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Last Updated Wednesday October 18 2017 04:02 AM IST
Other Stories in Business Boom

Snob Tiffin, health tiffin

P. Kishore
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business

There are a few regular faces that one meets in the lifts. They are delivery boys who bring home-made food for those living in the flats. They come in the mornings, noon and evenings to deliver food to those lazy people living in the flats who can’t cook for themselves.

The tiffin business has become a big one in cities. Even those who have food restrictions are spoilt for choices by these companies. For example, food without salt, oil or spices are available. There are even tiffin makers who make food according to what a nutritionist prescribes for you.

You know that the business has much potential when you consider the fact that it is being run these days by those who graduated from the IIMs or those who were senior managers in big firms. However, they are different from the regular tiffin makers because they make food according to calorie requirements of customers. Those unfortunate beings who calculate calories in each food item they consume are good business targets for these companies.

Startups such as iTiffin, Calorie care, Nutri town are all small firms that have received millions as investments because of their status as startups.

The business of such firms is being helped by lack of manpower for household chores in the cities. Even when people are available, they bring with them a lot of problems. Busy people or plain lazy chaps do not have the time to cook for themselves. Considering the quality of hotel food, that option is best left untried. It is in these circumstances that tiffin companies have become a boon.

The boon however comes at a cost because bespoke food is not cheap. One needs to pay these tiffin startups at least for a month. Food would be delivered in the morning and evening. A firm in Bangalore demands Rs1800 for a five-day tiffin. It does not involve rocket science to calculate how much it would cost for one meal, if ten meals cost Rs 1800.

Such companies make money by investing heavily and pampering the rich ones who feel that the sky will fall down if they miss one helping of protein or if they consume fat a bit too much. These companies are not for those bachelors in hostels who are happy with a square meal full of the local fare.

If you are an entrepreneur, starting such a firm can bring in profits because clients of such companies do not eat much! A cup of cooked rice, an excuse of a chappathi, a small piece of chicken and a motley mix of low-cost green vegetables can be presented as bespoke, high-nutrition food. The snob value will keep the client happy and the entrepreneur smiling. If your city or town is full of such people who are too sensitive about their food and are ready to spend for not eating, you are in luck.

Tailpiece: It seems a local 'sadya' with three 'payasams' would add 8000 calories into your body. Perhaps that is why old timers used to joke that they need not have food for three days, if they have the chance to eat a good sadya.

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