Food Tech startups response to COVID-19


COVID-19 pandemic is bound to leave behind a lasting change in the way we work and the way businesses operate. No doubt, learning and adaptation will be the foundation for survival, for both organizations and  individuals who make them up. 

With everything going  digital, startups and small businesses have started rethinking their services and reinventing their business models.They are adapting to the changes and collaborative partnership has become the key for business continuity. A number of startups and companies are collaborating together with local producers to support both ends- the general public and their businesses. 

Food Tech companies today have seen the biggest change and the fact that they operate online has helped them adapt to the new normal in a short span of time in comparison to other startups. 

Reecha Sharma, a renowned Nepali actor has been an active customer of Khaanpin and she was more than happy to get her essentials and fulfill her occasional cravings  during a situation like this. “ I was really craving Mo:Mo a few weeks back so I decided to give it a shot and order online. I wasn’t expecting much considering the situation we are in, but Khaanpin’s service was amazing. The delivery was prompt and the Mo:Mo were delicious,” Sharma, told 

Khaanpin, a food tech company knew waiting for things to get normal wasn’t an option.  Hence from a night food delivery platform, Khaanpin moved on to delivering daily essentials. Similarly, rather than the lockdown limiting their operation, Khaanpin started its long planned “Khaanpin Bakery”. This shift in business model has helped them  serve 50 to 60 customers per day inside and outside the ring road in Kathmandu and Pokhara.   

Isha Balla Managing Director at Khaanpin stated, “ We feel like we are a step closer to our goal to help build a  24 hour city. In addition to our existing Khaanpin Night Food, and currently Khaanpin Essentials Mart, we are working on extending these Food and Mart services into 24 hour operation. The current crisis isn’t a major issue, thanks to our strong logistic and operational strength in this industry, we know we are in the right place to make it happen.”

From Fancy Cuisines to Daily Groceries, companies like Foodmario and Foodmandu have added the delivery of groceries into their business model, where previously they  delivered only  cooked meals from home-chef’s and restaurants and home chefs. Foodmario collaborated with brands like microMART, AGRIMOVE, Agrinepal and  came up with FoodPlus to get essentials fruits, veggies, dairy and meat items delivered at their customers door step. 

Foodmandu, another Food tech company is one step ahead. It too introduced its new segment, Foodmandu Fresh, to deliver fresh groceries by tying up with six vendors. Along with this, Foodmandu recently announced its collaboration with Doctors on Call Nepal whereby along with delicious cuisines and groceries,  customers can get free virtual face to face medical consultation from the doctors. is yet another in the line. Niket Agrawal, Co-founder of mentioned that the first thing they decided when the lockdown was announced was to get necessary permits from the government, making sure that all the staff were well equipped to follow safety measures, leverage their technology and delivery network to serve the community with daily essentials. 

“We leveraged our existing relationship with KK Mart and started delivering groceries and essential items through them. Once the new operations were streamlined, we gradually started delivering other essentials such as fruits, vegetables, dairy and frozen items. We are constantly in touch with our customers through social media and try to add items that they need in these times. At the end of the day, it’s about utilizing our expertise and experience in serving the community needs” he added.

These startups  have taken a leap of faith with calculated risk and   quickly adapted to the new normal . They strategically leveraged their current technology and customer base to ensure steady revenues for their business when many sectors are silently  shutting shops.

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