It’s been an eventful couple of months since we launched. It’s fair to say that we have been overwhelmed by the interest Haus Khaas has generated and the positive feedback foodies as well as our ever-growing tribe of home chefs have given us. We do get questions regularly “about us” and thought a chat with our founder, and in many ways the heart & soul of Haus Khaas, Sharmila Bhide would help answer some of these question.
Hi Sharmila, first – what is the thought behind Haus Khaas?
I see Haus Khaas as a platform that brings together passionate and talented home chefs and foodies who want to experience food beyond the usual “Poli Bhaaji” even while ordering from the comfort of their own homes. I am a foodie, as are many of us, and I also love to cook for my family. Some of our happiest memories are around the dining table at home – I’m sure this is true of families everywhere. Also going out to eat is losing it’s charm – it is unhealthy, food is recycled and the whole experience is just boring. Why should we endure that when there are plenty of talented home chefs out there who have so much to offer – variety, authenticity as well as quality? All that is needed is to give an opportunity to them to get in front of foodies who think similarly – that’s what we want to achieve with Haus Khaas!
You are the CFO of a software technology company that has so much buzz. What made you take on this added responsibility along with everything else already on your plate?
I like the pun! Like I said I am passionate about food and I truly believe in this idea. I know there are a whole bunch of food delivery startups around but I am convinced that we are different in so many ways. Most importantly I am convinced that our focus on home chefs cooking stuff beyond the usual is quite unique and potentially game changing in a crowded market. In more formal, business language I would say we want to disrupt the demand, supply and delivery aspects with this unique focus.
Then there is the technology element. It’s not really appreciated how much of an impact technology can have here. We are automating so much of the process of menu display, order taking and despatch and finally of delivery. We believe that digital marketing and social media will have a big role to play as we grow. I believe that my Calsoft background helps me get a better grip on this, more technical, side of the business.
What according to you is the role played by Home chefs today?
Home Chefs form an important but relatively small part of the vibrant, growing and disorganized food market in India. They have so much to offer – they bring so much authenticity to the table and there are so many cuisines waiting to be explored by foodies! A problem they face is that each home chef is limited to their circle of friends and family. There is no way they can reach out to potential clients beyond their immediate circles. Then there is the delivery problem – many do not, cannot deliver and therefore their reach is restricted.
By using the power of the internet and mobile phones, we want to provide a common platform where they are instantly discoverable by foodies and their reach is magnified!
What is your vision for the future of Haus Khaas?
We have started small in some parts of Pune. First we want to extend our reach here and cater to the hundreds of requests we have been getting from areas we don’t yet service today. Assuming everything works out we could move into other centers in India. The end objective is potentially to become an aggregator for home chefs across India and indeed the world. Authentic home chefs can enlist themselves and foodies everywhere will get good, home cooked, genuine cuisine. How does that sound?
Is there anything you would like to leave us with?
Just that it’s time to look beyond the restaurant for food. Eating at home, with your family does not have to be boring. Don’t compromise on the experience in the interest of convenience – give an opportunity to these wonderful, talented home chefs to introduce you to the great food they have been cooking for their families for years. It will be a special experience that you will keep coming back to.