Jesse Van de Zand was the average investor who traveled to India a few years back to expand the activities of Enviu, a Netherland-based impact incubator in India. Little did we know that years later he’d settle down right here and come up with a model that would serve millions a healthy, nutritional meal.
About Janta Meals:
Zand says, “Lack of healthy food on a daily basis leads to lesser productivity and ultimately, lower income. It becomes a vicious, never-ending cycle.”
There are countless drivers, cleaners, construction labourers, and security guards who work for over 12 hours a day without a wholesome meal. Addressing this need for nutritious and hygienically prepared square meals is Janta Meals- which provides affordable meals to Delhi NCR’s blue-collar population. For Rs 20, a customer can have rice and dal or roti and sabzi, whereas for Rs 30, he/she can have everything along with some salad.
Janta Meals has its own outlets, which are run by micro-entrepreneurs. As in a franchisee model, an entrepreneur is responsible for scouting the location and setting up the 8-16 seater outlet, and Janta Meals sends them the food, which is prepared in a centralised kitchen. The Akshaya Patra Foundation is a non-profit organization that runs centralised kitchens across India to provide meals to government and government-aided schools. The Janta Meals folks use their kitchen in the idle hours (post 11 am) and capitalises on the available opportunity. The mechanised cooking and bulk purchasing of raw materials helps the company set the price per meal as low as Rs 20. For a micro-entrepreneur, setting up a franchise costs anywhere between Rs 70, 000 to Rs 1, 00, 000.
While this exists on one side, Janta Meals has tied up with various corporates, like Larsen and Toubro to s upply packed meals directly to their office from the centralised kitchen.
With 30 franchisee centres operational in Gurgaon and Kurukshetra, Janta Meals is serving close to 15, 000 meals every single day. Cumulatively, they have already served 6897935 meals. Now that’s a big bite alright!
The Road Ahead:
The company is now exploring the possibility of starting mobile food trucks in Gurgaon. The food trucks will have an added advantage of moving deep into the areas inhabited by the low-income group. Aptly called “Janta Food Vans”, these trucks will collect the food from the depot and move themselves to locations where the concentration of working class is higher.