- Indian Hotels, the operator of Taj Hotels, launched its food delivery platform Qmin at the peak of the pandemic.
- Born out of adversity, this start-up has been profitable since day one in the industry dominated by Zomato and Swiggy.
- Jehangir Press, associate VP, strategic accounts management group and commercial director, Qmin at IHCL speaks to Business Insider India about Taj’s value chain, growth story, journey so far and revenue goals for FY23.
Indian Hotels, the operator of Taj Hotels, launched its food delivery platform Qmin two years ago. At the height of the pandemic, instead of outsourcing the Taj Hotel Group’s delivery services to existing platforms, the Tata Group launched its own in-house platform in Qmin.
In the last two years, Qmin has generated revenues to the tune of ₹100 crore. This year alone, it hopes to clock in revenues to the tune of ₹80 crore.
“We are possibly the only food delivery platform that has been profitable from day one because we have found the right balance of using our existing resources,” Jehangir Press, associate VP, strategic accounts management group and commercial director, Qmin at IHCL, told Business Insider India.
The 90-minute delivery service
Zomato and its rival Swiggy together hold 90-95% market share in India’s food delivery business, but also burning cash. In the quarter ending March 2022, Zomato posted a net loss of ₹1,222 crore, which widened by ₹400 crore since last year.
With Qmin, the Tata Group could move away from having to depend on the likes of Zomato or Swiggy for deliveries. Qmin also gave the group complete control over the entire value chain from food preparation to delivery.
“We have 100% control – over the value chain and with that, you are in control of the safety, hygiene, and health of everything that you’re sending out. Also, we obviously cannot compromise on hygiene and safety. We took a call and even though it costs us substantially more, we went with the complete ecosystem,” said Press.
Unlike its competitors that have been focusing on chopping their delivery time from 30 minutes to 10 minutes, Qmin says it has prioritized safety, security, hygiene, sustainability and delivering a luxurious experience.
Qmin takes up to 90 minutes to deliver its orders. Its menu starts from ₹200 onwards and Qmin’s family feast widget and Fiama pizzas are the most ordered meals on the app.
It has delivered over a million meals to consumers so far and donated over 57,000 meals to flood-affected areas of Assam.
From luxury food delivery to gourmet dining cafes
While it started off as a gourmet food delivery service, Qmin has expanded into different food categories with the launch of its food truck, gourmet eatery shops and Qmin quick service restaurant (QSR).
Its food trucks are stationed outside corporate offices and it also caters to private house parties.
Qmin shops, present in Mumbai and Delhi, retail international food items such as breads, handcrafted cheeses, meats, patisserie items, etc.
Qmin also has 13 QSRs in Bengaluru and will be expanding its presence in the country in the coming months.
“We’re looking at atleast 100 plus shops in QSRs to very quickly open up all across the country. Our truck business will also grow, (but) not at the same pace. The shops are where we see the major growth,” said Press.
Qmin is also looking at expanding its presence across borders, starting with the UK, US and UAE markets.
While delivery and retail shops contribute almost equally to Qmin’s overall sales, Press is confident that retail shops will contribute a lion’s share of the revenue in the near future.