21st century will always be remembered as an era of Startups in India. Startups and the entire technology ecosystem are the engines of growth for any country. With the government’s direct push and young people’s great enthusiasm, India now has thousands of recognized startups.
Today, we got an extraordinary story of a young entrepreneur Mr Akash Goyal who had no prior business experience and had started a food factory with the Brand Name ‘URBAN CHEF’ from scratch. Both his parents are in government jobs working as doctors, but he chose a completely different line for himself.
Mr Akash Goyal did his B-Tech in Mechanical Engineering from DIT, Dehradun and did post-graduation (M-Tech) in Food Plant Operation Management from National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management, NIFTEM, Sonipat. With his interest and knowledge in Food Factories and Product Development, he got selected by MNC Tasty Bite Eatable Ltd, Pune and joined his Campus placement.
After working for 2 Years, he left the company and came back home to start something of his own. It was never an easy decision to leave such a bright career at this early age, but he took all the risk and started his venture, AV Foods.
In the Year 2017, he started the construction work of his plant. He says he had no knowledge about construction work, electrical fitting, sanitary work and machine installation etc. But with time and by consulting his friends and family members, he kept himself working on this project. It took him 1-2 years to bring his plant to working condition.
In the initial time, he started basic Tomato Ketchup and Mayonnaise production. Now, he had the challenge of sales and marketing as he had never done it before. He started direct selling his products to shops and distributors in the local market.
He says, “Sales is the toughest and most crucial job for any business. The market is very rude and brutal. But once you start doing it, people accept you, and it becomes regular work. We have to innovate again and again to sustain in the market.” By the end of the year, they had added Ginger Paste, Garlic Paste, Green Chili Paste and Tandoori Mayonnaise. He had also developed Fruit Mayonnaise. It was a completely new product in the Market. It was focused on adding fruit value into the mayonnaise.
With greater penetration and acceptance of Urban Chef Products in the market, he gained a lot of appreciation, and he kept on adding new products to the URABN CHEF bucket. Apart from the mayo-based products like Achari Mayonnaise, and Mint Mayonnaise, he added Hummus and Tahini Paste.
While talking about the time of Lock Down and the Covid-19 situation, he says that they, too, had a very tough time. Their plant was closed for two months, and the market has returned all the earlier sold products that were struck at their end. People have reduced their expenses, and only essential commodities are on their purchase list.
He Says, “Those 2 years were real nightmare for us. We had lost all business during that period. Being alive was the only target of everyone. Many of my friends and family members were hospitalized during Covid Wave. My both parents being in medical profession working as doctor were also hospitalized for 2 months at Max hospital during Covid 1st Wave. It was really very tough situation. But with God’s grace, everything is normal now. Tough time makes you stronger.”
Today they have more than 20 products getting sold in different cities in Haryana, Punjab, Maharashtra and Rajasthan. They have different packing sizes like 1 Kg pouches, Retail 200 gm Spout Pouches, Retail 200/250 gm Jars etc.
His positive, disciplined and focused approach makes him different and extraordinary. Talking about his future plans, he says that he always keeps analyzing the market trends and keeps innovating new products. He is on a mission to provide high-quality products at economical rates. He wants to make his Brand ‘URBAN CHEF’ the most accepted brand in India. He says, “Customer acceptance and trust is our only mission. With increase in volume every day, our responsibility is also increasing. We will always work harder to sustain at this level of acceptance and will keep everyone surprising with our new innovative products.”
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