Foodtech start-up Daalchini looking to expand presence across 26 cities

Shobha Roy Kolkata | Updated on June 01, 2021

Firm plans to add close to 9,000 vending machines in next one year

Foodtech startup Daalchini, which is setting up IoT-enabled food vending machines, plans to expand its presence across 26 cities and add close to 9,000 vending machines in the next one year. It currently has close to 430 vending machines across 10 cities.

Plans are also afoot to set up mini vending machines in buses, cabs and trains to tap into the growing demand for contactless, digitally-enabled kiosks.

Prerna Kalra, co-founder and CEO at Daalchini said the firm has been conducting pilots in close to 100 cabs by setting up mini smart vending machines in tieup up with fleet owners.

A majority of food consumption bill is below ₹99 and most consumers prefer an almost instant delivery. “Now, if we look at most of the food delivery apps then it is difficult to get something at that price point as there is a delivery charge involved. The idea of launching this platform was to create an unmanned distribution channel for customers and providing them with instant snacking options,” Kalra told BusinessLine.

Also read:Food vending machine firms expect an uptick in demand post-Covid

Daalchini has 16 cloud kitchens in Delhi and it has also has partnered with over 38 D2C F&B brands such as Happy Bar, BRB and Jubilant Foodworks to be their distribution channel. This apart, it also has tie-ups with large FMCG players such as ITC, Nestle and Marico and 150-plus franchisees and partners, of which more than 60 per cent are women.

Offices and residences

The company currently offers fresh home food, snacks and beverages in offices, hospitals, hostels, co-working and co-living spaces among others. It caters to offices including NITI Aayog, companies such as Dell, EY, Byju’s, Genpact, Citi Bank, Innov8, Tata Consultancy Services, and MX Player. The company had recently converted close to 90 manned pantries at Reliance Industries’ plant in Jamnagar into contactless, digitally-enabled kiosks.

There has also been a steady rise in demand from residential complexes in the wake of the pandemic, Kalra said.

Through Daalchini Kiosk app, users can browse the menu at the kiosk, make digital payments through mobile wallets, and share their feedback as well. Users can also discover nearby machines. The Daalchini kiosks also come with a heating zone and serve like a cafe.

“During pre-Covid times, we used to get around 50-60 orders a day from one location, but post Covid, it has increased to 70-80 orders a day even with the lower workforce coming to offices and this is primarily because of hygiene factors,” she said.

Published on June 01, 2021

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