The Real Life Saga of “The Great Indian Bread Pakodas”
Preface: The saga is real life experience of setting up a Food Stall at Diwali Mela in Housing Society by a startup called The Great Indian Bread Pakodas(Hereafter TGIBP). The first hand experience gave me a real funny picture of everything a startup & investor feels viz from idea to pitch, and then pitch to funding , further taking it to execution & routine board meetings.
The experience was so amazing that I thought this could be a great script for TVF Qtiyapa. Let me introduce the following team members of the startup called TGIBP to my lovely readers.
- My Mom : Mrs. Swaran Huja – Founder
- My Dad : Mr. Vijay Huja – The Co-Founder
- My Wife : Mrs. Shivani Huja – Sales Head
- My Elder Daughter : Sonakshi Huja – Marketing & Promotions
- My Younger Daughter : Sunaina Huja – Brand Ambassador
- Myself : Mr. Yogesh Huja – The Investor
- My Consultant : Mr. XYZ – From Big Four ( Can’t Share Name Due to Privacy Reasons)
A few days back my mom (hereafter founder) went to my dad (hereafter co-founder) & discussed about setting up a food stall. The strength of cooking yummiest bread pakodas was known to founder & feedbacks from friends & family were very positive. The market size was identified & the idea was shared with my wife (hereafter sales head). The sales head expressed the confidence in product and a pitch was shared with me (hereafter investor).
The Pitch Room:
The pitch was made by founder and team to investor stating unique product offering, market potential, size, interest group, strengths & largely investor liked the idea. The investor said he wanted a Big Four valuation report & due diligence before investment is made.
The Confused Startup Founder asked “What is Big Four Valuation Report?” The investor replied don’t worry I have few friends who can do it for you. The investor made a call to his Big 4 Consultant who was in USA that time of call. The founder was impressed & felt great about the investor and his contacts.
The Green Signal
Investor was largely convinced about the team and thought of potential returns both tangible & non tangible ones. Post the Big Four valuation report the project got a go ahead.
The execution started based on plan. The capital expenditure in picking up stall space was done by investor himself. The entire team got charged up & to target 200 potential footfall in Diwali Mela a plan for procurement was prepared and presented for board approval.
The Procurement & Board Approval
The procurement of material ranging from breads, olive oil, gas, cooking stuff were compiled & presented to investor. The smart investor thought if we get into hassles of arranging all these then we may miss on time. We must look for outsourcing the contract to best Pakoda Company already established in market. This will give a great boost to the brand name of TGIBP.
The founder & team thought investor is smart as he has better knowledge about the market plus he is taking the big risk of investment as well. The entire production team & sales team were silently converted into billing agents of TGIBP. This was the first step in killing of power of idea which was tasty yummy food of founder (The USP).
The stall was planned to be setup along with other food stalls in mela but the organizer made a mistake and gave the position along with other stalls selling garments etc. This was the product positioning fault for which the team argued but unable to get the desired location as it was already setup by another startup. The footfall started coming in the mela & due to wrong positioning of stall the people had their food at other stalls & came to TGIBP stall later when the need was full filled.
The Challenges & Struggle
The challenge was identified & sales head came in action. With amazing sales spirit and good reputation in market the cold calls were made & footfall was brought to the TGIBP stall. The sales started happening and the team including investor started feeling happy. The marketing and promotions head gave an idea of running a jackpot game in the stall to build engagement & drive additional revenue.
The Revenue & Analytics
The revenue started tickling but the challenges were alive that customers were already having their food prior to reaching to stall. The promotional banners were put up & cost per customer acquisition was identified. The mela was reaching the end & only 50% of inventory was sold yet. The additional revenue stream was performing well though.
The Post Analysis
The mela came to an end and the unsold inventory was brought back home. The startup had incurred losses and was not motivated for running ahead. The investor went quietly back stating to co-founder to settle the inventory & close the books.
Concluding Remarks of Author
Today every startup is building their own unique experiences & moving on. The common issues that “The Great Indian Bread Pakoda –TGIBP” faced, brought some great learnings & which could be helpful for discussion on various forums. The following are quick pointers for same:
· Poor Investor Management
· Bad Location for Positioning
· Not Wanting to Get Your Hands Dirty
· Derivative Idea or Deviation from Idea
Many more that readers can derive or state based on their experiences. The idea is that we must fail fast & this happens by learning from others failures. Hope this story had made you laugh, learn & connect. Do drop in your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Disclaimer: This article is written not to hurt the sentiments of any actor of story nor provoke any categorical remarks on community.