#WONEConnect: Q & A time with Rishabh Lohia, founder of Delhicioso!
Fast growing Start-Up Founder Interviews
By Emily Lansdowne (on behalf of WONE Internship)
Delhicioso! is a food delivery service that brings home style meals to your desk (office or university) so you can have nutritious, yummy meals when you are too busy to cook.
What lead you to start Delhicioso?
“I worked in consultancy for almost 6 years and that was enough time to know it is not what I want to do for the rest of my life. I realised that I had to choose between following my passion for food and making money, so I changed career and didn’t look back. I wanted to do something rewarding, so I did a small internship in a start-up that gives an online presence to independent restaurants.
When a friend said I should open a restaurant I first began to properly consider it. In the end I decided the initial cost was too high; no one invests in restaurants, they invest in concepts. I discovered a small gap in the food delivery market while I was studying in Barcelona, so I tested demand for the product with my university peers…and that’s how Delhicioso! was born.”
Why the food industry?
“I have always loved food, since I was a little kid. As I grew older I cooked for my friends when we hung out and played Fifa. I wanted to be in the food industry and initially I toyed with the idea of opening my own restaurant.”
Why did you choose Barcelona as your start-up location?
“I came here to do my masters, at ESADE, because they had a great focus on food entrepreneurs so that’s what brought me here from India. It was only after researching that I realised what a great city I had come to. There is a huge start-up culture here that produces so many creative people. Barcelona attracts an international crowd that means you are constantly making connections. I want to avoid bigger cities like London & Paris because there’s already so much competition there – you end up fighting for a very small piece of the pie.”
What has been your proudest moment since launching in March 2017?
“Even more than the financial success, the feedback we have received from our customers makes me so proud. I have had people come up to me and say “That was the best food we have ever had”. Customers send me emails telling me they have tried lots of other delivery services but ‘Delhicioso!’beats them all. For me, hearing such great comments and knowing they are because we keep our quality standards high is what makes me proudest.”
What progress do you hope to see in the next year?
“By the end of the next financial year we want to open our own kitchen and shortly after the plan is to expand to Madrid. There is a growing change in the food delivery industry in Europe: delivery-only kitchens. The idea for Delhicioso! is to invite home chefs to share the space with us, like a co-working kitchen,. The future of the company will be about building a network of small delivery-only kitchens throughout the city.
I think in a years time you’ll be able to see us at food and music festivals, as well as regular street food events. I also have my eye on cities where the food market there isn’t so saturated, I think we could have success elsewhere too.”
What advice have you found useful during your start-up journey?
“I was a big fan of action movies as a kid; the Rocky Balboa ones were my favourite. They taught me “It ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward”, in other words consistency and persistency are crucial to running a start-up. Another phrase that has stuck with me is the Indian concept of ‘jugaad’: to dive first and then learn how to swim. It talks about fear being the thing that stops us and how we should ask ourselves “what’s the worst that could happen?”. More recently my inspiration and drive comes from Cross fit, it encourages me to challenge myself everyday and stop seeing life as a race.”