Culinate: Celebrating Food

Rajiv Kumar,Founder & CEO

Rajiv Kumar

Founder & CEO

The trend of food start-ups has been catching the spotlight and India seems to be having a growing appetite for such start-ups. However, there are well-funded food initiatives that have shut down and there are people who make sweeping statement like ‘Food is not viable business’ anymore. New Delhi based food start-up, Culinate, going beyond the norms has shown how food entrepreneurship can be a viable business pursuit. The brand Culinate, is a perfect blend of Culinary, the science of putting together high quality & sustainable food ingredients and Curate, the art of finding recipes from across the globe and fuse it with locally available ingredients and deliver an authentic gourmet experience.

Culinate was conceptualised in 2015, a time when food commerce as a new age entrepreneurial pursuit was dwindling with failures all around with the likes of well-funded TinyOwl, Dazoand others. There was utter chaos but it was also the time when people were open to trying new cuisines and challenge their pallets. We were focussed to serve people with these mindsets.We ventured into the food space with the idea of serving chef created global cuisines made with organic ingredients. Our cuisine is designed to suit the average office goers and senior
executives alike and that is the segment that orders repeatedly and is the fastest growing segment in food ordering,” mentions Rajiv Kumar, Founder & Ceo, Culinate.

With more than 12,000 customers and serving more than 75,000 meals, Culinate has grown in excess of 30 percent in terms of net new customers and revenue. Soon we are looking at repeating our Noida and Delhi success story in Gurgaon too

With no background in food, it was sheer passion and the love for gourmet food that led Rajiv to start this venture. “Initially no one was even willing to work with us, dark kitchen model isn’t most favourite amongst the hotel management guys. We all learnt the tricks of commercial cooking the hard way,” he speaks. Eventually with quality food delivery and relentless customer focus, Culinate has reached to a position now where they have over 70 percent repeat business.

Quality. Taste. Hygiene.
Known to deliver curated ready-to-eat boxes that take out the hassle of cooking healthy and tasty exotic dishes, team Culinate leaves no stone unturned to ensure predictability in taste, portion, delivery and more importantly maintaining hygiene at every step. The company is one of the initial adopters of Ultrasonic Technology to clean meat, fruits and veggies that confirms Zero bacteria, Pesticides, Insecticides, Salmonella Virus resulting in a complete germ-free experience.

Explicating on hygiene that Culinate adopts, Rajiv says, “We
clean our kitchen with pressure steam in 3 schedules every day. This ensures even the stickiest of greases to be wiped out without using any chemicals. We have separate stations for veg and non-veg preprep to packaging. Also, we consciously recycle water and that has helped us save any thing between 25-40 litres of water every day”.

“Our packaging is 100 percent biodegradable and food Grade. We ensure great experience for our customers with every meal they order from Culinate,” he further adds.

The Growth Story
With more than 12,000 customers and serving more than 75,000 meals, Culinate has grown in excess of 30 percent in terms of net new customers and revenue. Unlike a food ordering service, they have invested in the entire value chain. The company has set up channel market fit for growth like hub models for delivery and central kitchen system. Further, they are looking at creating smart pickup points across office areas and residential hubs in the front end. By March 2018 Culinate will be operating in three cities of Noida, Delhi and Gurgaon.

“We’re working on two parallel concepts – Culinate-on-Wheels, A Food Truck that acts much more than just a Point of Sale vehicle. It is successfully taking the Brand and it’s offering various food festivals, residential societies and corporates where people enjoy and sample the gourmet offerings on the spot and Culinate-on-Greens – A French Bistro concept with open air lush green lawn and children’s play area where families can enjoy, Bikers can come and rejoice after a weekend ride. Our first ‘Culinate on Greens will be ready by February 2018 in Noida and we’re working on similar concept for Gurgaon as well,” avers Rajiv.