For work and education, most people have to live away from home. Amid all the things they miss about their home, food is one special thing. Even the self-made food at a different place doesn’t taste like home because of different ingredients and accompaniments.
To help people find the taste of home in their food, Saumil Maheshwari left his comfy corporate job with an assured bright career ahead to start Chillizens, a unique online marketplace for spices, pickles, condiments and accompaniments from different places across India.
Helping people get good food that reminds them of the place they are ingenious to, Chillizens is progressing further every day and the team behind it has firm plans to expand its business in coming years. Find out more about this initiative in Saumil Maheshwari’s interview to YoSuccess.
Please provide a brief overview of your product/ service.
We are a Multi-channel marketplace for condiments and accompaniments operating across multiple channels, serving individuals as well as institutions. We aim to be the default destination for anyone anywhere anytime to get authentic condiments and accompaniments sourced from places they are indigenous to. Our strength lies in a strong product and service quality focus as well as business model that derives its strength from global and Multi-channel focused operations through the use of technology to seamlessly integrate the online and offline channels. We have a unique initiative which we call Micro Franchising where we cater to the small villages and towns specifically to the small retailers and self-help group women.
What inspired you to build the above product/ service?
Having traveled all through the country for education and work, home food was something that I always missed. The food in India is so diverse that the cuisine changes every 100 kilometers. Even the basic Dal made with a similar concoction has a different taste owing to the different ingredients put in it. So we decided to build a channel to be able to get food from places it is indigenous to.
What is your life mantra?
Everyone is fighting a battle that we don’t know about. Be Kind…Always..!
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?
Leaving high paying comfortable jobs with a clear career path to take the leap of faith and build something you believe in.
How did you overcome those challenges?
Prior to Chillizens, I was handling Corporate Relationships and Foreign Trade operations at ICICI Bank. Before starting Chillizens I had done a lot research about the feasibility of the concept and the future potential with my teammates Harsha, Harsh and Anusha. Once the planning was complete then it was just a matter of keeping the faith and taking that leap of faith.
Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.
We are currently bootstrapped and have used our own funds for running the business till now. We are in talks with investors to raise external funding for further expansion.
According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?
Foresightedness, Belief, and Relentless Attitude.
Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?
We are aggressive on Google Adwords and Adsense and also use social media to promote business.
Share any one habit which you think makes you more productive.
Planning your days in advance and maintaining a schedule helps you plan and execute better.
Share any one habit which you wish to change in yourself.
I like to take opinions of the people around me before taking decisions and not always trusting my instincts.
Answer in less than 50 words
Stick to your plans and do not give up easily. But don’t be blind sighted by the pitfalls either.
- One mistake you believe every individual must avoid:
All the aspiring entrepreneurs believe that they have a million dollar idea and get too attached to it and are unable to evaluate things correctly.
- One most important lesson that you have learnt till now:
Nothing comes easy, especially if you are trying to carve a niche for yourself. You have to let go of the naysayers around you.
What are your plans for next 3 years?
We plan to set up multi city operations with our focus on B2B sales tapping Institutions and using those cities as logistic hubs to be able to expand to further regions.
What are your top three getaway destinations?
Beaches any time, any place, anywhere..!
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
“As you think, so shall you become.”