In the times of coronavirus, business ventures are taking shape with the much-needed thought of reinventing approach toward quality and presentation. Tarun Raj Arora, Founder and CEO Of Falooda Express launched the brand to promote Indian street sweet delicacies.
Thinking about Indian street food is a strict no-no during the current coronavirus times. Yet there is craving to have them among us all. Therefore, when Tarun Raj Arora’s children were asking him about buying ice creams and kulfis from the local street vendor they often visit earlier, it gushed a thought that led to his idea of opening a cart model for Indian street sweets like falooda, kulfi, and shakes. Tarun Raj recalled, “I was thinking something on the lines of Indian street food, but the lockdown gave me a definite direction…thanks to my kids. It allowed me to think of the model I was really looking for to promote that could uplift ambitions of many to become an entrepreneur in their own rights.”
Falooda Express offers unique falooda recipes with several flavors. Offering variety with the freshness of cow milk, faloodas are available in classic flavors and kulfis in classic and natural flavors. Before getting in this far, Tarun Raj studied the market extensively before picking up options he could go for. He then identified what could be the business model as well. He said, “High rental has always been one of the big roadblocks to an entrepreneur’s ambitions. Therefore, I focused on a model that could bring this aspect down…although never imagined that I would bring it to a zero, which is the USP of Falooda Express.”
Quick in action within two months of lockdown, Tarun Raj established TRA Ventures and soft-launched the brand Falooda Express. He remarked, “It is a Quick Service Cart and Food Delivery brand. My focus was on making the street food already popular in various quarters in Chandni Chowk or quick-service restaurants come out in the open, yet with strict hygiene practices.” According to him, his thoughts before the lockdown merged well with lockdown challenges to shape the final outcome of presenting faloodas and kulfis using a cart.
In fact, he realized that hygienic and reasonably priced local sweets can do wonders. “These loveable sweets needed a breath of fresh air out of malls, without compromising the hygienic factors. Hence, I launched my own brand of falooda that has the potential to fill the gap that exists in this segment. I have kept it reasonably-priced, focusing on high-quality i.e., not letting them become soggy, and emphasizing on hygienic parameters that have become instrumental in the current scenario,” he added.
Falooda order from a cart is delivered in a hygienic glass jar, along with a sanitizer, dry tissue, and cutlery. The most attractive proposition of Falooda Express is its Signature Stuffed Kulfi. Tarun Raj informed, “We have priced it at Rs 250, which may look enormous for a kulfi. But the best part is its presentation and technique. We present a complete fruit whereby the pulp is used to prepare kulfi. So, customers can buy the fruit and simply cut it into kulfi slices.” The signature offering comes in Mango, Kiwi, Apple, Pomegranate, Orange and Guava flavors.
Tarun Raj has already launched four carts which are operational in Janakpuri, West Delhi. A cart approach for a food business is ideal for the time with zero rentals. He added, “Falooda Express also starts bringing in returns within six months of investments, which makes it a viable project to invest in that too not with large capital. Therefore, this can be a good proposition for various individuals looking at starting on their own.”
With experience in the hospitality industry for about 15 years, Tarun Raj knew about several things that worked in his favor while venturing into this concept. “I am extremely optimistic about my plan. I want to expand Falooda Express on a franchisee route and expect to reach to different parts of NCR within six months. In a year’s time, I wish to grow it to other Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities, if all goes according to my growth projections. In fact, I have even outlined plans for outdoor catering, which will definitely build our brand presence. We plan to set up live dessert counters at various events to popularize the brand,” informed Tarun Raj.
For now, the company is looking to offer franchise for carts, while outlet franchise will be applicable to those who own a space of their own. The cart model allows Tarun Raj to propel his model in an aggressive way. He will soon start operating two more carts in Rohini under ownership model. Furthermore, Falooda Express has already signed a deal with Faridabad-based Ankush Madan who has taken his franchisee for a cart and is expected to be operational soon at Sector 15 Faridabad market. Tarun Raj revealed that talks are already on with a few more potential franchisees. “I just want that when people think of kulfi and falooda in any part of the world, they should recall Falooda Express or at least crave for it,” he summed.