pursue his MBA from IIM (Indian Institute of Management). Soon after he completed his MBA, he again decided to move his base to Pune to begin his career.
He started working for Brainvisa Technologies as their new Vice President in 2000. Brainvisa being a start-up, Jaydeep got the opportunity to learn a lot from them, the issues a start-ups face during their initial phases were keenly observed by him as well.
He continued working for that company for the next 3 rough years, after which the entrepreneurial bug bit him and in the very next year, he started Faaso’s as a Part time business along with his friend and colleague – Kallol Banerjee!
While they were at it, Jaydeep also moved his job to Maximize Learning as their new VP in 2004.
They ran the business for another year or till the time it took to stabilize, after which, they temporarily passed on the reigns to someone else, left their jobs and moved to France to pursue a Management Programme at INSEAD in 2005.
After completing their management programme; they immediately also got an offer to work for McKinsey & Co. a Consulting Firm in London as their new Strategy Consultant. The purpose behind working even when they had their own business was, to gain a worldly experience and at the same time to work until they had a sufficient income back home from Faaso’s.
Having said that; this work experience of theirs went on to continue for the next 4.5 years! After that, not only did they feel the pinch of doing business once again but they also strongly felt that they were ready to take up the reigns of the business.
And in 2010, they were back!
Life as an Entrepreneur!
Faaso’s Part – I
During the initial days of his career, while he was working for Brainvisa, he always got this pinch of doing something of his own, he believed that he was meant for something far more greater than what he was doing. But again the problem was, what?
During the same time, while travelling; they noticed that food was always a problem, starting from what to eat, how to pay and most importantly home food.
On their trip to the US they came across different fast-food chains like Taco Bell, McDonald’s, etc but none of them served Indian food. Obviously, both of them desperately missed the street food from back home.
They saw that food-on-the-run concept was quite popular there and realised that this concept had a high potential in India and could become a hit too. That was the trigger for him to start a fast food joint.
Their concept was simple; Jaydeep’s idea was based on the Kati rolls he used to have in his home town Kolkata.
This encouraged him to take the matters in his hands, solve the pain point and setup something that will deliver delicious food quick bites in a matter of minutes.
Having said that; with a seed capital of Rs.8 lakhs (partly self-funded and the rest from family & friends), they together setup Faaso’s in 2004. Initially, as a part time venture, while continuing in our erstwhile jobs.
Faaso’s stands for Fanatic Activism Against Substandard Occidental Shit. The name was cooked up during a late night party. [If you know what we mean]
They opened their first outlet in Pune! It had an open kitchen with a glass facade, air conditioning, and all the works.
Not focusing on the important factors, they began to bleed money and eventually, lost their allocated working capital for the entire year, within just four months.
It was then that they decided to cut down on all the add-ons and focus on just two things – food and service. Since then Faaso’s began to climb up the ladders.
Now once they saw that Faaso’s was beginning to stabilize, both the cofounders left for INSEAD, France in 2005 and later went on to work at McKinsey & Co.
In the meanwhile, the business was run by a couple of people, who had joined them since the day their joint was established.
In just 14 months of time after their inception, the company broke even its cost and additionally, Faaso’s also grew to 6 more outlets within a short span of time.
By 2009, the company had begun to gain the desired momentum and to maintain that, they also needed funds. Hence, without losing much time, Faaso’s raised a funding of Rs. 50 lakhs from Lunia Investment and Finance Pvt. Ltd, which was followed by a loan of 1 crore from SIDBI by the founders.
In 2010, about 4 years later, while working with at McKinsey, the entrepreneurial bug bit them again, and after much though, both the founders took a one year sabbatical from their current jobs, came back to India and took the reins of Faaso’s in their hands.
Faaso’s Part – II
When they came back, they got completed convinced that their brand if nurtured well, had the potential to become the biggest and the first Indian fast food joint. It also held the potential to go global too! Hence, without wasting time, they began to modify the things.
Now Faaso’s was operational since 2004 but only after they came back, they organized Faaso’s as a private limited company.
After that; they went on to make quite a few changes to the present model and corrected a lot of things. It took them almost 6 months to fix these problems.
In the next one year; they successfully countered every glitch and turned the whole situation around and the digital world was the proof! Since they took over, the feedbacks and comments across Facebook, Twitter, or the internet in general, had become overwhelmingly positive. To add to that; within the same year, they had also grown from 6 to 14 outlets too, and were also in preparations to add on 15 more outlets by the end of the financial year.
In the next two years;
- Faaso’s started taking orders on Twitter and also became the first restaurant in the world to do so
- They raised funds worth $5 million for further expansion from Sequoia Capital
- Expanded to a total of 18 outlets and were now directly employing a team of 600 full- time employees, excluding the senior management squad of about 10 people. 80% of their stores used to become profitable in 2-3 months only.
- Started franchising their brand name
They started the franchise route in 2012 with 6 stores in Pune but to their unfortunate, it turned into a massive fiasco. It majorly failed because of a lot of clashes between the franchises and that Faaso’s was yet not that big a brand.
Eventually, Jaydeep decided to drop the idea of franchising and move on to a model which was more viable. The 6 stores which started the franchising model still operate but under a different name – Eatsome.
Anyway, later Jaydeep came up with a brilliant idea of ‘Entrepreneur in Residence’ program!
Basically under this program, they choose a few people with two to three years of post-MBA experience (not from the hotel industry), take them through the process of running one of their outlets for some time, then later when they are ready – they give them the opportunity of taking control of the profit-and-loss responsibility of running 15-20 stores / opening in new markets / running a particular function like Marketing or HR, etc! These people are given the same decision-making powers as Jaydeep and Kallol.
This idea of theirs turned out to be a huge hit and received more than 2000 applications in the first set itself. So far they have successfully completed two rounds of hiring.
The Current Expansion
And today when we look at them, their current stats speaks volumes!
For starters; Faaso’s has recently tied up with local chefs in Mumbai and Pune to provide gourmet cuisines to its customers.
Moving on; Faaso’s has also become the only company which has a fully integrated technology food platform. The mobile app which they had launched in 2014 now receives over 70% of their orders on it and also processes about 50,000 orders in a month on the app. The app is available on all – Android, iOS and Windows.
As of date, the company has more than 90 offline outlets across India in cities including Pune, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Indore, Gurgaon and Baroda with over 120 fulfilment centers and all of this has been achieved in a span of three years only.
Other than that; Faaso’s has also gone into an expansion spree and is opening a new store practically every month and is also in the process to expand to another 12 cities and 200 fulfilment centers by the end of FY16.
Today, the company generates 10,000 orders a day and has received 80,000 through their app and by year end; the company wants to triple this figure. The start-up is expecting to cross Rs. 100 Cr. in revenue by March 2016 and additionally, by crossing Rs.450 Cr. mark, the company also aims to break even by March 2018.
Recently, the company has also raised a total amount $20 million (over Rs 120 crore) from Sequoia Capital & Lightbox Ventures.