BENGALURU: In the 18th century, the kitchens of Mughal nobility served a stew of slow-cooked lamb or beef with bone marrow. Bhojpuri kings are believed to have ended their meals with Chena Makhana Sangam, a dessert with paneer (chena) and makhana (puffed lotus seeds).
Today, you needn’t be a royal to get these served at your dining table. A city-based startup Zzungry home delivers these favourites of the well-fed Indian royalty.
Subash Baliga, Sandeep Rana and Ashish Kalya founded this in 2015 to bring culinary luxuries to the masses. Select chefs prepare food from various parts of India following a different menu each week. ZZungry has curated more than 200 dishes from 12 different cuisines across the country.
The service currently operates through a delivery model with six kitchens in Indiranagar, BTM, HSR, Marathahalli, Electronic City and Whitefield. The a la carte menu is priced between Rs 195 and Rs 320 whereas the combo meals are priced between Rs 195 and Rs 325.
Subash Baliga’s passion for good food motivated started him on this venture. He found that “rich” Indian food was not always affordable. “I wanted to make royal Indian dishes available to everyone,” says the CEO and co-Founder.
That does not mean more of ‘Shahi’ prefixed kormas and dals. Zzungry wanted to serve what is not available in other restaurants, says Ashish Kalya, an MBA graduate from IIM Indore and who is responsible for Zzungry’s brand outreach.
The name too attempts to carry its distinct branding. “Initially, while brainstorming for a name, we thought of Hungry,” says Baliga, who owns a restaurant chain in the city. “We added a ‘z’ for an extra zing that would be part of our every dish.” The second ‘z’, he says, is the feeling of Zen-like satisfaction that comes in after having a delicious meal.
Sandeep Rana, who oversees the kitchen processes and functions, proudly states that their Head Chef Rajiv has worked with various Indian cuisines and therefore brings variety to their menu.
Few days ago, on August 22, Zzungry raised a round of seed funding from Silicon valley based entrepreneurs Satish Vasudeva, Madhusudhan Jujare and a group of other individual investors. The funds will go towards “unit expansion and building revenue channels”.
They plan to set up new kitches in Bengaluru. But “a significant chunk of the funds”, says Baliga, will put to ramp up operational efficiency and on marketing.
Entrepreneur and investor, Satish Vasudeva says their “one-of-a-kind offering” won him over. He believes, “ZZungry is emerging as a key player in the food industry”
Madhusudhan Jujare, another entrepreneur and investor, adds, “We have seen great results from the team so far.”
A second round of fund-raising is planned by the end of 2016. Zzungry plans to try retail channels and soon royal favourites will be served at malls and techparks.