Jaydeep Barman

Founder and CEO of Faaso’s

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Founder and CEO of Faaso’s – the quick service fast food joint that serves wraps – Jaydeep  Burman is a man to behold! Faaso’s is basically the brainchild of two friends– Jaydeep and Kallol Banerjee. Their admirable efforts have allowed Faaso’s to become one of the leading companies in a short span of just eleven years. It has allowed itself to remain in India being the fastest and most trustworthy food brand here which is worthy of praise as well. Their food items vary from rice to wraps to gourmet dishes to starters and desserts.

Jaydeep, being very well-educated (a degree in production engineering from Jadavpur University, MBA from IIM-Lucknow and a degree from INSEAD, France for management programme), busted the myth that to excel at entrepreneurship one ought not have little or no education (People! Sigh.).

Early life & entrepreneurship:

40 years of age today, he began his career soon after completing his MBA.

He started his career, as the Vice President for Brainvisa Technologies in the year 2000. Brainvisa being a start-up, he worked there for at least 3 years and learnt about the ways to manage a start-up and many problems faced by them over the course of years. It was during this time that Jaydeep began to think of establishing his own start-up and the very next year he founded Faaso’s – as a Part-time business along with his friend-cum-colleague – Mr. Kallol Banerjee.

At the time, when they were doing so, Jaydeep also moved his job in order to maximize the learning prospects as their new VP in 2004.

After completing their management programme; the friendly duo instantly got an offer to work for “McKinsey & Co.” (a Consulting Firm in London) as their new Strategy Consultant.

The real reason for working at a consulting firm while having their own company – it was to gain some work experience, and also to generate sufficient income from their present jobs. And finally in 2010 they resumed their business.

Faaso’s

Jaydeep had always wanted to do something of his own; he knew he was meant for a greater purpose than what he was doing now. He also realised that no matter where they went; food will always be a problem not for them but for everyone, going anywhere. Problems like what to eat, how to pay and the delicious aroma of home food that brought about severe nostalgia raised many problems

When they went to the US, they encountered different food chains like Taco Bell, McDonald’s, Burger King etc. But Indian food was nowhere to be seen or sans-served and as is obvious, owing to the delicious nature of Indian food, they dearly missed it.

They observed that food on the run was a much-loved thing over there, and longed to have something like that in India too that would deliver street fast food in an instant at one’s whim. So, he came up with the idea of Faaso’s. In 2004, they set-up the offices with an initial investment of just 8 lakh rupees.

Faaso’s or Fanatic Activism Against Substandard Occidental Shit opened their first outlet in Pune! It had an open kitchen with a glass facade, air conditioning, and all the sorts of stuff.

They began to bleed a hell lot of money and in due course, lost their due working capital for the entire year in a matter of just four months.

It was then that they decided to chop down on all the ill add-ons and focus on two primary things and that being – food and service. Since then, Faaso’s began to climb up the ladders and into the space! (not literally; but yeah, in space!)

Now once they witnessed that Faaso’s was starting to stabilize; both the co-founders left for INSEAD, France in 2005 to study further and later went on to work at McKinsey & Co.

The business flourished under people who worked in Faaso’s from day one.

In a mere 14 months of time after their inauguration, the company surpasses their own cost and additionally, Faaso’s expanded to 6 more outlets within a very short span of time.

By 2009, the company had begun to gain the desired impetus and to keep it so, they required funds and investors. Hence, without further ado, Faaso’s raised a funding of INR 50 lakhs from Lunia Investment & Finance Pvt. Ltd, which was followed by a loan of 1 crore from SIDBI.

In 2010, about 4 years later, while working with at McKinsey, the entrepreneurial bug bit them again, and after much thought, the duo took a one year vacation from their present jobs; came back to India and took the reigns of Faaso’s in their able hands.

faaso

The Comeback!

On their return, they saw the fruits of their labour, and were convinced that if given a chance, Faaso’s could go on to become India s biggest fast food joint and what’s more, it had global prospective too! Hence, without wasting time any time, they began to amend things; things that might assist them in the expansion of their business.  Now, Faaso’s was active since 2004 but only after they came back, they organized Faaso’s as a private limited company.

In the few months following that, they turned Faaso’s upside down, and gave it a whole new business model. Fixing every glitch and hitch, this took them upto 6 months. After that the response to Faaso’s was overwhelming. Social media giants like Facebook, Twitter were flooded with their praise and check-ins. Everybody wanted a piece and Faaso’s reached greater heights. In fact, they expanded from 6 outlets to 14 and had devised the plan to setup 15 more across various parts of the world.

In the following couple of years; they had

  • Started taking orders on Twitter. One of the first franchises to attempt such a feat and succeed!
  • Raised funds worth $5 million for further expansion from Sequoia Capital
  • Expanded to a total of eighteen outlets and were, as of now, directly employing a team of 600 full- time employees (excluding the senior management squad of about 10 people). 80% of their stores became profitable in a quick span of about 2-3 months itself!
  • Started chartering their brand name

An Impetuous Fall

They started the franchise-route in 2012 with 6 stores in Pune but it was as you can say ill-timed, it turned out to be an enormous debacle.

The major reasons behind the fiasco were the constant clashes among the franchises and also owing to the fact that Faaso’s was not a big brand as of yet.

So they dropped the idea of franchising altogether and looked for a solution which was much more viable and didn’t result in a total letdown. (The 6 stores which started the franchising model still operate but under a different name –Eatsome.)

Their failure was not to last as later on, Jaydeep came up with a dazzling idea of ‘Entrepreneur in Residence’ program!

Another Comeback!

Basically under the ‘Entrepreneur in Residence’ program, they chose a select-few people with two-three years of post-MBA experience (not from the hotel industry); took them through the procedure of operating one of their outlets for some time, then later when they were ready – they were given the golden opportunity of taking control of the profit-and-loss responsibility of running 15-20 stores /  running a particular function like Marketing or HR / opening in new markets, among various other “cool” things! These people were given the same decision-making powers as Jaydeep and Kallol.

This initiative turned out to be a gigantic accomplishment and the company received more than two thousand applications in the first round itself! And as per today, they have lucratively completed two rounds of hiring! Who wouldn’t want to run their own store where they could pour in as many ideas as possible and all the while maintaining their uniqueness and independence of functioning? Brilliant! They grew like never before.

Current Scenario

  • And today when we look at them, their present stats speaks loads of laurels for them! More recently, they have engaged with local chefs in Mumbai and Pune to supply gourmet cuisines to its customers.
  • Become the only company up-till-date, which has a fully-integrated technology food platform. Their mobile app which they had launched back in 2014, now receives over 70% of their orders; and also processes about 50,000 orders a month! The app is available on all phone types – Android, iOS and Windows. Phew!
  • As of today, the company has more than 90 offline outlets spread across India, in cities including Mumbai, Chennai,Pune, Bangalore, Indore, Ahmedabad, Baroda and Gurgaon with over 120 fulfilment centres and all of this has been accomplished within a span of just three years.
  • Other than that; Faaso’s has also gone into an expansion extravaganza and is opening a new store basically every month! It is also in the process of expanding the lot to another 12 cities and 200 fulfilment centres by the end of 2016.
  • Today, the company generates about 10,000 orders per day and has received about 80,000 of the orders via the app. By the year-end, the company aims to triple this figure! The start-up is expecting to cross Rs. 100 Cr. in revenue by March 2016. Also, by crossing Rs.450 Cr. mark, the company also aims to break even by March 2018. Recently, the company raised a sum of $20 million (over INR 120 crore) from Sequoia Capital & Lightbox Ventures.

This was the story of a company that came back time and again to prove their mettle to everyone who doubted them; come back they did, and every time with flying colours and ravishing results! This was a fairytale and would continue to be so until the end of the line.