"None of us founders were from the food industry. The only thing we knew about food was to taste how it is. So, we were looking for someone who was from the food industry. We hired a couple of people for that but it didn't work out well for us. They came in with pre- conceived notions of how a food business should be run and scaled up. We wanted to do things differently. The only food players who had scale were a McDonald's or a Domino's—western cuisine which was not really palatble for the Indian consumer. After the initial couple of hires, we realised that we wanted to change the game. Both these hires were from MNC food giants. One was working on operations and the other on supply chain. Most of the bigger players have a standardised way of operating the supply chain. That limited the food options that one can provide. We wanted to supply fresh Indian food which consumers can have every day. That is when we realised we wanted to do things our own way.
The senior management and the second tier at Faasos are not people from the food industry but mostly entrepreneurs who wanted to build something different on their own and are willing to take a risk. Jaydeep (Barman), my cofounder had put out an interesting emailer (for hiring) which got more than 2000 responses. It said we neither wanted anyone from the food industry nor who makes presentations before us. It clearly said that the candidates should not send CVs to us, but just a couple of lines on why they want to join Faasos. But 50 per cent of the applicants still sent their CVs and we rejected all of them.
In a startup environment, there is no clear structure or process. You are given real life problems and you solve it. Jaydeep and I recruited six people. In the last one year those six have recruited their own teams and they have also gone about the same way, where experience in a particular function was not so important as the willingness to do things differently.
Most of the top management have ESOPs in the business. We are introducing ESOP schemes for the second line as well. That is the draw. Nobody is going to put in that much blood and sweat otherwise. They should have a feeling that it is their own business."
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