With an ambition to be the largest food retail firm in India, Future Group CEO Kishore Biyani is all set to get into foodtech business. The company will soon launch cloud kitchens, through which it aims to serve everything from breakfast to dinner to Indian consumers.
We are talking about cloud kitchen and ready-to-eat food at customers’ home at Rs 40, Biyani told ET.
For this, Future Group will invest Rs 1,000 crore into its food and FMCG arm of the group. The company plans to use services of FuturePay app under its digital project Tathasthu for getting food delivered to consumers.
Though, he did not divulge details about the dateline of the launch of the services. It’s also not clear at the moment whether Future Group’s cloud kitchen will also have in-house delivery fleet or leverage Swiggy, Zomato and other third parties logistics service.
Currently, in a few outlets, they have been offering the service offline, according to Entrackr sources. We also called up Future Group to know about the current status. As per our talks with customer care executive, the services are available at few Big Bazaar stores.
However, they said online services may take time.
Earlier, Future Group had kicked off delivering daily essential food items such as milk, eggs, and bread in July 2018.
Biyani is also working to improve back-end operations and distribution for food delivery business. His food grip project is expected to help it add Rs 70,000 crore worth of goods per annum into the system.
In the last couple of years, Future Group has extended its network and made around seven acquisitions to put together a total retail space of 14.8 million sq ft with a presence in 340 cities. The group also plans to open around 15,000 small stores in the next five years.
According to an industry estimate, online food ordering and delivery is pegged at Rs 50K crore market. It is expected to grow at 15 per cent every quarter.
Cloud kitchen firms only package and deliver food to consumers, they don’t offer the dine-in facility. Over the past couple of years, a slew of cloud kitchen brands including Faasos, Freshmenu, and Box8 have emerged and Biyani’s virtual kitchens would compete with them.
There is no doubt that Future Group has an opportunity to own a chunk in burgeoning foodtech space if it’s able to offer food at an affordable price for consumers across the country.
Will they or won’t they, only time will tell.