Mukunda Foods Private Limited, a kitchen robotics company set up in 2012. With the invention of the first product, Dosamatic, Mukunda Foods closed the gap and gave the kitchen a technological makeover. The technological lag in the kitchen is evident when one looks at how little cooking utensils have evolved over the ages. Mukunda Foods decided to close this gap by taking a determined step towards giving the kitchen a technological makeover. Dibyananda Brahma, VP- Growth, Mukunda Foods Pvt Ltd in an interaction with Nitisha shares the future plans and growth. Here are the excerpts;
Q. What brought this disruptive idea of mutating Indian kitchens?
We started a QSR brand and were doing really well. Our vision was to become, the McDonald’s of Indian food. But when we tried expanding more outlets, we started facing major challenges. The three challenges which we faced were reap: People, Product and Process. Initially our kitchen bot were for our internal usage and thus was the birth of DosaMatic. Once we started installing, we started getting a lot of media coverage and also a lot of hotel started to inquire about commercial price for the machine. We ended up selling 2000 units of DosaMatic in two years’ time. This is when we realized the gap in the kitchen automation segment.
Q. Revolutionizing traditional kitchen into a smart one, Mukunda foods role in it?
Microwave Oven was invented in the year 1946 and the Mechanical Wet Grinder was invented in the 1955. Post that, there has been hardly any real innovations. Where other Industry is looking at 4.0, we are probably at 2.0. Mukunda foods have a vision to take the Kitchen Automation at 4.0. We make the machines which are affordable and not too fancily priced. All our products give ROI in 9 to 12 months of time. So far Kitchen Automation has remain a facilitating topic then being actually being used. People become amused at seeing a kitchen bot but you don’t stare at your dishwasher/washing machine as it washes your dishes/cloths in fascination, because you know it’s going to work every time… Let’s get robots to that stage of reliability.
Q. Key clients and offerings in the market?
We are currently working with reputed F&B companies and Kitchens such as Rebel Foods, Ola Foods, ITC, Chaayos, Swiggy, Jubiliant Foodworks etc in automating parts of their foods and beverages. Till now, we have automated 14+ processes. Automatic Eco Fryer (with Double dip technology), Assistive Cooking Platform (ACP), Automatic Rice/Noodle maker, IOT enabled Impinger, Fast oven, Steam plus Microwave, DosaMatic, PizzaMatic etc. are some of our flagship products. We have technologies in making Pizza, biryani, Curries, flatbread & Pooris. Apart from IP’s that might be of specific interest to any F&B Chain.
Q. India has a contemporary mindset when it comes to cooking and designing their kitchen. How has the mindset changed and Mukunda Foods role to bring in people in this transformation?
Mukunda Foods is not a kitchen equipment company, We work as a Extended arm of kitchen automation partner. We go a long way in helping the brand win rather than just sell them the equipment. As we ourselves have first-hand experience of running a food outlet, we believe that food brand owners who want to expand fast, do new things & build a brand will need a partner like Mukunda Foods to help the brands meet their objectives.
We help a lot of brands even before the first rupee hits our accounts. We are choosy in the kind of brands Mukunda Foods works with; we work with those who align on the objective that ROI drriven automation is required for them. Indian market is potentially the largest market for kitchen automation. Though initially we had to educate the benefit of kitchen automation to clients and then pitch our solutions. But post installing 3000 plus bots across 27 countries, now almost all brands are reaching out to us to know more and at least check the opportunity.
Unlike other fancy kitchen bots, our bots are price sensitive and also guarantee ROI. Since we take care of all three aspects of the product (R&D, Manufacturing & Aftersales) it gives more confidence to the customer.
Q.Your R&D strength?
We have the India’s largest R&D team for kitchen automation. We have people of all kinds of background and specialization. Some of the Industry veterans are working with us along with young minds from the best engineering colleges.
Q. Any key products you want to highlight, features and specs?
Apart from DosaMatic, which has been one of the most sold product, we have now a range of solutions covering every aspect of cooking. We have an Automatic Eco-Fryer for frying, to an Automatic Cooking Station which can cook automatically almost all varieties of curries, rice, noodles & starter with world’s first IOT enabled Menu management. We have now Rice/Noodle machine which can automatically dispense the food item, clean, soke and cook the food with the traditional water dispersion method. We have technologies in making Pizza, biryani, Curries, flatbread & pooris. Apart from IP’s that might be of specific interest to any F&B Chain. All our machines are connected to each other and connect to the cloud. The biggest advantage has been that our customer can sit at any corner of the word and see the machine’s performance online. There has been many instance where our customers were able to add/edit menus of their food items online without any physical visit to any outlet.