Build in Bombay’s AMA with Rukman Sivaloganathan from Trekurious

Divraj Jain [7:00 PM] 
Thanks for doing this @rukmankan , can you tell us a bit about Trekurious and what you guys are working on ?

Rukman Sivaloganathan [7:01 PM] 
Hi everyone, I’m Rukman, the Founder/CEO of Trekurious. We started off designing and curating interesting travel, lifestyle, food, and cultural experiences but now focus only on food. We started off in Sri Lanka 2.5 years ago and launched in Mumbai in Jan. Happy to take any questions.

Rukman Sivaloganathan [7:02 PM]
We’re right now managing that transition to a a food experiences company and the move to a mobile first model. Testing a few new products out as well.

Yash Roongta [7:02 PM] 
Hey @rukmankan loved the photos on your website… What made you come from SriLanka to Mumbai ?

Rukman Sivaloganathan [7:03 PM] 
Hey @yash12392 , thanks. The plan was always to test the assumptions in SL and then move to India. SL is a small market and there not much scope to scale there. We were very clear from the beginning that we wanted to build an international brand.

Yash Roongta [7:04 PM] 
Makes sense.

Rukman Sivaloganathan [7:05 PM] 
Yeah. 20m pop in SL and almost the same in Mumbai alone!

Yash Roongta [7:05 PM] 
@rukmankan: So how did you scale up so fast in Mumbai and what is your team size as of now ?

Rukman Sivaloganathan [7:09 PM] 
@yash12392: The team size is 7 and I’m not sure we’ve actually scaled up fast! :simple_smile: Lot’s of work to do. When we launched we were still focused on the old model… a universal experiences company as it were. The idea then was to build a business that could be the go-to brand for access to experiences, simple and exclusive, no matter the city you were in. So the slight change in direction has slowed us a bit.

Jeffery Axel [7:09 PM] 
Hi @rukmankan , there’s alot of hype around foodtech space in India , more in the facilitation / logistics / discovery space , no real core innovation like Hampton Creek and Impossible food’s , what do you think is preventing such startups in India or is it just timing ?

Rukman Sivaloganathan [7:10 PM] 
@jeffaxel: I was reading up on this and one of the theses put forward was that these are real problems in India due to infrastructural constraints. So I guess when you look at entrepreneurship within food tech, these are the obvious pain points people will try to solve.

Jeffery Axel [7:13 PM] 
Agreed , the R&D infrastructure is indeed lacking , need more investment in college program’s , governmental organizations

Rukman Sivaloganathan [7:15 PM] 
Also, this is in a way Maslow’s Hierarchy at work. First solve the basic problems (i.e. cheap access to a variety of food) and then tackle the more self-fulfillment sort of problems (i.e. food technology etc). But I think there are a few players looking at it here.

Divraj Jain [7:15 PM] 
@rukmankan: As you build out inventory of experience’s and scale , how are you going to tackle quality / consistency ( curation , crowd ) ?

Divraj Jain [7:17 PM]
Interesting @rukmankan , coincidentally refreshed on Maslow today while listening to (edited)

Rukman Sivaloganathan [7:20 PM] 
@divraj: we have two sets of suppliers: restaurants and home chefs. Restaurants sort of take care of themselves as we’d be working with established ones. For the homechef’s we have a 3-stage curation process that weeds out the ones that don’t meet the mark. We’ll be reviewing both an ongoing basis plus we’ll let users rate their experiences and use that to filter suppliers as well. With the new model where we curate meals, we’re not too focused on curating the audience.

Yash Roongta [7:21 PM] 
@rukmankan: This was the very first time I heard about your company! How do you plan to market yourself ?

Rukman Sivaloganathan [7:24 PM] 
@yash12392: we’re clearly not doing a good enough job! :simple_smile: We primarily do FB ads and PR. A lot of what we’re doing right now is experimenting with new products. Once the app is out we’ll do a bigger push with more traditional mediums as well (radio perhaps).

Divraj Jain [7:25 PM] 
@rukmankan: I boosted a FB post for this AMA , 92 likes on post , 45 likes on page , 1 conversion to sign up possibly haha

Rukman Sivaloganathan [7:26 PM] 

Divraj Jain [7:26 PM] 
Paid Instagram , and soon Pinterest buy should be good option’s for Trekurious

Kcreddy [7:26 PM] 
@rukmankan thanks for the time. How do you see the hyper local delivery system evolving in India. Is the hype and demand matching?

Yash Roongta [7:26 PM] 
Just out of curiosity , Do you have any Financial Advisor or Investor on board @rukmankan , According to your Linkedin profile , you are well versed with investment advisory , so whats your plan ?

Rukman Sivaloganathan [7:27 PM] 
@divraj: paid Instagram would be amazing! hope that happens soon. Can’t believe they’re not monetizing it.

Saurav Jalui [7:27 PM] 
joined #ama

Divraj Jain [7:28 PM] 
@rukmankan: Instagram Ad’s are live

Divraj Jain [7:28 PM]
you may need to find a reseller / agency possibly

Rukman Sivaloganathan [7:29 PM] 
@siva0531: You’re welcome. I think it’s still early days but it’s clearly a need, hence the huge amounts of investment in startups like TinyOwl etc. I think there are infra constraints and traffic is an issue too. But I’m very impressed with TinyOwl so far.

Rukman Sivaloganathan [7:29 PM]
@divraj: What! Awesome!

Divraj Jain [7:30 PM] 
Second TinyOwl very impressive UX / UI , also they are incentivizing restaurants well , I feel that they can get a huge chunk of the market , Zomato pretty late

Rukman Sivaloganathan [7:30 PM] 
@yash12392: We have investors on board and we’ve just closed a small round of funding. We’re lucky to have Rajan Anandan as our first investor.

Rukman Sivaloganathan [7:31 PM]
@divraj: incentivising won’t work forever though. TinyOwl UI/UX is great. I use them everyday. But I tried out Zomato Order yesterday and it was pretty good too. They have relationships. Should be interesting.

Divraj Jain [7:32 PM] 
Yeah the VC money will have to stop flowing at some point , will check out Zomato order

Divraj Jain [7:33 PM]
Thanks for your time again @rukmankan , hope the session was insightful and thanks guy’s for your question’s. Will be back next week with another AMA.

Kcreddy [7:34 PM] 
@divraj yes that is what ever one is waiting to see but it seems thats not going to happen anywhere soon

Rukman Sivaloganathan [7:34 PM] 
Thanks @divraj for the opportunity. Was a pleasure talking to you guys. @yash12392, @jeffaxel,@siva0531 — thanks for the questions.

Divraj Jain [7:36 PM] 
@siva0531: Unlikely before 3–5 years unless a Black Swan event happens

Kcreddy [7:40 PM] 
@rukmankan thank you. ..

Kcreddy [7:41 PM]
@divraj unlikely it won’t. . . I saw a article the other day when some start up closed another round with in 2 months of pervious round and when asked about it they said they did coz they could raise and its the best time to do so.

Divraj Jain [7:42 PM] 
@siva0531: This article on Flipkart’s inflection is a good rhetoric for what will happen with other startups / ecosystem in general
Flipkart’s moment of truth is here | ETtech
Flipkart will raise subsequent rounds at slightly higher valuations and finally go public… (23KB)

Kcreddy [7:57 PM] 
Nice, simple and indepth at sams time too