Online homemade food delivery is getting increasingly popular in Bangladesh day by day. People who work in Dhaka city have a common concern for food all the time. In Dhaka, ordering food from restaurant is costly and unhygienic. Even if some of the restaurants are hygienic, most of them are harmful for health. Besides, millennials seek convenience and value time-saving. Thus, they are showing an ever increasing demand for food delivered to their houses or offices. For those who are concerned about healthy food, there is no other option except homemade food.
The world is already facing disruption in the food industry and Bangladesh is no different. In the last couple of years, food delivery services such as Foodpanda, HungryNaki etc. have caused significant changes in consumer behavior as people now eat restaurant food in the comfort of their home.
There is huge demand for homemade food in our neighboring country India where an incredibly successful business model of ‘Dabbawala’ meets the demand of homemade food. They deliver fresh food to the customer right on time, every time. Their business model banks on their incredibly efficient delivery system. Harvard Business School termed it to be the world’s best food delivery system which earned a Six Sigma performance by Forbes Magazine. This business has not only provided a saving mechanism for the customers who are mostly office workers, but it has also provided huge employment opportunities to the home cooks and especially the delivery men who are called the ‘Dabbawala’ and hence the name. Around 5000 delivery men are responsible for 200,000 delivery boxes each day and can earn Rs. 8,000 monthly, guaranteeing them a life-long job. But surprisingly, this intricate and huge volume of delivery was not done with any technology back in 1890 Bombay. Rather it started off as a complete manual work. They have recently revamped their operations by combining digital services which will undoubtedly enhance the service further. This example of Dabbawala provides for hope and inspiration for the Bangladeshi startups and highlights factors where the company can introduce improvements especially in logistics to enhance the experience. Therefore, with the development of technology, infrastructure, growing middle class and rising income, we can expect people to increase their consumption in the online marketplace, allowing this sector to make some room in the economy and become the next act of urban genius.
Mostly two companies of Bangladesh are making name for themselves with a unique approach to homemade food delivery services. These are Cookups and HomeChef. Cookups was started by Namira Hossain and Misha Ali who shared their love of cooking. They noticed how people often craved for home cooked meals and different delicacies, especially when families are increasing in working members who do not find the time to cook their meals. They wanted to create a platform that would bridge a gap between them and home cooks. Cookups started out as a Facebook group and now operates as a full-fledged platform while outsourcing their delivery services. This platform not only allows people to have home-made food of different cuisines but also they are providing the home cooks with a purpose in life and an earning opportunity while doing what they love, and to showcase their culinary talents while not taking the hassle or risk of running a separate business. The home cooks have the flexibility to decide their menu and post attractive photos of their food and take orders accordingly. Cookups also ensures that the kitchens of the cooks meet their safety and hygiene standards. The platform also allows the users to anonymously rate the cook which Cookups use for evaluation.
While on the other hand, HomeChef follows a similar business model but allows the users to note down the recipes of the food they are ordering and explore the taste of amazing Bangladeshi cuisine. Founded by Mr. Ashiqur Rahman Rean, Homechef started out merely as a recipe sharing platform and later evolved to bridge the gap between demand and supply of homemade and healthy food. Since the market is underdeveloped at the moment, Homechef has started out with a small community targeting office lunch and tiffin for children along with providing takeaway service. They offer services in Dhaka and Chittagong and working to expand in other divisions in Bangladesh. Unlike Cookups they use their own delivery team now but might start outsourcing if they find reliable services. The home cooks are recruited on a referral basis and even though Homechef does not carry out a formal quality inspection of the kitchen, they carry out a quality control mechanism by ensuring positive reviews of the home cooks before their registration. Homechef plans to introduce an app in the near future that will have a location based delivery system which will allow users to find home cooks in their area.
The market for home-made food delivery services is still in a nascent stage and some people are still not convinced with the phenomenon of ordering home-cooked foods online. Although many people are now coming out of this conventional mindset, it will take time for this market to become popular.
In the realm of global corporate leadership, one name resonates loudly across industries and regions: Indra Nooyi, the former CEO of PepsiCo. Hailing from the diversified India, Indra changed the face of PepsiCo when the brand was witnessing dwindling popularity. After she stepped down as the CEO after 24 glaring years in PepsiCo., market analysts are terming the position “very hard to replace” in wake of Indra’s bold and thoughtful leadership style.
This year, the theme for International Women’s Day is aptly kept- #BalanceforBetter. In Bangladesh, Ready Made Garments (RMG) has been the frontrunner in empowering females, where 4 million women found their earning source. Over the years, SME sector has also witnessed surge in active women entrepreneurs, who are highly motivated and aspired to take their business to a whole new level. The growing participation of young female entrepreneurs in F-commerce realm also deserves accolades. In corporate level, however, an unbalanced trend is discerned as we move up along with the hierarchy ladder. Female employees start falling out as they move to the mid-level in career and start having their own family responsibilities, resulting in a vacuum in top leadership positions. In many research and survey conducted internationally, it has been reflected that women make difference in the boardroom and in the company culture when they are put at helm of a company. It is high time, local corporates should recognize the fact and start working on the female potentials to the betterment of the company and coming up with suitable initiatives and facilities for them. Perhaps, down the line, Bangladesh may give birth to a number of Indra Nooyi’s who will change the face of the total economic scenario with their prudent leadership skills.Download View