Chindian anyone?

I’m sorry for getting lost again. I’m in my final month of college and it’s just getting crazier than ever. But it will all end soon and I’ll finally be able to call myself a professional!

(Love the sound of that! =D)

Anyways, so as you’ve been seeing I’m always either trying out recipes or reviewing restaurants, I thought of writing a piece with a whole new different news peg in my head.

We all love NoodlePlay, don’t we? But ever wondered how it all began?

Read on to find out more…

“It just happened. Our customers started believing in the food we served and wanted to become a part of this business. And it so happened that one day, I had gone personally to deliver the food to this one particular customer and he really liked what we cooked so he made me sit down to discuss and a few minutes later, he became a part of it.” says Hitesh Bhatia, the brainchild behind the most talked about crowd funding business in town- NoodlePlay.

Crowd funding has become a huge deal in our country all of a sudden. This may be because there is so much competition among the small businesses themselves that they find it quite a struggle to survive. So this whole new definition, gives them a chance to showcase to the world what they are capable of doing. They usually get their funds from the internet but NoodlePlay had it easy and was lucky enough to get all the support it could from its very own customers.

NoodlePlay, one of the first Chindian food delivery startups of its kind started back in November 2014. When it first began, it was not known to everyone but slowly grew popularity through word of mouth and social media.

It was a new, quirky concept that didn’t really exist before so people started getting quite fascinated by it. Their customers were extremely loyal and saw the potential of this business hence in the beginning there were six people who funded it in all. Out of which three were customers and the other three were people from the industry.

It had managed to raise 1 crore from a group of angel investors that included Elliot Stechman (Managing Director, EK Wireless), Gautam Sinha (Co-founder of Myfirstcheque) and Ambarish Ray (Director at Metal Communications). They used these funds to strengthen the backend process and to expand across Mumbai. Slowly, the company managed to sustain itself well with whatever funds they got and today, it is doing extremely well for itself.

It happens to be one of the few virtual restaurants in Mumbai that deliver Chinese food with an Indian twist to your doorstep. The food that you receive involves a great combination of flavours that keep your taste buds alive. You can order your food through their website, Twitter, Facebook or the app.

NoodlePlay came into existence because Mr Bhatia, the founder claims that Indians have always been crazy about Chinese food. “People love their noodles and fried rice. It is the most loved food and it has been observed that they prefer Chinese food over pizza and all the other junk food.” he says.

They have tried to set the menu keeping in mind the preferences of Indians and hence you will find dishes like Punjabi Tadka Noodles, Paneer Chilly and Black Pepper Chicken on their menu.

You can either choose the particular dishes you want or they also allow you to build your own meal. This gets the customers more involved and makes the food feel more personal to them. Every meal you order comes with a fortune cookie that tells you what the future holds for you.

It consists of a network of kitchens that are hired and works pretty much like the Uber for food. It creates a platform which is extremely user-friendly and accessible at all times. It allows people both online and offline payments.

Being extremely curious about the whole “29 minutes or free” delivery service, Mr Bhatia tells me that it has a funny story behind it. “One night, I was out with a couple of friends, chilling like old times and started talking about this new venture of mine. It was then a friend of mine had hoped to get free food and I came about with this brilliant idea. Usually other restaurants try their best to deliver food within 30 minutes, I stuck to 29.” he says.

It focusses on spreading its brand online rather than investing in physical outlets. NoodlePlay has tied up with local caterers in each location and trains their staff on the various cuisines and dishes. Hitesh Bhatia being a hotel management graduate with an MBA in International Business with over 10 years of hands on experience in various diverse verticals linked to the Indian Diasporas makes all of this look like a piece of cake!

The USP of NoodlePlay is authentic Chindian as this is still a cuisine that not many people are very familiar with as yet. It has been getting a lot of response from office goers and lazy housewives who seem to find it extremely convenient and home-friendly. The food is neatly packaged, hygienic, of high quality and reaches your doorstep in no time.

Noodle Play managed to set up 9 outlets in six months and then brought it back to one that currently functions in Bandra. They don’t plan to expand out of Mumbai for at least the next two years although they do have their eyes to enter the Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities once it establishes itself in Metropolitan cities.

So if you’re fed up of the regular takeout and looking for something experimental like tasty Chindian food, then just click that button and order to indulge in a delectable fare that you will definitely not regret!

If you liked/disliked this piece, please do feel free to comment below.

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