Harsha Thachery was tired of eating takeout night after night.
Living in a new city, she craved homemade food but with the convenience of not having to cook herself. This inspired her to start Masalabox, a door-step delivery service offering meals cooked by home chefs.
“Our model ensures that you get good food that is cooked at home, and provides a sustainable stream of income to homemakers,” Harsha says.
Masalabox launched in Bengaluru in August 2015 and pivoted as a pure meal subscription service in April 2017. Masalabox has more than 150 home chefs and 10,000 users and counting. In addition to the meal subscription service, Masalabox also takes catering orders for corporate lunches, weekend parties or family gatherings. Today, meal subscription contributes to 60 percent of the business while the corporate orders contribute to 30 percent, the remaining are party orders.
Masalabox began using WhatsApp in its initial days as an easy contact point for customers and home chefs and in 2018, shifted to the WhatsApp Business app.
“Our customers always say they prefer WhatsApp over the other modes of reaching out,” Harsha says.
Masalabox now uses the WhatsApp Business app to engage with their customers and chefs on a daily basis, and get their views and feedback.
“Just the fact that almost everyone is a WhatsApp user helps immensely,” Harsha says. “The simplicity of the chat remains at the core. Also, something as simple as the profile setting which provides customers with information on Masalabox’s email, location and work timing adds to the authenticity of the brand. Since switching to the WhatsApp Business app, our retention rate has gone up by around 5 percent.”
Masalabox is currently working on adding more chefs and also looking to expand geographically to increase the serviceable area in the two cities. As it does, the WhatsApp Business app will be there to help along the way.