When Ashish Nichani and Sudarsan Metla first met while working together at the ING Group, they bonded instantly over a common love for food and travel. Driven by passion, both quit their banking jobs to foray into the world of speciality food. The duo founded Postcard in November 2019 to elevate the experience of enjoying traditional Indian snacks procured from 12 states.
From the snacks in Kerala with a distinct aroma of coconut oil, to the robust flavours of Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, or the trademark ‘jhal’ mixtures of the East, the Kathiyawadi style with its unique sweet-savoury combination and the mild flavours of Chettinad, Postcard became the perfect platform to showcase the microcultures through a repertoire of snacks. Kolhapuri Bhadang from Jaysinghpur, Maharashtra; Sattur Sev of Tamil Nadu; kachoris of Jamnagar, Gujarat; Pune Bhakarwadis—Netflix and Chill suddenly achieved a whole new meaning.
Following their motto of taste, authenticity and passion, the duo first started out with an e-commerce marketplace for speciality food called Place of Origin in 2015, before they ventured into Postcard. “The marketplace hosted 4,000-plus products from 400 local brands. Over time we had over 3,00,000 active customers who would transact frequently. Our Postcard selection is derived from our insights of customers, their behaviour, their feedback and preferences. We have chosen the most favoured products, representative of different regions and with a wide variety of flavours which are otherwise unavailable in the market,” says CEO Nichani.
Since the focus is to help Indians discover local flavours, authenticity is important. The team ensures that the products are sourced from its known place of origin, and is made by local food artisans. “This approach is more difficult but it’s our USP,” says Metla, COO of the company. For example, one of their customers from Kochi who was regularly ordering Jamnagari Chiwda, said: “To me, opening a pack of Postcard is like opening a pack of happiness.” Another wrote: “Even though I can’t travel during these times, our taste buds get to go on a taste trip with Postcard.”
The brand is looking forward to a line-up of exciting new products, not to mention their recent launch for the US market through Amazon. “The pandemic has had a transformational impact on our business. It led to a net increase in the number of consumption opportunities,” say the duo. So for those hunger pangs, a platterful of snacks is just a click away.