India has always been a country where vegetarian food is popular but the dining out options for the vegetarians were very limited and included a few pasta dishes, some unexciting vegetable stir-fry’, some paneer dishes, chole-bhature, dal and naans. However, it is not the condition in the present times.
The young food entrepreneurs are going against the obvious trends of vegetarian food and are becoming more creative with their ideas of preparing dishes and starting food startups. One such food entrepreneur is Prasoon Gupta, an IIT Roorkee alumni and the founder of Sattviko, a pure vegetarian restaurant.
Prasoon Gupta started Sattviko in the year 2014 with his friend Ankush Sharma. Sattviko got the award for the “Best Debutante Restaurant Chain” in December 2014 and is greatly loved by the people who visit it and got the pleasure to eat there.
In a conversation with Prasoon Gupta, he fills us with his experiences and his journey towards building the largest brand for Modern Vedic vegetarian food through Sattviko.
Sattviko is a healthy food startup and puts emphasis on purity and healthy food but along with this, they serve all types of different cuisines that harmonise with its rules. These cuisines may involve Mexican, Italian and American cuisines etc. According to Prasoon, Sattviko is not just a pure vegetarian restaurant. In Sattviko they try to revive the old food products with the modern flavours, for example, they serve achaari risotto at their restaurant which is primarily an international cuisine. By doing this they are trying is to revive the international cuisines with the modern Indian flavours and prepare “Adventurous Vegetarian Food”. And the best part about this is that every person in Sattviko loves experimenting and doing mix and match of the different cuisines.
Sattviko does not try to maintain the same taste among all its branches. Though the taste of the main dishes remains the same but they modify the taste of their dishes according to the taste of the people in that particular location.
One thing that differentiates Sattviko from the others is that they believe in growing as a company, keeping everyone together. They believe in creating a whole value system around them. The team of Sattviko follows the philosophy of “seva”. They love helping people and helping anyone who comes to them, not just within the company but from outside as well. He believes that it is very important for the people to understand that value matters not just to them but also to the people who are around. Though many people consider it as a negative point as helping people is not something that builds the right ROI for the company. But people of Sattviko believe that this is a negative quality that they have and for what they are proud of. They believe it is a negatively positive quality.
The Expansion of Sattviko
Sattviko currently has branches in Delhi-NCR, a fine dining restaurant in Jaipur, Ahmedabad and an Idea Café in IIT Roorkee. On being asked about further expansion plans of Sattviko, Prasoon said that he also has some international expansion plans along with plans of opening up Sattviko in many cities in India.
Sattviko, which also serves packaged foods, have recently acquired outfit curation portal StylSpot to strengthen their technological platform. The e-commerce part of Sattviko sells a variety of products with traditional twists such as herb and cheese makhannas, paan flavoured raisins etc. The main reason behind acquiring StylSpot is to scale up the e-commerce sector of the company. Prasoon also added that the reason behind acquiring StylSpot apart from its technology is to have the best members in their team. He said,” We, the people of Sattviko are very proud of our team that is currently running the company and the whole idea is to build such a strong team that could build and handle a 1000cr company”. As for Sattviko, this was its third acquisition. Before this Sattviko had also acquired packaged food maker FYNE Superfood in August 2016 and a food delivery startup Call A Meal in November 2015.
In 2016, Sattviko was able to raise a funding of USD $500K from a series of angel investors including Raman Roy, the founder Of Quattro Global Services, Ashish Gupta, former CEO of Evalueserve and Vinnie Mehta, executive director at ACMA. Currently, Sattviko has an annual revenue of 3.5cr.
Prasoon Gupta Advice to Entrepreneurs
Prasoon says that there are mainly two reasons that act as a challenge for young graduates. First, there is too much complex. Complex in such a way, that in the college the students are primarily surrounded by the like-minded people who do not have the exposure to the whole business environment. So, they believe in the ideas they think are the right business ideas but it may not be so.These young entrepreneurs try to change the whole system that they believe is not right but when that changing the system converts into a business idea, most of them fails to become successful business ideas because customers will not pay for that. So, the first talent is to come up with a competition. The second reason is that students in college believe more in the product. But they should know that it is not just about the great product that sells but also about the picture that sells. So, students in the colleges should focus more on their learning to excel.
It is not about doing things the right way it is more about having the right people around you to tell what is right and what is wrong.
– Prasoon Gupta
Reflecting his own journey of being an entrepreneur, the only advice that Prasoon has to offer is that Entrepreneurship is a very inclusive property and you can become a successful company when you have the whole community around you with your business. Those who want to be a part of the successful entrepreneurship should involve this part of inclusion and try to create a company that in the process of becoming successful takes care of the people around it as a community.