One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.
― Virginia Woolf
Dreams, they take us to places unknown to us. Far away from the love of your mom, discipline of dad and playfulness of the siblings. It takes us to new lanes, new people, new cultures and new food. Imagine a pure vegetarian surviving in the non-vegetarian dominated society. No wonder your Dadi is so concerned when you come back home for Diwali Vacations looking like a thin piece of cardboard or like the Big fat burger you hogged each day during lunch !
But what is one supposed to do when ‘Maa ke haath ka khana’ is only available back in the comforts of your own house and your amazing cooking skills are discouraged from being put into use by either lack of time and energy or by the scare of burning down the house.
This problem lit a bulb in food lover Prasad Mehta’s head who then came up with the healthy alternative of The Lunch Box Factory, a great outlet providing a blend of healthy, tasty and hygienic lunch to those starved of good food! Here’s what Prasad Mehta had to share with us about The Lunch Box Factory.
Tell us a bit about your background and the path that ultimately led you towards The Lunch Box Factory.
I have completed my Masters in Commerce from University of Mumbai and done entrepreneurship from S.P. Jain Institute of Research and Management. Since childhood I have been passionate about food and I even love experimenting as well as cooking when no one is around. Like every other youngster, I wanted to open up a restaurant where people could hang out and eat good food. The idea of The Lunch Box Factory came when I came to know that people, especially individuals who work did not have any facility to eat good home like cooked food and had to eat outside food or cold tiffin.
That’s where it struck me that I can help them out by providing them healthy, quality food that they can eat every day. And that’s how The Lunch Box Factory was born. Initially it was a proprietary firm and today I have 2 Partners who happen to be my friends too, Saurabh Padwal and Pratik More. We are together as a team and it is great that they share the same vision as I do.
How long did it take to put together The Lunch Box Factory?
Every business needs to have proper planning and without planning, you cannot proceed further. It took 7 months to initiate the launch of The Lunch Box Factory. From making Business Plan to brainstorming with different people, it had to be shaped perfectly.
How difficult has the journey been? Any stories you would like to share?
Difficulties reveal how skilful you are and how innovatively you can tackle the difficulties. My journey has been difficult as well as beautiful. Without difficulties you cannot learn how to move ahead. As the saying goes, “Smooth seas do not make skilful sailors”. Initially when I began, there were lots of difficulties and one of the difficulties which every meal services faces is the logistics. On the very first day, I had experienced that not giving quality services to your client can land you in the soup.
What happened that the delivery person was having some difficulties to find the address and the client did not receive the food on time and it got cancelled. I was devastated as it happened on the very first day. And that made me realize that whenever a client places an order with us, the first thing to keep in mind is timely delivery. And since that day, we have been delivering food on time.
How do you plan to monetize The Lunch Box Factory? Do you have any tie-ups?
We are planning to monetize our company by selling healthy food to health conscious people and providing easy food solutions. We are also in talks with a company which provides health and nutrition consulting and we will be soon having a tie up with them which will be very beneficial to health conscious and people who are looking forward to eat right and stay fit.
How different is The Lunch Box Factory from its competitors?
At The Lunch Box Factory we make sure that our clients have hassle free meals. From packaging, delivering to coordinating with our clients, they never have to face any difficulties. We interact with each one of them very frequently and make sure that we are able to cater to their needs.
What is next in line for The Lunch Box Factory?
Well, we are looking forward to open up our very first outlet where people can order their fresh meals and even take away. And even provide franchising option for people who share similar views like we do i.e. providing quality, healthy meals and making customers smile with satisfaction on their faces.
How do you plan to promote The Lunch Box Factory?
Currently, we are promoting The Lunch Box Factory on Social Media Platforms like Facebook and Twitter. And also we are promoting it by distributing flyers and sending mailers to potential clients. We are looking forward to Radio and TV Ad’s soon in the near future.
What is the hardest aspect about this job?
The hardest aspect about this job is to work patiently yet efficiently, have proper communication and coordination. One mistake and it can ruin the whole process and eventually it can lead to a mess.
Five years down the line, where do you visualize The Lunch Box Factory?
I see The Lunch Box Factory as one of the established companies in healthy meal services. It will be one of the few organizations who will help people in becoming fit, healthy and guide them to make their health better. And not only Mumbai but also other cities will have this privilege as we believe that you are what you eat and we want to make people eat healthy quality meals and see them healthy.
What has been the one important lesson you’ve learned in this journey?
One important lesson which I have learned is that never compromise on the quality, maintain good relations with your clients and last but not the least, never give up!
Lastly, one piece of advice to our budding startup entrepreneurs.
Keep your concepts and ideas very clear as it helps you to move ahead and it becomes easier to execute the decisions and plan ahead. And lastly, believe in yourself and your business because it’s your baby and you need to nurture it the way you imagined, the way you dreamed about it.
Do not let Junk Food win this battle and lure you into its trap of obesity and diabetes. Make a wise choice; go for food that helps you in nourishing your mind, body and soul. Your body deserves much better than what you put it through.