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Evolution Of Corporate Food Services In India

The Indian corporate food-services industry is growing at a rapid rate with the potential to deliver innovations from time to time. The evolution of this sector is directed towards eradicating all pain points for the customer across all spheres of life and ensuring seamlessness in taste, quality, and convenience.

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Food-service as a concept dates back to as early as the 1700s and took shape as a business model in Philadelphia around 1820. It started to emerge as a well-respected, credible business, and since then, every century and generation has contributed to its share of evolvements. This has strengthened the business model into a full-grown industry, now known as the food-services industry.

The method of food production and consumption has evolved phenomenally with time. With the advent of technology in this sector, food production, distribution, and consumption across the globe are leaning towards a well-crafted tech-driven model. 

In the Indian context, corporate food-services as an industry were mainly dominated by unorganized players. These caterers had a traditional approach towards their methods & measures. They had little or no knowledge about the latest technological advancements in the sector. As a result, quality and hygiene came into question. However, with organized counterparts from within and beyond the national borders gaining interest in expanding their businesses in India, there were multiple mergers and acquisitions. 

The benefits of these M&As acted as opportunities for unorganized players to develop a reformed and well-defined business approach. It also opened gates to new avenues of innovation and exploration for big players.

The evolution of corporate food-services is directly linked to the paradigm shift in meal consumption trends of modern-day corporate. A myriad of factors is involved in the process of bringing about change in a consumer’s eating pattern. 

This well-informed and tech-oriented generation is open to innovation and trying out new cuisines. However, the conscious intake of calories and the quality of the food consumed are major check-points for them. Hence, the future of the corporate food-services industry at large is driven by a coveted call-to-action concept. 

This concept includes:

Innovations through new and advanced business models: 

In an era of neck-and-neck competition, corporate food-services have taken steps further towards ensuring its stronghold by introducing new and innovative business models. These newly developed models are in-line with technology that helps in customer retention, delivering competitive differentiation, customer lifetime value, and shareholder profits that the traditional models find difficult to deliver.

Bring modernization in E2E operations:

A key movement leading the evolution of the food-services ecosystem is the modernization of E2E operations. It involves the automation of processes to optimise functions such as inventory rationalisation, supply delivery models and spends. 

Customization is key:

A country where tastes and cuisines are constantly changing with every state line, there has been a rise in demand for customized food. Buyers are looking to customize their menus as per their audience. This includes items beyond their local cuisines to create a sense of value in the minds of the consumer.

The Indian corporate food-services industry is growing at a rapid rate with the potential to deliver innovations from time to time. The evolution of this sector is directed towards eradicating all pain points for the customer across all spheres of life and ensuring seamlessness in taste, quality, and convenience.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


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food prices

Sanjay Kumar

The author is CEO & MD, Elior India

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