Rohan is a man whose key strengths range from – excellent analytical skills to turn around any kind of task, ability to multi-task super efficiently, deep understanding of the business consulting and ability to put himself in the clients’ shoes while solving their most critical business problems. He has a razor sharp focus to achieve the desired goals. He has an expertise in management consulting, marker research and analytics.
He recently cofounded Twigly, a food tech startup with state-of-the-art kitchens and the right team to ensure great experiences in food. Their food is packed in convenient and attractive packaging to conserve freshness and make it easy for consumption. They use biodegradable packaging to minimize impact on the environment (unless the item is wet and needs sealing).
Please provide a brief overview of your product/ service.
Twigly prepares and delivers freshly cooked dishes to foodies across Gurgaon. We specialize in sandwiches and milkshakes – perfect for working professionals, and we are adding rice-curry combos to appeal to families. We change our menu daily so that all dishes get a chance to shine. We discard food that is not used in the day to deliver on our promise of freshness. In a 5 km radius around our kitchens, we offer a 45-minute service guarantee (or the food is free!).
What inspired you to build the above product/ service?
I have always been excited by food. I still remember visiting my first McDonald’s, Domino’s, Subway and KFC as a kid and enjoyed the food there. However, as they scaled in India, the quality of food degraded significantly. I do not remember the last time I visited any of these anymore – and I heard the same story from many people around me.
The thing is that large food brands that have stood the test of time have done so by ensuring consistency with processed ingredients. Processed ingredients always taste the same wherever you go, and reduce wastage and costs. However, what is missing is the taste – good and fresh ingredients make a difference.
All of us at Twigly believe that we can conquer the food delivery market – using new technologies, equipment and approaches. We are building a repertoire of iconic dishes that are easy to scale, we have built an internal technology platform that enforces processes to ensure fresh ingredients, and setup a delivery process that ensures the time from thinking of ordering to getting food in your hand is minimized. Everyone, everyone, claims to have fresh food, but it is what happens behind the scenes that determines how fresh you are.
It is a tall claim – but based on our growth and experience, we are very confident that we can. There is a global movement away from junk food, and we are front-runners in this movement in India.
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?
In a nutshell – growing without discounts. Unfortunately, the startup culture in the last few years has got people addicted to discounts. While we would love to give people a good deal, many people have resorted to just elevating prices and giving discounts, or burning money to get orders. In one case, we noticed that the entire menu has been discounted – like those clothing stores that are always on discount/closing sales.
We are fighting against this trend. We make money on every transaction, yet charge fairly for our dishes, and we are confident that – in the long term – people will choose quality over discounts.
How did you overcome those challenges?
Quality, quality and quality.
Quality in the food that we make
Quality in our interactions with customers whether on the app or in our conversations
Quality in the delivery – including timely deliveries, food packaging, and payments
If we are able to consistently deliver in these aspects of quality, we are confident that customers will value what we serve.
Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.
We have been fortunate to get some brilliant folks that have joined us in the Twigly journey as investors and mentors. These include Amit Gupta, co-founder of InMobi, Sahil Barua, co-founder of logistics firm Delhivery, Mukul Singhal of SAIF Partners, and of course, TracxnLabs. We raised USD 200k in an angel round last year.
Tell us about your company’s attrition control practices.
The best approach to curbing attrition is keeping people occupied and giving them opportunities to grow. This is, of course, easier said than done. We strongly believe in letting people think big and failing, instead of being safe and toeing the line. By way of an example – a delivery boy who showed initiative now manages an entire dispatch shift at Twigly. While this may sound trivial, you need to understand handling peak orders with a very strict timeline needs him to be quick on his feet and meticulous to ensure orders are packed properly and reach in time. It also serves as an example to other team members to show initiative and take on responsibilities.
Apart from some desired attrition, we have not faced any attrition at Twigly.
According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?
Without sounding too preachy – these are:
- Ability to ideate without constraints, and then figure out a way to realize your ideas
- Having the guts to do what you’re passionate about AND good at (you’re compromising when you settle into one of them)
- Never giving up in spite of failures – success is a journey, not a milestone
Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?
I am a big fan of Uber for getting around, and I regularly use Zomato to find new food to try (and to keep tabs on competition). Apart from that, I am a big fan of Google’s services and use them extensively (Gmail, Maps, Drive, Keep, etc.) I have used Hootsuite for social media management, but I found it to be a bit limited in the level of details I need to track social activity – I am looking for a better-integrated platform.
Share any one habit, which you think, makes you more productive.
I calendar my work extensively and make sure work is finished in my own estimated time. Managing your day/week/month is probably the most important aspect of being productive.
Answer in less than 50 words
Be better than everyone else is.
- One mistake you believe every individual must avoid:
Letting timelines decide the output, instead of what you want to achieve
- One most important lesson that you have learnt till now:
It is difficult making people part with their money
What are your plans for next 3 years?
We have established that there is large market for our food, in spite of their being significant competition. We are quickly going into expansion mode so that we can cater to ever-growing populations. By the next 3 years, we will be in 4-5 cities, with 4-5 kitchens in each city.
What are your top three getaway destinations?
Paris (global), Manali (India), my room (in the city)
If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?
Nothing career wise – I have learnt from all the mistakes I have made, and would make them all over again. The one thing I would do differently would be is to take out time and connect with more people.
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
“Skate where the puck’s going, not where it’s been” – I read this quote from Wayne Gretsky (a Canadian ice-hockey player) when I was a teenager and instantly connected with it. You have to anticipate the future to be ahead of others. That means, you have to take out the time to build your skills, even if you are doing great at what you are doing, to ensure that you stay relevant.