We are already thankful enough to Mughals and Delhi Sultans for adding Kebabs, Firni and Mughlai to the Indian palette, but are grateful to them for introducing their heritage dish biryani to India. Interestingly, since its origin in Persia, biryani in India has evolved under the influence of various tastes and spice preferences of Sultans and Nawabs. The Nizams gave a spicy touch to Hyderabadi biryani, Nawab Wajid Ali Shah added potatoes and aroma to Kolkata biryani and the Nawabs of Lucknow added saffron and dry fruits to add a unique taste to Lucknow biryani.
Biryani – a concoction of meat, sometimes potato, long-grained basmati rice, and rich spices comprising star anise, bay leaves, cinnamon topped with fried onions is a highly relished dish among Indian families during festive and wedding occasions.
Coming to current times, several hotels and food companies do serve this authentic dish, but what was not liked by two entrepreneurs – Kaushik Roy and Vishal Jindal – was biryani being treated like pizza or burgers, which hotels served in 20 min. It meant that the dish was repacked and reheated to serve in aluminium foil boxes. They soon plunged into the food business to offer a unique experience of this heritage dish.
Let’s disrupt the biryani eating!!
The duo, Kaushik Roy and Vishal Jindal began their entrepreneurial venture by founding Biryani By Kilo in 2015 from Gurugram. Leveraging Kaushik’s experience of spending many years in the food industry and Vishal’s dream of entering into entrepreneurship, they thought of developing a cloud kitchen model of delivering fresh dum-cooked biryani. The venture soon opened outlets in different cities. To maintain consistency in taste, the duo implemented customised measuring tools and technology for every ingredient to be used in the same manner at different outlets.
Biryani By Kilo – reviving the Khansama culture
Biryani By Kilo revived the Khansama style by offering biryani in an earthen pot or famously known as Handi with the brand name embossed. For every order, the biryani is freshly cooked and with every biryani order, they provide customers with Aanch, a chulha, or a stove to help warm the biryani as per the convenience. Moreover, with the word ‘Kilo’ in the name, they provide biryani in Kgs of 1 to 2 serving 3-4 people, perfect for a small family gathering at home. Biryani by Kilo serves both veg and non-veg biryani in three variants: Hyderabadi, Bengali, and Lucknowi. It also serves delectable kebabs, curries, and Mughal-inspired desserts such as Matka Firni and Gulabjamun with Rabri. It also offers customised catering for at least 50 people.
Cloud kitchen is projected to become a $2 billion industry in India by 2024, according to RedSeer Management Consulting.
How Biryani By Kilo marketed itself?
Biryani By Kilo marketed itself by building its profound presence on Facebook and Instagram. It introduced daily Tuesday offers, where on buying two biryanis they waived 25 percent off. Conducting online contests and quizzes related to sports with cashback, discounts as rewards and comic posts related to pop culture, portrays the fun side of the brand. To showcase the non-tampered package of biryani delivered in the pandemic times, it encouraged celebrities and singers across the country to shoot unboxing videos.
It has attractive loyalty programmes – gold, silver and bronze offering BBK (Biryani By Kilo) rupee that activates for a certain number of orders made.
It has recently created a commercial featuring Arjun Kapoor, who tastes three types of biryani – Hyderabadi, Lucknowi and Bengali appreciating the authentic taste in three languages – Bengali, Telugu and Urdu.
Biryani By Kilo: Funding and expansion plans
In such a short span, the biryani platform has established 40 outlets in 20 cities and has grown in revenues from Rs 86 lakhs in 2016 to Rs 42 crore in 2020. It aspires to become a Rs 500 crore brand by 2023 and aims to generate a revenue of Rs 70-80 crore in 2021.
Ivy-Cap Ventures has invested Rs 30 crore in its Series A funding round. The funds will be utilised to expand presence in the West and North India and tap the UAE and UK markets. With such a strong revenue showcase, it confirms that people love ordering from Biryani By Kilo.
What lies ahead for the food startups in the cloud kitchen space?
A joint report from Google and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) says that online food ordering is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 25 – 30 percent to touch $7.5 – $8 billion by 2022. Cloud kitchen is projected to become a $2 billion industry in India by 2024, according to RedSeer Management Consulting.