Founder’s Story: Indus Flavour- Delhi’s ‘Proudly Vegetarian’ Restaurant
Indus Flavour offers a unique culmination of Indian vegetarian flavours in the country’s food capital. The restaurant was started more than a decade ago by founders deeply rooted in business ideals, who envisioned creating India’s most popular vegetarian restaurant franchise. Now that they’ve transformed this dream into reality, the success of Indus Flavour as a brand is something worth exploring.
In this founder’s story, we’ll take you one step closer to understanding what worked out for Indus Flavour. Every great business has a great owner and great employees. Hence, it only makes sense to listen to the founder’s story on the inception, execution, and expansion of the idea behind Indus Flavour. Here’s all we could gather.
How far along has the Indus Flavour journey been? What underpinning idea did it have?
It’s been a roller coaster journey so far. Finally, we have gotten into the growth trajectory at a very calculated pace keeping the brand promise intact, which is to provide the best of food and service, a complete dining experience so that we can dazzle and delight the guests.
How did it all start? Please discuss your backgrounds, passions, and aspirations to understand each other better.
It all started with my never-ending zeal to provide the diners with the best of what we serve. And to achieve this, we made a single point focus to provide vegetarian North Indian cuisine, which is surprisingly a rarity in a place like Delhi, which is called the food capital of India. With my deep-rooted background of coming from a traditional baniya family and growing up amongst vegetarians, it was always my desire and dream to make a mark for myself in the food industry with absolute honesty and integrity. Because we’re dealing with food here, more than business, it is my labour of love.
What are the requirements to stand out in the Food and Beverage industry?
Your relationship with your employees needs to be super strong, and you need to have a high EQ, more than IQ and, most importantly, absolute focus and a burning desire to do better each passing day.
Which way do you think your franchise experience went?
It is going great, much better than what I expected. Goddess Annapurna has been very kind to us. I think where there is transparency, there is no discrepancy, and it’s a win-win situation for all stakeholders involved.
How can you maintain team morale throughout hectic, demanding shifts as well as tedious, sluggish ones?
It’s not difficult when you genuinely understand and feel for your employees, who are more like family members to us. It’s important to understand that the employees are first loyal to their needs and then the company when they are working, and if I, as the owner, can help them meet their needs, then they will reciprocate. Also, we make sure that the employees are not under a lot of pressure as this is a very demanding business, so we do the staffing accordingly so that the place of work seems inviting to them and not a burden.
Given that you’re just starting, how do you propose to handle the franchisor-franchise relationship?
I sincerely believe the foundation of every relationship is honesty and being clear about the expectations for delivery from day one. It’s imperative to have difficult conversations in the beginning, to avoid confusion later on. More than franchisor-franchise, I see this relationship as adding new family members to the Indus family.
How will you ensure the food is consistently high-quality and consistent across your locations?
For this to happen, which we are ensuring, we need to follow 5 essential criteria. First, the vendors and the raw materials need to be of the same brand and quality. There should be a proper recipe in writing so everyone can refer to it. Third, the chefs making it need to be super strong and able to maintain it. Fourth, there should be a very potent feedback mechanism from the guests so that we know how we are performing.
Last but not least, there should be a pool of chefs who do complete checks and audits across all the outlets to ensure the recipes are appropriately followed. We don’t have a base kitchen model. Fresh food is made across all the outlets, and we recruit and train strong people in every outlet to ensure the recipes of followed the same way.
Which trade secrets are you ready to spill to aspiring Food and Beverage business owners?
I think there is no trade secret, not even the recipes. It has more to do with the idea of what you are and how to stand out from the competition. Your positioning in customers’ minds, your growth strategy, and how focused you are, matter the most. Simply put, try your very best, and you can go that far.
Give an instance of when you were forced to make a difficult choice that influenced your business. How did your choice pan out?
Thankfully, I don’t allow myself to get forced into doing something wrong and against my ethics and principles. So, that’s out of the question.
Which franchise-related lessons have you had to learn the hard way so far?
I have learnt to be very careful of who you give your franchise. If the thought process of the franchisor is not aligned with the franchisee, and if the franchisee is only and only concerned about the bottom line, then that particular outlet could face some difficulties in its day-to-day operation,s even though it will function on a FOCO model.
Key Takeaways From The Journey Of Indus Flavour
From our conversation, we’ve curated a list of the most vital takeaways from Indus Flavour’s journey.
- Believe in your idea, and focus on delivering value every single day.
- Figure out how to differentiate your brand in the market.
- Treat your employees well and set realistic expectations. Overworking is a strict no-no for any business.