TasteBells is a brainchild of two people passionate about good food. Pranjal is a BITS Pilani & NMIMS Mumbai Alma mater who was bitten by the entrepreneurship bug soon after completing his MBA.
Giving up a plush corporate career, he decided to mix his passion for photography and business acumen to start CandidShutters, a premium wedding photography and cinematography firm.
While his media company acts as a perfect platform for him to satiate his hunger for creativity and sustains him, his passion for relishing the best foods made him co-start this company with his wife, Neha.
Neha is an alma mater of Delhi University and NMIMS, Mumbai. Armed with a BA Hons Economics from Jesus & Mary College, Delhi University and an MBA from NMIMS, Mumbai, she started her corporate career with Pidilite Industries Limited. During her tenure spanning over 3 years with Pidilite, she moved roles in sales, marketing, strategy, and customer relationship management.
How TasteBells was born & what motivated us to become entrepreneurs?
Having fairly cushy careers in the corporate world (for Neha) and a successful media venture (Pranjal’s), we both felt that India being such a vibrant and diverse nation in every way is a literal treasure trove for food enthusiasts.
We both love good food, and make it a point to savour the best foods in every place we visit. Often during business visits to different cities, a common request from colleagues was to get back a box full of the specialty food of that place. It was then that we realized that food is attributed emotions like no other thing in this world.
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With relocation becoming the way of life in this globalized world, we often miss the home town delicacies and look for opportunities to have it sent through some relative or friend travelling back from there.
More so, there is a gradual shift happening amongst people’s eating habits where in they are wanting to try out specialty foods and burn the extra calories consumed.
This is how TasteBells was born. This venture is an endeavor to bring the best legendary food brands and famous artisan foods of India on a common platform and make them accessible to a wider audience of food lovers. We help bride geographical barriers to relishing the best foods.
Fuelled by the desire to redefine the eating habits of people and the passion to create a kind of a food revolution, we both set upon a journey to bring people closer to their choice of food.
Pranjal had already tasted the entrepreneurship blood, it didn’t take me (Neha) long enough to dedicate my energy and efforts full time into realizing this dream.
What is TasteBells all about? Which customer pain you are solving and How?
As mentioned above, TasteBells is an endeavor to bring people closer to their choice of foods. We envision creating a food ecosystem where the flow of food takes place as easily as the flow of information.
TasteBells is a curated online food store where famous legendary food brands of India and famous gourmet foods and artisan foods from the best makers are sold online.
Customer pain we are attempting to solve & how?
We allow people to savour their favourite hometown delicacies from the legendary food makers in the comfort of their homes. With TasteBells, people are empowered to savour the best and the finest foods.
We allow people to travel with their taste buds. We are not just selling the best foods, but are offering an entirely unique gratifying experience. It is like undertaking a journey of taste while sitting comfortably at home.
Now relocation would never hurt you since you will have a trusted platform, which will always keep you attached to your favorite hometown and regional delicacies.
We source the best foods from India’s iconic food brands and the finest and famous food artisans and deliver them to our customers’ homes.
What was the first thing you did to get the word out about your startup and how did you measure the effectiveness of this?
We adopted various marketing techniques ranging from the word of mouth to building a strong organic presence on web to forging tie-ups with relevant stakeholders to get that traction on our platform.
The effectiveness was measured by comparing the traffic we were getting on TasteBells with the over all conversion rates.
What’s the hardest decision you’ve made so far?
For me, Neha, the hardest decision was to leave a good comfortable cushy corporate career. What worked for me was our firm belief in the concept of TasteBells.
While I was convinced of the idea and the eventual success that would follow, but the decision to take a plunge into entrepreneurship and forgoing a substantial monthly pay was a little hard. But, Pranjal’s stint with entrepreneurship made the decision easier.
What mistakes have you made thus far in this business and what have you learned?
Too early to say… Still learning and growing
As a founder, what do believe to be the end goal for this startup?
The end goal of this start up is to create an all-encompassing food ecosystem where people can savour their favourite foods easily.
What helps you when you doubt yourself?
Our conviction and belief in the idea and essence of TasteBells keeps our spirits high when ever any kind of doubts creep in.
Finally, would you have any inspirational tips for aspiring entrepreneurs about to kickstart their startup dream?
For any successful entrepreneur, one thing that keeps them going is the conviction in his/her idea. It’s important to live that idea at all times of the day and become wedded to it. When your belief in your idea becomes an all-consuming passion, all your energies get channelized towards it. Then there is no looking back…
Hard work and persistence are the key ingredients for succeeding in anything in life and working on a start up only tests these qualities and hones them further.
What does it take to start an online business nowadays? A unique innovative idea? Know-how? Long working hours? People? What is your recipe?
A mix of all the things combined with rock solid belief and persistence is all that it takes to create a successful online venture. You obviously need to strike the iron when it is hot, meaning you have to time your idea rightly to be able to garner the right kind of traction towards it.
Last question for everyone – Before we let you go, where can we find you online?
You can savour your favourite foods from across India and enrich your taste buds on http://www.tastebells.com/
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