Suresh Selvaraj, formerly President of Outlook Group and CEO of Asianet News Network, has turned into an angel investor and become a member of the Advisory Board of a start-up, ChefHost.
ChefHost is an online marketplace that connects specialty chefs and customers for exclusive private dining, parties and events. The beta version of ChefHost is just launched.
Commenting on the venture, Selvaraj said that he is putting the money where the mouth is and efforts to bring in a unique, personalised experience for the chefs and the diners. “There is no greater joy for a chef to be closer to the diners who relish their preparations and there is no greater pride for a diner to have a specialty chef to prepare fresh food at the comfort of one’s home. In between lies the business model,” he added.
On investment and fundraising plans, Selvaraj said that ChefHost has closed its internal seed funding round.
ChefHost is the brainchild of a couple of Warwick Business School (UK) graduates – Abhinandan, who studied in Bangalore and Chennai, and Yiu Yin Yau from Hong Kong and a serial tech-retail entrepreneur. The rest of the team includes part time/ full time people with experience in the F&B industry.
Within 48 hours of the beta launch, ChefHost claims to have signed up over 20 chefs in each of the major cities in India and Hong Kong. By January 2015, ChefHost aims to have 100+ chefs signed up in each of the major cities in India and Hong Kong due to its database of 5,000+ chefs, build the executive team and build more partnerships. ChefHost has already identified distribution channels and leadership to launch the business in quick succession in China, Pakistan, the Middle-East and South-East Asia.
The entrepreneurs say that they are building relations with the big names in hospitality and the F&B industries. “We want hotel chains to see how ChefHost would increase their brand by growing popularity in their chef profiles than dismiss this disruption by sticking to old systems and contractual limitations. We are in advanced discussions with major hotel chains in India. We are also partnering with complimentary services like gifting services and events.”