When I think about my most favorite food, something that always tops the list is Biryani. Whether it’s the traditional ‘teh wali’ biryani or the sumptuous dum biryani. Biryani has always been a cult favorite. Indian cuisine is incomplete without it.
A very interesting survey of 2019 based on the annual report by food delivery giant Swiggy (on the food ordering habits of Indians), displayed that Indians order an average of 95 Biryanis per minute! Another set of statistics display that 200 biryanis were ordered via three food delivery apps which brings the total to a whopping ten crore in a year!
Phew! That is a lot of Biryani!
So where did the magic begin?
The origin of this treasured dish lies in many ancient stories. Biryani comes from the Persian word Birian, which means fried before cooking. And Birinj which means Rice. Historians believe that this lip-smacking dish has Persian roots and was brought into India by the Mughals.
While the origin of biryani is still highly contested, it has not failed to make its way into homes all over the world. In India itself, ever since its origin, people have managed to come up with an endless number of variants of the dish.
While the most priceless biryani is made by our moms at home, those who live alone or prefer outside food, are often on the search for the perfect biryani.
So this is where the question arises,
Is there a biryani devoted brand that offers home-like biryani at your doorstep?
Raymond Andrews and his Brand ‘Biryani Blues’ is the answer!
Raymond Andrews is an MBA from Symbiosis Pune. He has worked with renowned brands like Onida and Airtel. He has also worked in the field of insurance. He is the Founder of Soul Foods and most recently, Biryani Blues.
A corporate professional turned entrepreneur, Raymond’s dream was to always create his own business. Having even worked with giant corporate companies like Onida and Airtel, Raymond always felt something amiss. When his corporate job did not cater to his business-oriented mind, Raymond quit and started executing his own projects.
The Birth of Biryani Blues:
After a fair round of trials as well as errors, Raymond came up with a new startup idea. His love for Hyderabadi Biryani and the perfect mixture of his entrepreneurial spirit gave birth to one of India’s largest Biryani food chains, ‘Biryani Blues’. Which was Co-Founded by both Raymond as well as his wife Aparna Andrews.
Starring the cult favorite Hyderabadi Dum Biryani and some more star Hyderabadi dishes, the goal was to offer an authentic taste. Starting from a small location in Gurgaon, Raymond’s business now has almost thirty-eight outlets spread across the entire country and still scaling!
Interview with The Brand Called You
In an interview with The Brand Called You, Raymond has talked about his journey into this business and the several challenges faced while expanding it. As his business provides value for the money spent, Biryani Blues has been able to form a congregation of loyal and repetitive customers. With a repeat rate of 40-45%. Their USP being- providing the same standard and quality to all outlets.
On Startups and Scaling of Businesses:
Raymond’s opinions on startup businesses are backed by his own experiences and the knowledge that he has gained on his bittersweet journey.
When asked about his secret recipe to a successful startup and when startups should scale, the entrepreneur replies in a very balanced manner
“It all depends on the entrepreneur’s vision himself. For us, it’s very large, but some people would want to take it to a certain scale and then not want too much hassle. But I think the time to scale up will be only when you have been able to prove the unit economics of one model at least – that it’s working.
So today you can get swayed by a lot that’s happening in the old food tech space and fintech space where people are thinking that- the model will work later but let’s just first put so much scale that the ecosystem changes and people only start seeing you.
But for that kind of model, when you have a lot of financial backing and a lot of MNC Funding that you can keep pushing in your own vision. But if you’re not and you have limited funds then, you have to ensure that the model is not burning too much cash. And you’re able to actually make it work in at least one unit.”
Use of Technology:
Making use of modern technology, Raymond has successfully trained workers throughout the country and has a strong team behind the brand. And by solving complex issues and making quick decisions, Raymond has overcome the challenges on his journey. He has led Biryani Blues to the success that it is today. With an expanded and lip-smacking menu along with strategic planning and execution, Biryani Blues is now the fastest growing QSR in Delhi/NCR.
So the next time you’re craving for Biryani, why not get one at the comfort of your home?