Wow! Momo launches its second brand, Wow! China

The home grown food service company intends to invest Rs 12 crores to set up 40 Wow! China outlets across Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai & Bangalore in the new fiscal

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Apr 8, 2019 6:09 PM

Wow! Momo is all set to launch its sister brand Wow! China, a fast food Chinese cuisine format with the addition of an Indian twist! The launch of the second brand comes on the heels of the success of Wow! Momo, which was valued at Rs 300 crores in early 2018.

By providing their patrons with the ‘Chindian cuisine’, Wow! China intends to do with Chinese food what Wow! Momo did with momos, i.e., give the road-side cuisine the look and feel of a brand, while heightening the eating experience of Indian food-lovers on the back of their culinary innovations and standardisation of services, the company said in a statement.

With an increasing number of Indians choosing to dine out or order in at home, the food services market in India is estimated to reach Rs 5.52 trillion by 2022 as per a recent FICCI and Technopak report. And, of the food segments in this fast-growing market, Chinese cuisine forms the second-most non-domestic cuisine consumed in India. The exceptional popularity enjoyed by Chinese fast-food in India can be measured by the fact that from every street- and road-side food-hub to every high-end restaurant across the country, all eateries prepare at least two Chinese dishes to serve customers with hot and spicy delicacies.

Sagar Daryani, CEO & Co-founder of Wow! Momo & now Wow! China, said, “There is no denying that Chinese food is extremely popular in India. In North India, the second most popular cuisine is Chinese after north Indian food & likewise in South India, the second most popular cuisine is Chinese after South Indian. The idea behind Wow! China is to provide Indian customers with palate-tingling flavours of roadside stalls coupled with standard Chinese dishes from expensive restaurants at economical prices with a touch of innovation. Indian Chinese is what we’r looking to serve & our ‘chindian cuisine’ would be a very on the go compact menu with limited soups, starters, Noodles, Rice & main course.”

“The consumer here has the option to choose from a varied range of white or brown noodles to rice & specially prepared in-house sauces like schezwan, hot garlic, burmese, hong kong style & Saigon to name a few. Some of the exciting products on the menu are a chinese bhel in different flavours, Chilly Cheese stuffed Mushrooms, Lemon Paneer, Chicken wrapped prawns, schezwan mustard fish & khau Suey to begin with. Our mission with Wow! China is to innovate the Chinese cuisine and convert the roadside food into a brand, like we did with our previous much-loved and widely-followed venture, Wow! Momo,”Daryani added.

The home grown food service company intends to invest Rs 12 crores to set up 40 Wow! China outlets across Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai & Bangalore in the new fiscal over and above an investment of Rs 30 crores to set up an additional 100 more Wow! Momo outlets in the same period. Like Wow! Momo, the new brand format shall operate out of kiosks, food court outlets in malls & tech parks, High Street locations & interestingly the cloud kitchen model.

“We’ve mastered the art of doing higher volume sales from smaller locations.  Plus On- line Delivery has given a huge boost to our sales over the last couple of years as we’ve successfully managed to convert a snack into a meal with our successful innovations at Wow! Momo & with chinese food being perceived as a natural family meal option, the delivery model for Wow! China looks super promising & we feel that the right mix of retail stores, kiosks & cloud kitchen is the way forward for this new brand,” said Daryani.      

Founded in 2008 by Sagar Daryani and Binod Homagai, two 21-year-old students in their under-grad, but with a vision, the venture was born with an initial amount of Rs 30,000 to keep it going. 10 years later, the start-up’s journey took it from being a string of small kiosks in Kolkata to becoming a multibillion rupee chain of momo delicacies with over 240 outlets in 13 cities. Wow! Momo Foods Private Limited, the company that owns & operates the brand Wow! Momo & now Wow! China is projecting a revenue of Rs 200 crores for FY 19-20 as compared to INR 120 crores for FY 18-19. The company has been profitable since the inception of its business & continues to be EBITDA positive at Corporate levels with its current expansion.   

At the heart of the company’s success lies its innovations through which the founders re-invented the momo-eating experience of Indian Chinese-food lovers. While many a name from the brand’s menu like Baked Momo Au'gratin might be a mouthful for some, for an average Wow! Momo-goer, the word signifies a blast of flavour. In keeping with its mission to provide its patrons with a unique range of momo-foodventures, the company’s menu contains 14 different flavors of Momos available in Steamed, Fried & Pan Fried formats largely in white and brown flour variants, with dishes like Sizzler Momos, MoBurg (Momo Burgers), Tandoori Momos, and so on. The quick serving restaurant chain will operate in a similar 8 by 8 kiosk format as that of its predecessor, where the chef will prepare the meals live in front of customers. The patrons will also be given the choice to choose the sauces as per their preference while instructing the chef as they deem fit.

The founders have also set up a clubbed store which houses both Wow! Momo and Wow! China in Kolkata at Candor Tech Park at Rajarhat to enhance profits per square feet. With the clubbed store generating 70% higher revenue than an individual Wow! Momo store anywhere, the initial pilot has taken a successful flight. For its next step, the company is keen to set up various clubbed stores in prominent locations that are physically conducive for both the brands to work together efficiently.

Speaking on the launch of Wow! China, Sanjeev Bikhchandani, IAN Lead Investor at Wow! Momo & part of the advisory board said, “We are delighted to witness the meteoric rise of Wow! Momo. It is hardly surprising that the brand has received the reception it has got. We were pretty confident that it will become popular based on the innovative spin the company put on momos. We wish that with Wow! China, the brand will keep up its palate-tingling streak of success.”

In 2015, IAN, the world’s largest horizontal seed stage platform, became the first supporter of Wow! Momo, investing Rs 10 crores into what would go on to become one of the networks most successful investee companies. After 18 months of the investment, the investors took a partial exit in 2017 from Wow! Momo at an IRR of over 50% in the subsequent round of equity funding from Indian consumer focussed private equity player, Lighthouse Funds valuing the company at INR 230 crores. Lighthouse Funds other notable investments include leading snack food firm Bikaji, personal care brand Kama Ayurveda & homegrown Ethnic fashion brand Fab India.

Rochelle D’Souza, Principal Light House Funds & sitting on the company’s board representing the fund, said “Wow momo is one of the most successful scaled home grown QSR stories, consistently delighting customers. They are best placed to leverage this platform to launch a new brand within the Wow umbrella. Wow China is a natural extension which blends execution capability and product innovation and addresses the gap in the market for a scaled Chinese brand at the right price point.

Three years after the end of the lucrative association, the founders of Wow! Momo are set to write another blockbuster story through their sequel venture titled Wow! China.

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