JustMyRoots is India’s first perishable, Interstate, Food Supply Chain enabled e-commerce platform, which handles nostalgic food from different parts of the country, delivering pure nostalgia in the form of food.
The three co-founders of JustMyRoots Samiran Sengupta, Promita Sengupta and Rajan Sachdeva, started transacting in 2018, , with an aim to deliver home-cooked meals unique to a particular region, JustMyRoots has come a long way in establishing their distribution centres in 19 cities and delivering in about 15000 pin-codes across the country.
JustMyRoots has developed cutting edge Packaging solutions (combination of imported materials and products within the country) which helps in keeping highly perishable food products fresh for about 36 hours.
The Free Press Journal caught up with co-founder Samiran Sengupta.
How did you come up with the name JustMyRoots?
We initially started with multiple URLs like Justbengali.com, JustOriya.com, so on and so forth. However, it was becoming very difficult to manage each of these brands and then a friend came up with a suggestion of JustMyRoots.com. Our work was always related to connecting with the roots. This name aptly defined the work that we were doing. This name could also easily connect people across different countries.
Challenges faced while setting up the business?
There were many challenges. It is easy to start a company, but the most difficult thing is ensuring Compliance of whatever we are doing. Most importantly, we were doing FOOD.
Creating a Logistics to deliver Perishable products. Creating the right kind of Packaging. Creating a team in different locations who could understand the way we operate. Getting the Right Customer Service... and the list could be endless
What measures are you taking to make the food delivery safe as well as fast especially during this Pandemic?
We had already set up a robust infrastructure in most cities. The team anyway has a very high sense of Hygiene and Cleanliness. During the Pandemic, the team had to be extra careful keeping in mind all the "MUST DOs" like ensuring the usage of sanitized packaging, Masks, Gloves and a whole lot of things. Our Logistics and Product Partners are simply fantastic and they ensure that the operation did not stop even for a day. The lockdowns did create some issues for us, but since we are handling food, we generally manage the E-pass, ensuring the food delivery on time.
What kind of CSR projects have you started during this pandemic and what are you planning for the coming days?
Since we are in the business of Food, the best CSR project that we could do was to deliver special COVID Meals to all the affected families. We wanted to do this sustainably, we did not give it free but subsidized it to a large extent. We also had to keep in mind that we are a startup and did not have many funds to spend on this. In the coming days, we are going to procure more directly from the Villages (something we started even before the Pandemic), giving the folks some form of Livelihood.
Details on Direct from Home service you are providing?
Direct From Home is a very unique service wherein we pick up food cooked in a mother's Kitchen (from one city) and deliver them to their loved ones living in another city. This service has received Huge support from our customers and the essence of Home Food (literally) is served. Think of a situation where a mother cooks for her kids in 2 different cities on a Friday. And on Saturday, not only the Parents but also the kids have the same food, even though they may be a few 1,000 km away.
How is the packaging unique that keeps the food fresh for 36 hours, current cities and states the delivery is available?
We use several concoctions of Packaging including Insulations (from Abroad), which keeps the product fresh for longer hours. We are currently working with Multiple Food Technology Scientists and Packaging experts to further improve the timing, but at the same time, keeping the cost low for Customers.
What are your strategies for growth during this pandemic?
The only Strategy during this Pandemic is to remain Honest to your Customers. Being Dynamic and giving them several options to choose tasty food, while being in the safety of home. Safe, Clean and Hygienic. We have started Nostalgic meal services in each of the cities and are planning to add more the moment the lockdowns open. We have also started reaching out to more Nostalgia based restaurants for the future.
Being a food delivery company you must be facing a lot of issues to deliver food. Can you enlist those and tell us how to solve those issues?
● Over and above, the key logistical challenge comes up if flights get cancelled as most of the Product Movements are by flights.
● During Lockdown, leaving the food with the society main gate and the customer not being able to come down to get the food.
● The safety of the delivery team.
● Unavailability of the packaging.
● Some Restaurants suddenly closing down
Your future plans of expansion? Funding? Going international?
We are planning to reach at least 130 cities in India by 2022 and to start replicating our services to few large countries like the US / Europe / Australia / Philippines / China
SAMIRAN SENGUPTA, Founder and CEO An Alumni of IIM-A and IMD Lausanne, Business and Technology Professional with more than 22 years of experience in the fields of cutting Edge Technology and Supply Chain across multiple Industries including FMCG, Energy and Trading. Samiran has held many Global and regional roles in Shell and Reckitt Benckiser, working across multiple Verticals and countries like China, Australia, Singapore, UK, mostly in the area of Supply Chain and Business Processes.