Being a foodie and committed to diversity, Porus Arora leveraged his love for food and culinary skills to cater to the market vacuum in Asian food, and introduced his first Pan-Asian brand – Enoki Hospitality in Delhi in 2017 to test the waters.
Porus says Enoki was started to capture the Pan-Asian market as there was a huge vacuum there. The market was dominated by Indo-Chinese restaurants offering the same food for decades without any innovation.
Formerly the founder of Anything 500 – an online marketplace for service providers, traders, professionals, and creative people – Porus started by making sushis, dimsums and other authentic Oriental delicacies from his home kitchen, and providing premium doorstep deliveries with unique, innovative and trendy packaging.
Enoki’s Sushis and Dimsums
Not surprisingly, the new flavours became instantly popular, and motivated Porus to collaborate with Mansher Singh Duggal, whose passion for food is combined with excellent social and PR skills, making him a social media buff. Enoki soon launched its first cloud kitchen at GK, South Delhi.
A graduate from University of Bradford, 42-year-old chairman and founder of Enoki, Porus works closely with his team of chefs on menu and recipe development for Enoki brands. He was recently chosen for Forbes 45 under 45 India Edition. Meanwhile, 26-year-old Mansher, who is a marketing graduate from Singapore, heads the marketing team. At Enoki, he plays a major role in creating marketing strategies on social media. To generate a buzz, he often takes the help of social media influencers. With a total headcount of 60+ employees, Enoki is now a blend of delivery kitchens and Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs).
Co-founders of Enoki Hospitality(L:R) Mansher Singh Duggal, Porus Arora
Tasting success with its very first cloud kitchen in South Delhi, Enoki Hospitality expanded into three more cloud kitchens in Delhi NCR, and launched a QSR in Gurgaon with a brand called TOBIKO. This introduced the now famous Poke Bowls in the Delhi NCR region, along with different flavours of fresh dimsums, baos and sushis.
Image Credits: Enoki’s Insta handle
Currently the startup has six delivery kitchens and a QSR.
Enoki was recognised and awarded byin 2018 as one of its Premium Delivery Partner in Pan-Asian cuisine. The startup offers authentic Chinese, Japanese, Indian food and beverages, freshly made with premium or imported ingredients, and delivered at the customer’s doorstep or served through its delivery kitchens or a QSR set-up.
Market size and audience
As per a report by Google and Boston Consulting Group (BCG), rapid digitisation and growth in both online buyer base and spending will help India’s online food industry to become a $8 billion market by the end of 2022 – growing at a CAGR of 25-30 percent.
“Enoki currently is a market leader in Pan-Asian deliveries in Delhi NCR market, especially in sushis, with estimated market share of 20-25 percent in the Delhi NCR region,” claims Porus.
Enoki claims to be one of the premium brands in Delhi listed under “Gourmet” on both Swiggy and Zomato, with a consistent rating of 4+.
In a short span of just over three years, the company has witnessed 6X growth in revenues and physical outlets, thanks also due to rapid adoption of food aggregator platforms.
Facing the pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has touched every individual, business and industry, and has forced business heads to think out of the box to sustain their business in a majority of cases.
“For Enoki hospitality, the vision was not just on sustaining the business, but also safeguarding the employees as well as growing the business. With this in mind, in August 2019, Enoki entered the Indian cuisine category, specifically Punjabi cuisine, with AMBERSAR. We also made an entry into the healthy beverage market with Thirsty Crow Beverage Company (TCBC) – serving refreshing canned healthy mocktails made to order with fresh ingredients,” reveals Porus.
Image Credits: YS Design Team
“We have also registered a brand called Wok From Home, which will provide ready-to-cook Asian premixed sauces”, says Porus. Some of the recent products under its portfolio includes Ra Ra Ramen and Bao Wow – an Asian bao brand.
According to the startup, the surge in food delivery and strategic and reliable local supply chain partnerships has helped grow the top line while keeping the costs of revenue under control.
The company plans to expand its wings in the Pan-Asian, Indian and Italian cuisines offerings, as well as expand the healthy beverage portfolio through its cloud kitchen model, into other aspiring and upcoming cities in India in the coming months.
“I believe just having an Asian delivery is slowly but surely becoming an outdated business model as people now want specialty food from Asian cuisine overall. I see Sichuan, Hunan, Korean specialty cuisines also on the cards in the next few months. In terms of location, we are now expanding to Chandigarh and Jaipur with a mix of both cloud kitchen and QSR models,” explains Porus.
With an annual turnover of $ 2 million, the company is looking to expand outside of Delhi NCR mainly through M&A and franchisees.
Currently self-funded, Porus says he is in talks with potential inventors for the first round.
“Cloud kitchens are mushrooming everywhere. In fact, the pandemic has only pushed more competition into the market as food deliveries are the most preferred mode of consuming outside food,” he adds.
Enoki considers home-grown brands like Noshi and Qwinny’s as its core competitors.