We are publishing an interview of Mr. Satyajit Roy, CEO, Everyday Gourmet Kitchen (EGK) Foods Pvt. Ltd. – A Mumbai based food processing startup which eliminates the time wasted in the mundane, cumbersome process of peeling, chopping, cutting & frying onions.
About the founders
Satyajit Roy is fondly known in food circles as OnionKnight. Currently the CEO of EGK Foods Pvt. Ltd., a food processing concern that deals primarily with Onions and its by products, Everyday Gourmet Kitchen has grown exponentially in the past 18 months. With plans to build a modern innovative factory that is compliant with all the sustainability laws, Satyajit and EGK Foods are dedicated to make a real difference to the Onion farmers and the Onion farming trade in the years to come.
What is the problem you are trying to solve? Can you share with us any insights that led you to believe that this is a big enough problem?
There is a 25% wastage of all onions that are grown in India. The reason being the farmers don’t get a fair price for the produce due to volatility of the markets and improper storage conditions. Since there is an abundance of produce we intend to make a dent in the wastage figure which stands at approximately 5 Million Metric Tonnes yearly.
What is the uniqueness about your Startup?
Our Flagship product EGK Fresh Fried Onions has proven to not only reduce the effort and time required in commercial kitchens but also in households where peeling, chopping and frying onions is one of the most laborious tasks till today.
On the back end we integrate with farmers to offer them fair prices for their produce and hence help them to avoid the volatilities of the market. This helps them to do what they do best, which is concentrate on the quality of their produce and make sure that their crops come out healthy.
What is the revenue model? Explain your thought process.
As we are a traditional brick and mortar business we have learnt that the best way to sell our product is to get commercial kitchens to try it first. Once we overcome that hurdle, we find that the benefits of the same are seen by everyone. Not only is time and effort saved, but in most cases two, sometimes four (in larger establishments) people are freed up from a task that would have taken up most of their time.
We offer quality product at competitive prices and eliminate one of the most tiresome and laborious (not to mention tearful) tasks that exists today in any kitchen.
To that effect we do adopt the freemium model, in a way, as our initial samples are always free until we sign yearly tenders for fixed minimum quantities.
Who are the consumers that you are targeting? How is this going to affect them?
Currently we are heavily focused on the HORECA segment. We have found that larger establishments are quicker and keener to sign up with EGK for Fresh Fried Onions, especially in establishments where the cuisine is predominantly Indian or South East Asian.
Although our retail presence is very small currently but leveraging the power of the internet and the continued adoption of e-commerce and modern retail we hope that we will be able to reach many consumers directly in the next 12 months.
As 85% of all onions bought in India are fried, we see a future where no one is frying their onions, but buying EGK Fresh Fried Onions to use directly. For all our consumers, commercial or non-commercial, we provide a value add in terms of time taken in cooking, effort required in peeling, chopping and frying and most importantly tears shed while cooking!
What is the big picture of your startup? Will it lead to something bigger? If so, how?
We hope to make a serious dent in the 25% (5 Million Metric Tonne Annually) wastage of Onions produced by building out the infrastructure necessary as well as reaching the farmers directly to buyback their produce to affect the yield wastage. We hope to take advantage of the #StartUPIndia as well as the #MakeInIndia programmes as well as work through institutions like the World Bank and United Nations Programmes who are already doing some great work through Self Help Groups across the nation.
What is the success story of your startup in your own words?
EGK Foods has started from my home dining table where every Sunday morning there would be immense onion fumes because of our once a week sinful family indulgence of Mutton Biryani. I started off EGK to get rid of my mothers onion tears, and we soon realised that this was a universal issue that needed solving. In a 18 moths we have gone from selling 2KGS of Fresh Fried Onions a day (10 KGS Raw Onions Processed) to now within the next 3 months we will touch close to 1 Metric Tonne / day (5 Metric Tonnes Raw Onions Processed).
Our premises have grown from 150 sq ft premises to now 5000 sq ft shed which is upto all international standards. From 4 employees to 30 now.
As we continue to scale this business out we know that the challenges ahead of us are extremely complex and tough to execute, but that is what makes this journey worth, at least, trying to succeed in.