Started as HungryZone with 15 restaurants on board online food ordering and table reservation portal, Justeat now currently has over 2,500 restaurants on board, 52 cuisines and 3 lakhs dishes to choose from. In January 2011, it had tied up with the international Just-Eat Group , to expand its services to several cities across the country.
Justeat is headquartered in Bangalore with branches in Delhi and Mumbai, and is serving over 6.1 lakh registered foodies all over India. The portal assists the customers with features like One-Click Ordering, Checking Order Status, Buffet Search, Creating Future Orders, SMS Orders, and many more.
We caught up with Ritesh Dwivedy, Founder and CEO – Justeat.in to understand the status of online food ordering in India, how has Just Eat grown and future aspects of the company.[Edited Excerpts]
Inc42: Ever since the launch of Justeat, how has been the growth so far. What trends have you witnessed in overall journey?
Ritesh: We launched in July 2006 in Bangalore. Growth had been slow till 2010 as ecommerce + ordering takeaways wasn’t very popular. But those years helped us crystallize our Business processes and backend. Since 2010, we have registered order growth numbers of 150% y-on-y in last 3 yrs. And are looking at a similar number in 2014.
Inc42: With players like Foodpanda operating in the country, how would you like to differentiate Justeat from them? What’s you competitive advantage?
Ritesh: Multiple things (a) Our experience of having processed the maximum number of Online orders than anyone in India helps us make better products and processes for both our users and partner restaurants (b) Although part of the Justeat group, we have developed everything from scratch for India market and not done a copy paste job etc.
Inc42: Recently, Justeat raised a funding round, how are you planning to utilize it?
Ritesh: Couple of areas (a) Scaling our technology to the next level ensuring even better experience for our users and partner restaurants (b) Geographic expansion.
Inc42: Can you please explain us about the monetization model? How much revenue are you earning?
Ritesh: There are Three parts to our monetization model (a) Commission from restaurants on the order volume (b) Sign-up fee from restaurants (c) Top placement advertising revenues.
Inc42: What are the user demographics on the Justeat platform? Month-on-Month growth in number of visitors, unique visitors etc.
Ritesh: Our TG in one line would be: A working couple in the age group of 25- 35yrs, working in an IT / ITES company, who spends at least Rs.400/– on the weekends on ordering food from outside. As our business is cyclical in nature, peak of our growth happens in the month of October, November and December. Our new user acquisition is growing at 120% y-on-y.
Inc42: How many restaurants are currently listed on the website? How many cities are you operational in?
Ritesh: We have now close to 3k partner restaurants servicing 26 cities in India. Main focus cities are Bangalore, Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad etc.
Inc42: What’s the share of users coming up from the mobile? Do you feel mobile will overtake website traffic?
Ritesh: January 2013 Mobile orders were 3% of overall orders. As of January 2014, it’s now close to 30%. In developed markets where Justeat operates, the Mobile to Web orders are 50:50 right now. And we believe in India with the current trends where it is today the world’s fastest growing Smartphone market, it will reach that number by 2015.
Inc42: What are your plans for this year? Anything new we would be able to see on website? What are your growth targets for the coming fiscal year?
Ritesh: Main focus areas for us in 2014 are (a) Becoming a Mobile first company (b) Geographic expansion. Changes on the website are a continuous process and you would see lot more of it in 2014. We are targeting a 150% growth in orders in 2014.
Inc42: How big is the market size for online food industry in India? What’s the market share of Justeat in the same?
Ritesh: Food ordering business in India (Offline and Online) is close to a 60,000 Cr market. And in most developed markets 30% of this is Online today. In India, today that percentage is insignificant; however, it’s growing at the highest rate.
Inc42: Are you profitable? If not when will you be?
Ritesh: We are profitable in our Bangalore market, and getting close to profitability in Delhi NCR market. Profitability isn’t the focus for us right now; it’s more of grabbing market share which is the key driver for our business currently.
Inc42: What are the key challenges you have faced in building up Just Eat?
Ritesh: (a) Educating the restaurants about why they should have an Online channel partner (b) Building products and process which would work for an industry which even today is 95% unorganized with very low literacy levels of people who work in it (c) Making customer believe that their food will come if they order it online too.
Inc42: Do you think there is space for new entrants in the market? Any advice to the startups that are planning to enter into online food ordering.
Ritesh: This space is very exciting and heating up hence a very good time to start. However, one word of caution, this business requires high volume to turn profitable as margins are always under pressure. So if you got the appetite for then give it a shot.