Soham Payal Pathak, BBA (Hons), Amrut Mody School of Management, and his mother, Payal Pathak, have not had a moment’s rest since their two-year-old start-up, The Simply Salad, bagged an INR 30 lakh non-negotiated deal for a 10 per cent stake on Shark Tank India recently. They have been receiving innumerable calls from potential franchisees pan India and investors offering a second round of funding. The young management student and entrepreneur says, “The response has been phenomenal. We want to deliver healthy and delicious salads to your doorstep with the promise of A-grade quality ingredients sourced directly from farmers and packaged in biodegradable packaging. But the USP is that our salad has a unique Indian touch that’s unbeatable.” While his mother oversees the cooking, Soham is responsible for managing the finances and social media marketing of the start-up. He says, “I think survival is the most important skill for an entrepreneur, and I have learnt to be a survivor.”
The business idea stemmed from the lows of the pandemic. When Payal Shah’s flourishing PG accommodation for girls slumped due to no-takers in 2020, the Shahs were forced to move to a smaller rented accommodation in another locality. “We used to see food delivery agents zipping in and out incessantly there. I am a foodie and my mom cooks amazingly well. So we thought of starting some food-related business, and we played on my mom’s strength - healthy food. She even does a great undhiyo burger!”
What started with five orders a day quickly moved to 15-20 when the duo realised that tying up with food delivery systems would help curtail their delivery issues. Now, The Simply Salad has a turnaround of 80-90 orders a day. Soham says, “With this funding, we plan to cover our base, Ahmedabad, 100 per cent. Even with approximately 90 orders daily, we cover only 30 per cent. Once we reach maximum capacity in Ahmedabad, we will cater to Mumbai.” Now, the mother-son and their 10-strong team are looking at doubling the staff and smoothening their only challenge - timely deliveries. “We want to retain our commercial ‘residence-based’ model because it is a trust builder among our patrons. The Simply Salad will always build on hygiene and health, and a mother’s Indian touch,” says Soham.