Thursday, February 29, 2024

3 College friends start online bakery: It’s now a Rs 75 cr business

Started in 2016, Bakingo – an online bakery – works on a cloud kitchen model, and is a multi-crore revenue business today with a presence in over 11 cities in the country. 

The road to Bakingo began six years before the venture when three college friends – Himanshu Chawla, Shrey Sehgal and Suman Patra – from New Delhi’s Netaji Subhash University came together for their entrepreneurial efforts. 

After a few years in corporate jobs post finishing college in 2006 and 2007, the trio founded their first venture Flower Aura, an online flower, cake and personalised gifting company started in 2010.

“Flower Aura had very humble beginnings from a basement in Gurugram,” Suman told The Weekend Leader while talking about its journey.

The venture was launched with ₹ 2 lakh capital in February 2010, a year before Suman joined in.

“Initially, we had just one employee who worked as a customer service representative and also managed operations and delivery,” he added, before going on to talk about the breakthrough day. 

Valentine’s Day of 2010 – Order count rose exponentially, and the co-founders Himanshu and Shrey had to pitch in to manage the deliveries of the order.

“That day, Himanshu hand and I delivered at least 50 per cent of the orders across Delhi NCR,” added Shrey.

The venture witnessed exponential growth, and the founders thought it was the right time for expansion.

In 2016, Himanshu Chawla, Shrey Sehgal and Suman Patra founded Bakingo as a separate brand under a new company.

The venture focuses on filling in the gap of a business that could offer the same brand of fresh cakes with the same taste from multiple locations across the country.

“Bakery business in India has traditionally been a more localised experience, almost like a boutique, that might serve the best product, yet fails to scale up with outlets at multiple locations,” Himanshu said.

The company offers a wider range of cakes to choose from, not just in big cities like Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Delhi NCR but also in tier two cities, including Merrut Panipat, Rohtak and Karnal, among others.

Close to 30 per cent of Bakingo’s sales happen through its website, while the remaining 70 per cent of sales happen on other food portals such as Swiggy and Zomato. 

The company finished the FY 2021-22 with a turnover of ₹ 75 crores and has a workforce of over 500 people. Bakingo also opened its first offline outlet in Delhi this year. 

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