The samosa is a lip smacking Indian street food with an universal appeal.
It is usually served in its three dimensional spice and potato filled avatars, across India.
Though regarded as an Indian street food, the samosa actually has its origins in Arab countries. It travelled to India from central Asia and the Middle East in the 12th or 13th centuries through Arab traders.
The mention of Samosa can be found as early as in the writings of Ibn Batuta in the court of Mohammad bin Tughlaq.
Samosa is famous as sambousek in Arab cuisine. In India it also goes by the names of shingara (in Eastern India), lukhmi and somasi (in Southern India).
People from North Indian states mostly call it samosa.
Despite the foreign origins, the snack today has a household appeal in most Indian houses.
Samosa’s are mostly taken as snacks in the afternoon with tea. We buy them mostly from street vendors in the neighborhood.
In most Indian gullys and bylanes, you will find these vendors. The condition these samosas are sold in is usually highly unhyegenic but nobody seems to care!
Shikhar Singh and Nidhi Singh are the founders of Samosa Singh. They are a husband wife duo and both completed their degrees in Biotechnology.
After doing B.Tech in Biotechnology, Shikhar opted for pursuing masters in Hyderabad and Nidhi persued a career in Business Development in a U.S pharmaceutical company.
While studying for his masters in Hyderabad, Shikar noticed that samosa was a common snack for most Indians.
The college goers, office goers and business people, all indulged in this snack, but there was no hygenic place to get the samosas from.
Mostly street vendors made these samosas in dirty conditions like so many other Indian affordable eats.
That is when the idea of samosa singh was born.
Shikhar thought of making a brand out of the beloved samosa by making it a hygenic brand.
But the first work on samosa singh did not begin till a couple of years later, as both husband and wife were busy with respective careers.
Samosa sing offers healthier samosas on a pocket friendly budget. Their samosas contain upto 56% less oil than normal samosas.
They have kept the price of the samosas a bit more than the normal street variety, but in lieu offers hygenic samosas.
School and college goers form a large part of their customer base. But corporates also form a major part of their revenue.
The unique selling point of samosa singh is that their samosas are healthier and prepared under hygenic conditions.
This is a major attraction as corporates prefer hygenic snacks. The normal users also do not mind forking out a few rupee more for samosas that are tastier and healthier.
The other selling point is that, they have several types of samosas with various fills.
The usual samosa from the street vendor contains potato fills. But samosa singh is the first vendor that has come up with fills other than potato, in an organized manner.
The company offers a variety of samosas – Aloo Masala samosa, Veggi spice masala, Kadai paneer samosa, Masala corn samosa, Achari murg samosa, Chicken chettinad samosa, Chiken keema samosa, Cheese chilli samosa, Manchurian samosa, Chicken tikka samosa and Schezwan chicken samosa.
There was a time when the founders had to sell their own flat to raise money for the business. But those days are long gone.
Samosa singh is a profitable business right now and investors are taking notice.
The company has raised more than $4.03 million till date. In the last funding they raised $827K on January 2021.
Shikar and Nidhi started with a single outlet in Bangalore, but now has multiple outlets across multiple cities.
The company started out with a b2b(business to business) model, offering catering primarily to the aviation sector.
The also targeted multiplexes such as PVR, Cafe Coffee Day, and many others.
The average order size of samosa singh has grown from initial Rs. 180/- to Rs. 340/-.
The startup has a revenue of about Rs. 40 cr per annum.
Samosa Singh has started serving kachori, kulcha, chaat along with samosas. It has also redesigned its platter to a bucket for convenience of transport.
At the moment, the brand is mainly available in South Indian cities including Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, and Vizag.
There are also outlets in Vijaywada, Nashik and Mysore.
It has plans to expand to North India and open stores in Delhi, Haryana and Punjab ( it already is present in Mumbai ).
The company is keenly interested in tier II and tier III Indian cities.
They are also looking for strategic partnership with other companies for expansion and have already tied up with Rebel Foods for cloud kitchen sharing that will help their operational needs.
The company is also offering franchisee opportunity.
Starting at Rs. 6 – 8 lakhs for a takeaway counter, there are also options for quick service restaurant at Rs. 10 – 15 lakhs and full service restaurants at Rs. 20 – 25 lakhs.
The franchisees will provide another stream of revenue for the company.
Indian street food industry is ripe for a change. It is highly unorganized and it will be a challenging task to bring order and organization to make any segment of it a success.
But a solid business plan executed smartly with patience and perseverance can work wonders for any start up in this segment.
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