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Interviews

Akoori with Abhishek of Imly.in

Ever since the ‘Meet the Rodinhooder’ series started it has been my dream to do a Lunch with BS format of an article and merge it with a photo essay. They say imitation is the best form of flattery so let’s leave it at that about my obsession with attempting this style of writing.

It is for this reason I was very excited when Abhishek Singh, Co-Founder of Imly decided to join The Rodinhoods. Finally I had found a food entrepreneur who would be as excited about cooking food as I am and we could try something completely new.

For those of you that have not heard of Imly – it is an online shopfront for home chefs and home bakers to be discovered, sell their goodies and become entrepreneurs! A pretty inspiring vision for someone who is just 24  – something that however doesn’t surprise me as much now after being a Rodinhooder for almost a year.

Abhishek was quite excited to be interviewed for the Rodinhoods – that is until he found out he would have to cook for me. He tried to back out claiming he only knew how to make omelettes and toast and he wouldn’t want to subject me to that. However, persistent Gemini that I am, I took it upon myself to share a cooking lesson with him. Below he shares his story with me while making some Parsi Akoori, Sausage & Brun Pav. 

Starting up is a bit like peeling and chopping onions – there are multiple layers to it and you must constantly try new methods to ensure your eyes don’t tear up.

Similarly, Imly which only started two months ago in June has been constantly trying a whole bunch of new stuff. They recently launched a Facebook App, they piloted a delivery module for their Mumbai chefs and have now created a special Rakhi page so customers looking for food goodies on Rakhis don’t have to trawl through multiple pages to find a suitable gift. Continuous innovation is something Imly and their team are gifted at…

Chopping onions, tomatoes and coriander could be all just classfied as ‘chopping’ but we all know that they require different techniques to get the best result. Similarly, while I haven’t seen something quite like Imly, every platform needs a USP.

Imly’s USP is that it caters to a previously untapped market of home chefs that have either never considered selling or have been limited to their local areas due to limited marketing. In Abhishek’s words, “Imly gives every person who has a talent to cook the opportunity to be an entrepreneur”. And, we all know that empowering the customer is a sure-shot way of ensuring they come back!

Like letting your eyes water and allowing yourself to cough while the spices release their amazing flavour, starting up is like cooking in this regard because it is about overcoming challenges and perseverance.

Imly’s key challenge has been to alter consumer behaviours. We are all used to simply leafing through a menu printed on crappy paper or calling our local baker when we need to order food for a party. Training users to utilise the Imly platform when evaluating their next purchase is something that Abhishek and his team are therefore hard at work at.

Also, while the delivery pilot didn’t quite work out, Imly is aware they must resolve the logistics problem for their chefs as this is a big value add for many home-chefs  that only have a pickup option available currently. 

Cooking and doing business are as old as time. Therefore, it is always important to add your own twist to a recipe or a business model to make it unique. In the same way that I chose to jazz up my mom’s akoori recipe by adding sausages, Imly stands out from its competitors by keeping their chefs at the forefront.

Beautiful big food images and a focus on chef profiles makes them stand out from other online platforms where cakes are currently available with flowers or as another gift option. At Imly, it is all about the chef and that focus is clear throughout the site.

No food recipe is complete without showing off the final result – feeding the Akoori, Sausage and Brun Pav to Abhishek was my moment of glory while talking about the results Imly has achieved so far was his (and so it should be!)

In the two months since its launch, they have already had three chefs that have generated over Rs 10,000 in revenue through the platform alone.

Moreover, what’s great is that Imly has not only seen traction in the food centric cities of Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore but also have chefs from Chennai, Ranchi and Chandigarh that are coming online. 

Needless to say, this was one interview I enjoyed a lot. Abhishek and myself continued to talk about our food startups long after the Akoori, Sausage and Brun Pav was digested.

We all have a home chef in our wives, mothers and young daughters (and husbands and sons – ofcourse I am not being sexist). Check out Imly.in to see how they can help the chef at your home become an entrepreneur too.

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Perzen Patel is an idea-shipper and the founder of Bawi Bride, a Parsi food cooking blog and a catering service that offers dips, desserts and Parsi delicacies each weekend. An experienced events and marketing professional, during the day, Perzen is also Communications Manager at Ennovent. Her passion includes hosting events, writing about entrepreneurship and travelling. Perzen believes that great moments are born out of great opportunities – which is why she loves trying things like a 100km Trailwalk or a Skydive from 12000ft.

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Editor’s note: This is interview is part of our series of ‘Meet the Rodinhooders’ – where any Rodinhooder can interview another one! if you’d like to interview another Rodinhooder, or would like to be interviewed, simply send an email to asha@rodinhood.com

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Recommended interviews: The TechCrunch India Man

Have your Bagel and eat it too!

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9 Comments

  1. lunch with trhs it is!!!

    another winner perzen!

    i so loved “Imly gives every person who has a talent to cook the opportunity to be an entrepreneur”.

    this to me, is so rodinhood!!! 

    welcome to trhs abhishek! i’m not a huge akoori fan – but since you’re into eggs, i hope perz has taught you how to make bheeda par eeda/pateta par eeda/etc par eeda :))))

  2. Thanks so much Asha for your constant motivation and encouragement!

  3. Thanks Asha, she hasn’t taught me that yet, but perhaps I’ll try conquering that next time 🙂

  4. Very nicely done format Perzen, Welcome Abhishek!!

    “Starting up is a bit like peeling and chopping onions – there are multiple layers to it and you must constantly try new methods to ensure your eyes don’t tear up.”

    The trick or hack around this is to get Accustomed or make the Environment around – “Habitual” Keep starting up !!

    Keep the Root cut part of the Onion on your Head (the one which we throw away, Since now Onions are Costly affair, keep them (Throw away items) preserved for the Next cutting operations, Kidding) while cutting them and you would notice – No more Tears 😀

    (Try it, It Works, for Onions and Starting up too !!!)

    To remove the smell of Onion, Chicken, Mutton or Eggs from the hands, use a little Vinegar and wash your hands with it, then use water to get the vinegar cleaned, leaves no smell there after. Using a dab of Vinegar in the Microwave (dip a cotton swab with vinegar and baking soda, and keep it in the microwave, turn it on for 30 secs) also works in a similar manner to remove the Foul Odour, also done in the refrigerator (Kept in a small bowl or container) works equally well too.

    Cheers!!

  5. Another one Perzen!!! Kudos to you for bringing to us stories:)) and helping us know about more and more rockstar rodinhooders!

    You are the inspiration to me to start hunting for myself a rodinhooder who would give me such awesome stories to share here. 

    And Abhishek… great concept.. the primary thing being you are tapping an untapped market.. Best Wishes!!

  6. Anamika – thanks for your lovely words and humbled that I inspired you – you must write, I find it amazing to hear such stories. Looking forward to some great interviews of Delhi rodinhooders by you Miss Joshi 😛

  7. Thanks Darshan for your lovely words and also for the onion cutting advice! While it works for chopping onions I am not sure having a piece of the onion root on your head to solve your startup challenges will help hahahaha

    Thanks for all the other cooking tips too. am jotting them down 🙂

  8. The trick or hack around this is to get Accustomed or make the Environment around – “Habitual”

    Keep starting up !! Keep your Entrepreneurial hat on always!!!

    [ The Stub in this context are the Learnings or Potholes faced during the course, the ones which we tend to throw away 🙂 ] 

    From <perzen@mayrahkee.com> to <perzen@bawibride.com> You have your Onion Stub in place, so No Tears 🙂 Keep Smiling always!!!

  9. hey abhishek, 

    just saw your amazing new home food delivery venture in b’lore.

    listen you must connect with megha of i2cook (i’ve tweeted and pinged her) – she has shifted to b’lore and is into organic food.

    http://therodinhoods.com/forum/topics/there-but-not-there-i2cook

    also pls get in touch with gujan kejriwal of roomys – perhaps his client base would love home cooked food!!!

    http://therodinhoods.com/forum/topics/roomys-feedback-is-the-breakfast-of-champions

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