Q&A With India In A Box’s Shyam Devnani
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.
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.
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.
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.
Photos courtesy of India In A Box