Published: 16th June 2021
Two 20-year-olds from Rourkela have decided to make digitising restaurants their mission
And, they are going to do it for free in the year 2021. This is how the cookie crumbles at TechnoCrat, the latest FoodTech start-up to emerge out of Odisha. We find out more about it
Here's a rather gross did you know. So...did you know that the menus available at restaurants are the filthiest things you can touch? Just think about it, they are rarely cleaned and held by many. Now imagine this in the light of the ongoing pandemic. When Rourkela lads Soumya Ranjan Dash and Brijendar Singh came across this fact, they cringed too, just like you did. Then, they proceeded to ask themselves how they can make order-placing contactless, a question, they admit, many have asked and answered already. So what is TechnoCrat, which is what their start-up is called, doing differently since it launched in September 2020? Let's find out.
They have a few restaurants in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Baleshwar who have shown interest
Here's what TechnoCrat is proposing to restaurants in Rourkela for whom digitising is still a very new concept: There are two plans, the basic one is priced at Rs 499 while the premium one at Rs 999. The first one will enable you to place a QR code at your restaurants' table which the customers can scan to get the menu and place the order. The premium plan allows you to edit the menu on the go without changing the QR code. Then there are features like a feedback panel for customers, displaying information about discounts and seasonal offers. What serves as the cherry on the cake is that both plans are being offered for free for this year. "Initially, when we took this proposal to a restaurant, they said that no one would buy it even for Rs 50. But we knew that there are restaurants that want to digitise but don't have the know-how. Which is how we had ten restaurants on board by the end of 2020," explains Soumya. While owners who were tech-savvy like that of Tamarind Sky Restro, Hideaway Restaurant & Cafe and The Prestige Hotel took to it immediately, others needed to see the benefits to opt for it.
Soumya Ranjan Dash and Brijendar Singh
Apart from resisting technology, there were many questions that the founders had to face, but the reassurance of a 24x7 helpline quickly doused the doubts. "We wanted to start a grocery delivery platform first because we thought it would serve during lockdowns, but by investing our own pocket money of about Rs 5,000 and developing the backend ourselves, we decided to go ahead with this," says Soumya who is pursuing his graduation in Computer Application at Rourkela Institute of Management Studies and so is Brijendar.
They also offer the option of online delivery under their premium plan
'If you need motivation, don't do it' — this famous quote by entrepreneur Elon Musk is one of the driving forces of the duo. This pushes these software developers to handle the business side of things as well. The initial days were a real struggle, even their family members would struggle to understand what exactly the youngsters were up to. But one would say they have come far from those days, isn't it?
Getting work done
Whenever the duo found that their motivation was depleting, they always had the CEO of Tesla Motors to look up to. 'Take risks now, to do something bold, you won't regret it', Musk had once said. And they continue to follow this adage.
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