Q&A With Shyam Devnani, India In A Box Founder

Have you entered our Instagram giveaway with India in a Box today? If not, you better get to it, because the deadline is TODAY Oct. 21st! In the meantime, I figured you’d want to know more about this cool new service, which delivers delicious, easy-to-make Indian cuisine right to your door — in, well, a box! India in a Box founder and CEO Shyam Devnani came up with the idea when looking for a quick meal option between classes at Babson College, and found none.

Devnani has a background in computer engineering and a Masters of Business Administration from Babson and he was a COO and partner at a major garment accessory manufacturing firm in Mumbai, India. He was nice enough to take some time to answer a few questions for me to give y’all more info on his cool company and what dishes may be coming next.

Tikka Masala & Naan

What was the inspiration behind India In A Box?

While studying at Babson, I was tired of the available packaged Indian food options, and was determined to eat cuisine that tasted like the kind I had growing up. I gathered my friends and was sure that I could easily create a homemade meal that would hopefully become a fast option for them in-between classes and coursework. I was so wrong. My friends were quite amused by my failed attempts, and that from this very experience; the idea for India in a Box was born.

With India in a Box, one can now prepare delicious Indian food in just five minutes without the hassle of spending endless hours in the kitchen. We create our meals using age-old recipes, each delivering flavors from exquisite regional Indian delicacies. Cooking the food in India gives us the ability to use the best local ingredients, and ensure a high-quality authentic Indian food experience for all consumers.

What were some of the main challenges in creating the concept and the dishes? What was the process like?

When I started working on India in a Box, I had no previous experience in the food industry. I spent a lot of time talking to industry leaders and business owners who were able to make a niche in this market. With the help of a professional chef, and our Head of Nutrition – Sucheta Gehani, I was able to start creating each recipe from scratch.

Over the past year, we have partnered with a state-of-the-art commercial kitchen in India, finalized our recipes, and partnered with a warehouse and fulfillment company to ensure timely deliveries.

In May, we launched our first batch of five products, and completely sold out, selling 600 boxes in less than a month. The growth has been phenomenal and we’re hoping to build up on our initial successes.

Tikka Masala & Jeera Rice

What are some future dishes that you’re considering to add to the lineup?

We’ve been testing numerous dishes for the past 3 months. We have received positive feedback and are looking to add two more dishes before December – Palak Paneer Gravy (Spinach Curry) and Methi Malai Gravy (Fenugreek leaves Curry) – the latter sounds weird but it’s very tasty!

What’s your favorite Indian dish?

I am someone who enjoys a simple Lentil curry (Dal Tadka) with a bowl of rice. It has a comfort-laden feel about it that truly reminds me of home.

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What does the future hold for India In A Box?

We have seen great success with our company thus far, but when it comes to breaking into a market and competing with ‘the big guys’ – we need your help! We will soon be launching our crowd funding campaign so stay tuned for that. By backing our project, you will help us produce our current recipes on a larger scale and get closer to our goal of bringing a little taste of India to every single kitchen and home in the United States.

Be sure to check out India In A Box’s official website, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook!

Photos courtesy of India In A Box

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Mallory is the founder and foodie-in-chief of Couch Potato Cook. She is a writer and journalist based in Los Angeles by day, and a foodie in her spare time.

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