AI implementation, Automation, are top trends that have been significant in the food tech industry

In the current state, there has already been a significant rise in the frequency of ordering online, owing to pandemic-induced behavioural change. This change is only going to grow. In an interview with CXOToday, Mr.Kumar Setu, Co-founder and CCO,  Sprink. Online talks about his journey in the food industry and what made him choose this industry.
  1. Can you talk about your journey in this industry? What made you choose this industry?

During our experience from over a decade in the food industry with various food ventures, we discovered that 80% of Indians like to prefer Indian food but the largest food brand in India is Domino’s which operates in 6% pizza category. The key reason to start Sprink was to build India’s largest food brand. Indian cuisine is probably the most flavorful and one of the most popular cuisines worldwide. However we do not have a single international or a nationally recognized brand. Building a global, lovable brand in Indian food has remained a pipe dream for many entrepreneurs because of the complexity of our cuisines and dishes. This can be solved at scale only by usage of food science and technology. This is what we at Sprink strive to achieve, we have spent years building processes which can help us present the variety of Indian food to consumers. We also believe that a large Indian food brand cannot be built over a hero dish or an Indian sub cuisine. Since eons the harmony despite cultural diversity has been India’s strength and this is what is our USP as well i.e. bringing this diversity on your plate seamlessly.


  1. What are the challenges being faced by Indian businesses in their cloud adoption journey? How can this be addressed?

The challenge here is not just cloud adoption, in the world of ubiquitous QR codes and digital payments. The challenge is of relevant cloud solitaire designed from ground up to solve the problems of industry. Most of the solutions are broken and hence adoption is low.  There are solutions designed for the front end for the consumer side of business however what is really missing is  holistic solution built to sort out backend of a food business, starting from inventory, sourcing, production process, logotics of various food sectors, such as QSR or a cloud kitchen or a dine-in. When more holistics solutions are built, the cloud adoption also increases amongst the various food sectors.


  1. What are the most significant digital adoption trends across the food tech industry?

When we are talking about just the food space, AI implementation, automation, are a couple of top trends that have been significant in the food tech industry. Both of these concepts have many variations and different levels of adoption and implementation that is followed by many businesses today. For a business like ours that is built on a vertically integrated system, AI is used to understand customer food preferences and curate and recommend to them a more personalized menu. Less complex, semi automated processes, can help maintain the quality and consistency of the products/food along with minimal human assistance. Food businesses often require versatile menu choices to produce their customers. By simply semi automating parts of the cooking process, including ingredients, methods of storage, recipes, ways of packaging, businesses can achieve great levels of consistency that is difficult to achieve with human staffed kitchens.


  1. What are your growth and expansion plans? Any plans to expand your portfolio?

We want to grow the daily food segment to its true potential in India. Our TG is primarily working professionals, singles/couples who want to keep cooking as a choice and not a mandate. We also have health-centric customers who are on a fitness journey and want Keto diets and salads for more healthy eating. And Senior citizens who are unable to cook and want to eat homely, less spicy/oily food, they too like Sprink’s homely healthy meals.

In the future we do want to bring a range of products and offerings that makes mealtime time easier for families.

Sprink aims to launch in 50+ cities in the next couple of years.


  1. What are the top technology bets to succeed in the post-pandemic economy?
  • Digitalisation will be the main theme in recovery and success for companies in the post-pandemic economy.
    During the pandemic, many industries, including the food sector already adopted digital working models to remain open. Tech-driven approach in sourcing to production and delivery, food consumption has  helped businesses reduce costs and keep reasonable performance alive during pandemic and this is going to continue in the future. It is safe to say that the world is moving towards a certain amount of normalization, going back to a fully pre-pandemic way of doing business is just not possible anymore.
  • Machine learning engine for logistics
    While a lot is happening, ML (machine learning) is going to help many businesses in establishing an efficient logistic system. In a world where home delivery is the next norm, it is now mandatory for businesses to rethink their approach and facilitate more tech-advanced ways to deliver.  For Sprink, it’s a crucial aspect of the delivery system that the distance traveled is less which is achieved through ML in place. The ML engine enables us to do a deeper level of route mapping and deliver multiple orders in one dispatch, which means more drops in less kms traveled. On an average, in a traditional cloud kitchen or aggregator based restaurant delivery, one delivery guy travels the distance of 8 kms to drop an order; vs in Sprink’s case it’s just 3 Kms. This not only reduces the carbon footprint and is less harmful for the environment  but optimizes the cost of delivery which then enables us to offer our delivery at a Zero-delivery fee.
  • Increase in online Orders & demand for more affordable food
    In the current state, there already has been a significant rise in frequency of ordering online, owing to Pandemic induced behavioral change. This change is only going to grow. What is noticeable is that while most restaurants are able to fulfill the indulgent type of eating (i.e. occasional eating for a change of taste or quick need of delivery) this still comes at an exorbitant pricing. As larger demographics get more and more comfortable with online ordering and the need to cook diminishes further, the shift will be to find affordable choices, demand for more healthier options that are available daily than occasionally.
  • More focus on sustainability
    The list of companies that are using more ecological packaging materials and taking aggressive measures to reduce waste are increasing for the good. We too at Sprink have  80% of Sprink delivery fleet that runs on electric vehicles which helps in major reduction in carbon emissions.

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