Momo-entous beginnings

Momo-entous beginnings

Zomoz, a Hyderabad-based quick-service restaurant chain, has become the fastest-growing momo brand, overtaking the growth rate of its competitors. Founded by Shouvik Dhar, an ISB alumnus, the story of the city-based QSR chain began in 2016 with a small two-bedroom apartment and five hand-made momo makers. The need for automation to assure scalability and consistency became apparent as orders increased and the chain invested in state-of-the-art technologies very early on. The company was profitable, but the coronavirus pandemic forced the closure of its mall & corporate outlets, resulting in a significant loss in revenue. Soon, they joined hands with Rebel Foods, the world’s largest internet restaurant company, which owns brands like Faasos, Ovenstory, Behrouz Biryani and more, to scale Pan-India.
The brand is already present in eight cities around the country and is looking to expand further in order to provide high-quality dumplings to people all over the country. Elaborating on the inspiration behind starting Zomoz, Shouvik says, “I hail from a small town Silchar in Assam. Momos have been an integral part of the food culture there. My love for the product inspired me to start Zomoz. I have been a Radar Scientist in the Defence Research Development Organisation before going for an MBA at the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad. Post-MBA, I founded multiple companies in consulting, education and technology before founding Zomoz. Hyderabad is one of the fastest growing cities with a sizable population from other parts of the country. Although the exposure to momos was growing very rapidly in the city, there was no organised player in the market that specialised in the product.”
For any momo/dumpling brand, the basic or authentic varieties are the ones that give the customers the entry point into trying the extended menu, shares Shouvik. Hence, they spent months trying to perfect their basic vegetarian, paneer and chicken momos. “Once we were confident that we were serving the best quality authentic momos in the market, we innovated on other fusion varieties. Apart from the basic steamed, fried and tossed momos, we have innovated on our very own hot and crispy momos that is a customer favourite Pan-India,” he says.
Further adding, “Zomoz believes in the motto of serving the most “value” for money products with genuine ingredients. Each of our products has been crafted and perfected such that they are second to none. Our vegetable momos are cooked in butter; we source fresh malai paneer directly from local farms for our paneer momos; our chicken momos have no binders like soya to dilute the taste. We believe in serving the best quality products across the board. Apart from that, we take pride in surprising our customers with variants that they might never have encountered. Our “Hot and Crispy” line is an example of that. We are also the first Pan-India brand that is launching steamed baos for our customers.”
Pandemic has been challenging for all, for Zomoz too, the road after the pandemic was challenging. “Zomoz has been a profitable brand pre-pandemic. But the pandemic was very hard on us. We permanently lost two of our business channels, viz, corporate counters and B2B sales. However, our lean operating model was a boon to us when we started operations post-pandemic. We realised that the consumer focus had shifted to online ordering and that made us shift focus to open, what we call, micro locations across the city of Hyderabad.
Our model was so effective that we could make a single-brand cloud kitchen profitable with just 12 daily orders. That prompted us to expand aggressively through the Covid-19 years. Over the last six months we have set foot in six new cities,” Shouvik says. Shouvik and his team intend to use their competitive advantage of automated food manufacturing and superior distribution capabilities to scale brands around other encrusted food products, such as baos, ravioles, pockets and many more.
Source – TheNewIndianExpress

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