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Offbeat entrepreneurs: These students deliver food across Varanasi, for free

The first in our series of offbeat entrepreneurs is the story of a group of IITians who founded an online portal for delivering food. Were they successful? Find out.

Written by Swati Sharma , Edited by Parmita Uniyal | New Delhi | Updated: July 15, 2014 1:40:25 pm
food-fasket-1 A group of students studying engineering from IIT-BHU in Varanasi have founded Food Fasket, a home delivery service for Food across Varanasi. (Source: Swati Sharma)

There are people who work for money, to run their families. Then there are those who work for themselves (heart), to follow their passions. For that they tread an unconventional path which leads them to satisfaction and happiness. When a group of IITians runs an online portal for delivering food, another runs a toll free number to help rural masses answer their queries, or a doctorate sets up a dhaba in JNU, they are setting example for others by going offbeat.

In our four-part series, we share the stories of these offbeat entrepreneurs who had the courage to break sterotypes and emerge as winners.

The first in the series is the story of a group of IITians who founded an online portal for delivering food, narrated by Swati Sharma.

‘We thought about delivering food because we were hungry’

They are a group of students studying engineering from IIT-BHU in Varanasi. And, they deliver food to anyone from anywhere in Varanasi. All you need to do is to call them and place your order. They are connected with Varanasi’s renowned eateries and local dhabas to make their services available for all. While almost 25,000 students and 5,000 staff members of Banaras Hindu University are already their frequent customers, the Fasket has moved out from university campus to render its service in entire Varanasi.

fasket-story Almost 25,000 students and 5,000 staff members of Banaras Hindu University are among their frequent customers. (Source: Swati Sharma)

“We thought about delivering food because we were hungry. During weekends the most of the students have to venture out to eat as the hostel mess is closed. Going out and eating in a restaurant means spending good amount of time apart from money. During exams and busy schedules, it used to be a challenging task for us hungry and lazy folks”, Tushar Gupta, co-founder at Fasket tells Indian Express.

“So one day me and my friend Pankaj Agrawal, decided to explore this option of delivering food in 45 minutes. This is actually the maximum time we kept; we actually deliver in 15 minutes. We started with IIT campus first with our services on only for weekends. But over time, the demands kept pouring in and we expanded the services for all seven days. Now we have 4 permanent delivery boys and two freelancers who are helping us in delivering food across the city,” says the proud Tushar.

Few other students including Shrayaskeote, Amrita Singh, Rishabh Jain, Shivansh Gupta have also joined this team to contribute their entrepreneurship skills.

Tushar also told us that they didn’t charge anything from the customers. All their profit comes from their business plan tied up with individual restaurants and advertisements. They also keep the bills handy so that the customers get full satisfaction of their delivery.

“The most memorable day in our career so far is the day when Tata ranked us among 25 student startups of India. We also received technical and management support from the IIT professors Technology Business Incubator (TBI) of IIT-BHU,” recalls Tushar.

While Tushar is a native of Varanasi, Pankaj belongs to Singrauli. Coming from a middle class family, their parents were initially apprehensive of their initiative.

“Our parents were against all this. They also had their reasons as we cracked IIT-JEE to get into one of the prestigious engineering colleges of the country and instead of studying to secure a high profile job after BTech we were planning an offbeat career, a road less taken,” said Tushar.

“But over a period of time, even they have realised the essence of our entrepreneurship and are now supporting us. We feel great to be doing something different through our food basket. Undertaking this task we can now see ourselves as better and confident people and standing in a crowd of people we will stand out and shine bright,” signs off Tushar with dreamy eyes.

The second part in the series will be about a group of students that runs a 24×7 helpline for rural people who don’t have access to internet.

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