Highlights There’s this one thing that we [co-founders] all have in common, which is the entrepreneurial spirit, but that’s a default that we bring to the table. So we understand ownership. We understand how to get things done end-to-end, how to start small, but how to think big. Cloud kitchens mushroomed pre-pandemic, primarily because […]

Dishserve CEO and co-founder Rishabh Singhi

S03E11: Dishserve CEO Rishabh Singhi on cooking up an asset-light approach to cloud kitchens in Indonesia

Highlights

  1. There’s this one thing that we [co-founders] all have in common, which is the entrepreneurial spirit, but that’s a default that we bring to the table. So we understand ownership. We understand how to get things done end-to-end, how to start small, but how to think big.
  2. Cloud kitchens mushroomed pre-pandemic, primarily because the online deliveries took flight…The pandemic only helped fuel that, but we at Dishserve thought that there’s a gap between what the traditional cloud kitchens are currently doing versus what Dishserve has been envisioned as.  
  3. The distribution network of the food business has been existing since the rise of McDonald’s, KFC, Domino’s…bringing in home kitchens and upgrading them, and standardizing them is something very unique to Dishserve. And then bringing in technology, making it super easy for these home entrepreneurs to operate their kitchens…sets us apart from the other cloud kitchens that have come up.
  4. Working with Dishserve for a brand does not mean that the quality would go down or would be compromised because they use the exact same product and we only heat, assemble, and package the product.
  5. The way it creates a win-win situation for all of us is that number one, the kitchen starts earning additional income sitting at home. And the brands do not have to expend on creating a brick and mortar CAPEX-based infrastructure, or committing to a fixed monthly operating expense. 
  6. Dishserve is a network of ghost kitchens, which is very different from traditional cloud kitchens…to get neighborhood-level access or the last mile distribution network, the only available option at this point in time is Dishserve…I feel that both these models would continue to expand in the years to come and this is irrespective of the pandemic.

About our guest

In this episode, we have Rishabh Singhi, the CEO and co-founder of Dishserve. Prior to Dishserve, he was previously COO and Head of Products at Reddoorz. And prior to that, he had already been working in a couple of different technology-enabled and based companies, across different regions, starting from India all the way across APAC, and in various industries as well, in education, financial services, talent development, career development. In this episode, he shares how he and his co-founders came together in the midst of the pandemic to rethink F&B distribution, what makes Dishserve different from the traditional cloud kitchens, and how their asset-light model creates a win-win situation for Dishserve, home kitchens, and F&B brands. 

Timestamps

00:31 Introduction of Rishabh

01:19 How Rishabh met Yinglan and Insignia;

02:09 How Rishabh came to starting Dishserve in the midst of the pandemic;

05:59 How Rishabh gathered his co-founders;

09:59 Cloud kitchen space in Indonesia and where Dishserve fits into the picture;

14:09 Coming up with the Dishserve model;

15:01 How Dishserve recruits and onboards home kitchens to their ghost kitchen network;

16:23 Ensuring QA of Dishserve’s home kitchens;

18:31 Creating a win-win scenario for F&B brands and home kitchens;

20:10 Scaling Dishserve model beyond Jakarta;

22:22 How Rishabh sees cloud kitchen and Dishserve models evolving moving forward;

24:11 Rapid Fire Round;

Transcript

Paulo: On behalf of Insignia we just recently partnered with Dishserve and it’s been a pleasure having partnered with you and really looking forward to what you guys have in store.

Rishabh: Pleasure is all ours. We partnered with Insignia last year. Yinglan dropped me a one-liner saying your profile is very interesting, let’s talk.

Paulo: So [he] didn’t even mention Dishserve at all?

Rishabh: No, he didn’t and we just started fundraising like a week back, and I think news travels fast. And Yinglan is great at spotting talent and opportunity. So he wrote like an email and we chatted and we got on the call and I gave him the background story and where I’m coming from. And he’s like, yeah this is great. This is very interesting, and let’s talk again. And we did talk again a week later and a couple of days later, we signed the term sheet.

Paulo: Glad it panned out really quickly and well. So I just really want to dig a little bit deeper into learning more about the business and how it’s been doing so far since we partnered with you. So first things first, how did you start Dishserve? I think you wrote this in an article that you posted on your LinkedIn, right? When you returned to New York, after having been at Reddoorz, you were working on some idea and then the pandemic hit and then you had to switch gears again. So what was that experience like?  

Rishabh: By September 2019, Reddoorz had grown multifold. We were able to establish leadership at various different levels from establishing local leadership to HQ level leadership, country-level leadership teams and stuff like that. And we also raised a significant amount of capital. We just concluded our Series C round and the timing was just right for Reddoorz at that point of time to shift gears from being this hyper fast-growth company to be this massive ship that slows down and does fewer things, but with more impact.

And I think for me personally, I felt okay. The first five years were really exciting at Reddoorz and things were getting a little less exciting for myself personally, because we had clearly established leadership, reporting structures and so on and so forth. And I’m like a zero to one guy, I like to get my hands dirty with things.

So I left my full-time role at Reddoorz in September 2019 and moved to the US, to New York in October 2020 to start another company called Ethos. Ethos is a hotels plus members club kind of a company and something very similar to Soho House, but we went to prefab construction. So basically we could put together a hotel and a members club in any commercial space, using the existing HVAC and plumbing systems, and convert it into a hotel and a members club in 48 hours. So all the furniture, frames, rooms, et cetera, were all put together or put in factories and were just assembled onsite in any commercial space.

But we were very small at that point in time and in March COVID hit, we were about to lease out our first space. But New York became like a ghost town. It was pretty affected by the first wave. And the hotel market in New York crashed. We were very small as a company at that point in time and we figured out we would not be able to survive and look to the end of the tunnel. So I took like a couple of months break and went on a soul-searching spree. So I relocated myself. I was very disappointed because we were having a great time at Reddoorz. We worked very hard to scale Reddoorz. And then I left everything in order to start another company. And then the plans just crashed. It was pretty disappointing. And New York is a cutthroat city. So if you’re not really going out, I mean like, the harsh wintertime and the struggle with the startup, and then the summer came, and COVID came along with it.

So neither did the startup take off, not that we were allowed to go out of the house during the summertime. And New York apartments are really small. And so it was not really a pleasant experience. So I relocated out of New York and moved to a city called Fayetteville in Arkansas, and that’s when I came across this thought of Dishserve. And the initial idea came to me because my other co-founder Stephanie was thinking of doing something of her own as well, and she wanted to do a culinary business. And she wanted to open an eatery or a smaller restaurant or a Toko. And she started by cooking puddings at her own house and started setting it on Instagram.

Paulo: Which a lot of Indonesians do, or a lot of Indonesians did [during the pandemic]

Rishabh: Yeah, a lot of Indonesians do. And I  was in the States at that point of time and there a lot of Indian aunties who do that as well. It’s just an Asian thing. It’s just a very fun thing to do. So I figured this out and the business does very, very, very well for the first 15 days when friends and family are buying it and then it just tapers off. And this kind of intrigued me and this was the beginning of the seeds of the idea of Dishserve.

Paulo: Nice. I actually appreciate how Dishserve started out from the experiences of your co-founder actually starting her own Toko as you mentioned, her own food business.

Rishabh: Yeah it was very interesting.

Paulo: And so like speaking on that thread, right? So how did you meet the rest, or rather, come together with the rest of your co-founders and really pinpoint these people as the right people, the right talent to lead Dishserve. 

Rishabh: Yeah. It’s very interesting. So, none of our co-founders knew each other before I introduced them. So I knew them individually, but none of these people knew each other.

Paulo: So all of Rishabh’s friends.

Rishabh: Yeah, I would say that. And it’s very interesting that all four of us were based out of different countries and we’re having our own timeline and our own circumstances. So Stephanie is one of our co-founders. She used to work with Reddoorz. She was an early employee at Reddoorz, and then she was transferred to the Philippines to start Reddoorz’s Philippines business from scratch. She was the country head out there.  And so I knew her and she brings in a lot of Indonesian context, and she’s a fantastic account manager. She knows how to manage and grow accounts. And she has this amazing cooking skill and she has her bachelor’s and majors are in PR and communication. So she has this understanding of brand communication, starting businesses from scratch and so on and so forth. So that kind of was an ideal element or the missing piece, but there were a lot of missing things that came to my head when I was thinking about this idea.

And I think a lot of this was sorted out by Stephanie. My other co-founder’s name is Vinav. Vinav and I go a long way. He used to be my neighbor in my hometown in India. And we’ve practically grown up together for the first 17 years of our lives. And he started his entrepreneurial journey very early when he was 21 when he was in his engineering college. And his last startup was called Nonmoving inventory, which was a Google Blackbox participant and invested in by Lightspeed. He took an exit a couple of years back, and then he was basically mentoring and advising startups and acting as a consultant to startups. So he comes in with a very unique design and product and digital marketing perspective and brings that expertise into the Dishserve team.  

And then we have Fathi. Fathi started his entrepreneurial journey 15 years back and he built his first website called Anything.lk, which is like a Craigslist for Sri Lanka, which was later acquired by Alibaba. And his latest startup was called Pick Me. Pick Me is like the Go-Jek of Sri Lanka. It’s into ride-hailing, food deliveries, and so on and so forth. And it’s the major Uber competitor in Sri Lanka. So I knew Fathi because we were trying to expand or look for expansion opportunities in Sri Lanka during my time with Reddoorz. At that point in time, Fathi was in the start-up scene. So I was meeting the who’s who of start-ups. And that’s when I met Fathi and we became great friends. And when this idea of Dishserve kind of came to me, I individually spoke to all four of them and said, “Hey, listen, guys, I have come across this idea. And I think it has real potential. Would you be interested?” And these were the only four people I actually spoke to. And all four of them said yes.

Paulo: Oh wow, like the first four people that you spoke to about Dishserve.

Rishabh: The first four. Yes, these are the only four people that I spoke to. And then just got them on the call. At that point of time, I was in the US, Stephanie was in Indonesia, Fathi was in Sri Lanka, and Vinav was in India. So different parts of the world on a call trying to kind of get our heads around this. And everybody was super excited about the idea. And we were like, “Why did somebody not think of this before? I mean, like why are people not doing this, we should totally do this.” And that’s how it kind of started. And yeah, the rest is history.

Paulo: At Insignia we always say you really have to have an A-Team from day one. And I think you’ve been able to bring those people together. Really interesting how you were the main connector for all you four founders to come together and that all of you guys seem to be really experienced operators.

Rishabh: Apart from having very domain-specific experience. There’s this one thing that we all have in common, which is the entrepreneurial spirit, but that’s a default that we bring to the table. So we understand ownership. We understand how to get things done end-to-end, how to start small, but how to think big. All of those things come as a default with all three of my other co-founders including myself. And I think that’s one thing that we bond over most. 

There’s this one thing that we all have in common, which is the entrepreneurial spirit, but that’s a default that we bring on the table. So we understand ownership. We understand how to get things done end-to-end, how to start small, but how to think big.

Paulo: I think it really helps if your co-founders also have that entrepreneurial spirit or even experience building and scaling businesses. So now we’ve talked about how the team came together. And now I want to also talk about the market. Especially during the time when you guys started, cloud kitchens were already on the rise, especially in Indonesia, with the whole pandemic and a lot of businesses trying to explore this new model in the market. So how did you initially envision Dishserve to stand out as a cloud kitchen business? And how has that translated over the past nine months since you guys started?

Rishabh: Yeah, I think you’re right. Cloud kitchens mushroomed pre-pandemic, primarily because the online deliveries took flight. And it just started making more sense for F&B restaurants or F&B players to not have a dine-in in every neighborhood that they would want to expand into. They would select where they would want to have a full-service dining restaurant or have an option to also have a dark, ghost kitchen where it’s only delivery or takeaway only. So I think that was already on the rise. The pandemic only helped fuel that, but we at Dishserve thought that there’s a gap between what the traditional cloud kitchens are currently doing versus what Dishserve has been envisioned as. 

So what I do is that I divide the food business into three parts. The first part is the agriculture part where the food is grown. And then the mid part is where the food is processed or there’s live cooking or food is cooked in bulk. So all these food manufacturers, catering services, kitchens, restaurant kitchens, cloud kitchens, et cetera, all fall in the mid-mile or the second part but there’s this third part of the system, which is a very efficient way to distribute food, which is having a distribution network. The distribution network or the ghost kitchen network that Dishserve is not a place where there’s any live cooking or food being cooked in bulk so on and so forth. But rather it’s a last-mile distribution point where there’s only heat, assembly, and package.

So the food is only heated, assembled, and packaged at any of the Dishserve networks of kitchens, which is the major differentiator between a cloud kitchen and Dishserve. Traditionally. Some amazing food brands already had a great distribution network. So for example, McDonald’s or Domino’s, KFC, all of these amazing food brands, they have a great central kitchen or a great manufacturing unit, and then they just go ahead and open lots and lots of distribution centers, lots and lots of distribution points. But just like the McDonalds, the KFC that we interact with, the food is only heated, assembled, packaged, and shipped out for the customer. So we felt that apart from these top brands, the other homegrown brands or other brands that have less than 15 outlets do not have access to these distribution networks.

So hence we created this distribution network for these smaller brands, who could then distribute using Dishserve’s network, gaining neighborhood-level access to their customers. This is really the differentiating factor between us and the cloud kitchen, which is number one. There’s no live cooking that happens. It’s only heat, assembly, and package. Number two, Dishserve provides neighborhood app-level access to brands. And number three, it’s just much easier for the F&B brands to expand using the Dishserve network, because they do not have to expend on CAPEX or building a new brick and mortar outlet in every location that they want to expand to or expense in fixed monthly operating expenses, such as rent, electricity, et cetera, or hiring of staff to create a distribution network chain for their brand.

Cloud kitchens mushroomed pre-pandemic, primarily because the online deliveries took flight…The pandemic only helped fuel that, but we at Dishserve thought that there’s a gap between what the traditional cloud kitchens are currently doing versus what Dishserve has been envisioned as. 

Paulo: Yeah, I think it’s really interesting that you really zoomed in on what you could support with a network of different homeowners using their own kitchens, and not really take on the entire process as you mentioned. And this approach to cloud kitchens specifically in Indonesia, was this influenced by any other models that you saw in other markets, or was it purely as you’ve just described an adaptation to the existing landscape in the country?  

Rishabh: I feel that the distribution network of the food business has been existing since the rise of McDonald’s, KFC, Domino’s, so it’s been there for a while, but bringing in home kitchens and upgrading them and standardizing them is something very unique to Dishserve. And then bringing the whole technology to solve day-to-day operational issues and making it super easy for these home entrepreneurs to operate their kitchens sets us apart from the other cloud kitchens that have come up.

The distribution network of the food business has been existing since the rise of McDonald’s, KFC, Domino’s…bringing in home kitchens and upgrading them and standardizing them is something very unique to Dishserve. And then bringing in technology, making it super easy for these home entrepreneurs to operate their kitchens…sets us apart from the other cloud kitchens that have come up.

Paulo: Since you mentioned that the distribution point being the home kitchens, that’s something that really differentiates you guys, I’d like to talk a little bit more about that and better illustrate to the listeners what the experience is like for a homeowner being part of this distribution process.

Rishabh: So what we do is that we run campaigns on Facebook, Instagram, referral campaigns, et cetera, and invite applications, from these homeowners, which has multiple questions about the location of their homes, photos and videos of their kitchen, electricity wattage at their house and space availability and so on and so forth. And then these applications are filtered automatically using a bot, and the qualified applications are then visited physically by our team. And a physical KYC is done to verify the information provided to us at the time of application. And based on that the kitchen is either approved or rejected. 

If the information provided to us does not match with the actual on-ground information, the kitchen’s rejected. If it matches it’s approved. Once the kitchen is approved, we start the onboarding process. The onboarding process is typically equipping the kitchen with a standard set of equipment, like a chest freezer, deep fryer, a microwave, training them, explaining to them these SOPs, and training them on how to use our app. There are certain hygiene and contamination guidelines that these kitchens have to adhere to. So it typically takes two weeks from signing the contract for a kitchen to go live.

Paulo: So you mentioned a lot about these SOPs. And making sure that everything is standard across the various home kitchens. So given the level of autonomy you’re giving homeowners, compared to other cloud kitchen models, as part of your ecosystem, how do you manage quality assurance and ensure that the homeowners meet the standards of the F&Bs that you work with? 

Rishabh: It was very important for us to make sure that all of the kitchens in Dishserve’s network are up to a minimum level of standard and follow a standard SOP so that any other F&B brand could come in and it just becomes a plug and play model for the F&B brands.

So what we’ve done is that number one, we have a periodic audit to ensure that the kitchens are following our health and contamination guidelines, so on and so forth. These audits are managed, completely through our kitchen app where the kitchen has to take photos and videos of the kitchen and provide us with some more information and follow certain steps. These audits are then reviewed by our central review team and escalation-based physical visits are made to verify information, if there’s some confusion or something of that sort. And based on this audit if the kitchen fails the audit, we throw them out of the network. This is the first proactive step. 

We also have a mystery order concept wherein we place random orders at random kitchens to make sure that there’s consistency. Along with this, we also keep a tap on the reviews that customers write online and make sure that we collect all of this information and crunch all of this data and take escalation-based actions on these kitchens. So by doing all of these things, we make sure that we bring all of these kitchens to a minimum level of quality and all that quality is basically monitored through technology. 

Having said this, I would also like to reiterate here that our kitchens do not do any live cooking and they’re only responsible for heating, assembly, and packaging. So in a way, since the food is completely being managed by the food brand itself, they are the ones who are responsible for controlling the quality and stuff like that. So working with Dishserve for a brand does not mean that the quality would go down or would be compromised because they use the exact same product and we only heat, assemble and package the product.

Working with Dishserve for a brand does not mean that the quality would go down or would be compromised because they use the exact same product and we only heat, assemble, and package the product.=

Paulo: It’s really interesting how this focus on giving those processes to the home kitchens really you sort of manage the risks, while still being able to reach the kind of distribution, provide the kind of distribution that F&Bs need or are looking for. And speaking of F&Bs, right? So that’s the third leg of the table, with Dishserve and then home kitchens being the other two. You talked about the monetization model earlier in one of the previous questions.  How does that specifically create a win-win scenario for both the F&B brands that you work with and Dishserve as well? 

Rishabh: That’s a great question. So we are a very open platform, so we charge 30% commission to F&B brands that work with us and 30% commission on every transaction. And 20% of that goes back to the kitchen partner who fulfills the order. So let’s say something gets sold for $10. And then there’s Grab or Go-Jek charging commission where it’s $2. On the remaining eight Dishserve would charge 30%. So that’s 2.4. Out of that 2.4, 1.6 goes to the kitchens, and 0.8 goes to Dishserve and the remaining 5.6 goes back to the brand itself. 

The way it creates a win-win situation for all of us is that number one, the kitchen starts earning additional income sitting at home. And the brands do not have to expend on creating a brick and mortar Capex-based infrastructure, or committing to a fixed monthly operating expense. They just have to quickly cook additional meals and pay only if the meals get sold. So this is very flexible for the brand owners. Dishserve charges its commission in view of providing technology, training, logistics support, and maintaining the network of these kitchens. So that’s how it works.

The way it creates a win-win situation for all of us is that number one, the kitchen starts earning additional income sitting at home. And the brands do not have to expense on creating a brick and mortar capex-based infrastructure, or committing to a fixed monthly operating expense. 

Paulo: And I imagine this flexible approach has been really attractive to F&B brands given that you guys have already brought together 15 plus brands in your network over past few months that you’ve been operating. So over that time, what are the patterns that you’ve seen in the kinds of F&Bs that you work with? Are there any trends that you’re seeing, or do you have any specific criteria that you’re looking for with an F&B brand that you work with?

Rishabh: At this point in time, we are working with all kinds of F&B partners and the kind of stuff that we do at Dishserve kitchens range from burgers to donuts, rice bowls to sushi, Korean food to Biryani, sandwiches to salads. So basically we’re doing almost everything and so far it’s working out great.

Paulo: Awesome. It’s really great that you guys run the whole gamut. And in case there any listeners out there who have any F&B brands in Indonesia… 

Rishabh: Yeah, shout out to all the F&B brands — if you’re expanding into Jakarta, or if you’re already in Jakarta and would want to expand to multiple neighborhoods, without putting in any CAPEX or OPEX Dishserve is the right choice for you. Go ahead on Dishserve.com and register your brand.

Paulo: Well said. And speaking of expanding into, or out from Jakarta, I imagine growing this whole Dishserve ecosystem involves balancing the number of homeowners, where they are distributed, alongside the F&Bs that you partner with. So how do you see your approach to scaling this network, especially beyond Jakarta and to other cities in Indonesia?

Rishabh: Sure. That’s a good question. So when we acquire a kitchen, the first brand or the default brand that goes into every Dishserve kitchen that we have is the Dishserve brand. So for a kitchen owner, from day one, they have the opportunity to sell. And there’s something out there to sell and then eventually other brands would also fill in. In terms of scaling the two sides of the marketplace, I think this is where our innovative model, which is a three-legged model, comes into the picture because by the time the brands comes to the kitchen, we already have the Dishserve default brand into a kitchen, which kind of keeps the machine moving. And the way we look at expansion at this point of time is that we would want to focus on Jakarta at least until Q2 of 2022. And by the end of next year, we plan to expand into two more cities.

When we acquire a kitchen, the first brand or the default brand that goes into every Dishserve kitchen that we have is the Dishserve brand…by the time the brands come to the kitchen, we already have the Dishserve default brand into a kitchen, which kind of keeps the machine moving.

Paulo: That sounds good. And it will be really exciting to see how you guys replicate this model that you’ve seen success with over the past few months into other cities and speaking of this three-legged model that we’ve been talking about for the past few minutes, this in itself, I would say is already an evolution in the cloud kitchen, sort of how cloud kitchens are running in Indonesia. And so my question is how do you see that evolving even further?

Rishabh: So even pre-pandemic we saw the fact that online deliveries were on the rise and the fact that Indonesia never really went into a lockdown, everything’s pretty much open out here. So the business models that are currently operating are not really particularly accelerated by the pandemic. There’s some sort of extra adoption that we have all seen, but that’s not purely due to the pandemic. It would have eventually happened. The pandemic just played the catalyst role. 

In terms of cloud kitchens, I would want to clearly distinguish Dishserve from this cloud kitchen debate, because Dishserve is a network of ghost kitchens, which is very different from traditional cloud kitchens. And so I feel that in the growing Indonesian food landscape, cloud kitchens would continue to grow as more and more F&B brands would need more and more central kitchens or ready-to-use infrastructure where they could come in and cook. However, to get neighborhood-level access or the last mile distribution network, the only available option at this point in time is Dishserve. So while cloud kitchens offer a full-service stack to F&B players to come in and cook and stuff like that, Dishserve is more like a ghost kitchen network, which is more like a plug and play, heat-assemble-package kind of a shop for these brands. So I feel that both these models would continue to expand in the years to come and this is irrespective of the pandemic.

Dishserve is a network of ghost kitchens, which is very different from traditional cloud kitchens…to get neighborhood-level access or the last mile distribution network, the only available option at this point in time is Dishserve…I feel that both these models would continue to expand in the years to come and this is irrespective of the pandemic.

Rapid Fire Round

If you were to be in the shoes of a CEO / leader for one day who would it be?

Rishabh: Elon Musk. I would get access to a lot of cutting-edge technology and get inside access to what he’s trying to do. 

If you were to start your own F&B business / restaurant, what would be your prize dish / delicacy? 

Rishabh: This is definitely Indian cuisine and it’s called Panipuri, it’s like water balls and it’s street food, but this is fun food that everybody loves. There is nobody who would not like this food, like any, any Indian person no matter where they are, they would have heard of it and they will want it. And they would want to eat it. So yeah this is my favorite too.

Advice for founders raising their first round? 

Rishabh: For founders who are raising their first round, it’s very important to have a great story. A great story about why and how and what your startup is doing. And then the second thing that’s very important is the founder’s profile. I mean, what you’ve done in the past, and how would it enable you to be successful in your own venture? So having these two answers really clearly, would help investors to have confidence in your startup and in your business idea.

What is the biggest lesson that you’ve learned from the past experiences that you brought into Dishserve?

Rishabh: Setting the right company culture is really very important and it is this one single factor that defines, or that directly controls the outcome that you’re trying to achieve. Business would go up and down. There will be challenges at it scales and so on and so forth, but setting the right culture within the workforce and within the employees, basically sets you apart from number one and it sets you apart from the competition. And number two, it puts you into a position of navigating through the challenges that come your way. So I would say setting the right company culture. And working with Reddoorz and CareerBuilder, CareerBuilder was once amongst the top 10 places to work at. Reddoorz is a fantastic place to work at. And having been involved in these workplaces kind of really taught me how to manage employee expectations, how to exceed them, and how to build a great culture where people are free to express their opinions. That’s the key.

What did you want to grow up to be when you were a kid?

Rishabh: So this is a funny story. So the first thing that I wanted to become as a kid was a bus conductor because I would take a bus to school at school. And I always felt that the bus conductor pockets all the money and how rich he would be. Those dreams were later shattered when my mom told me, “No, this is not his money, he’s on salary.” And then I wanted to be an astronaut. I was really, really, really intrigued by space science and I started studying relativity very, very, very early, probably in my eighth grade, fascinated by some of the work that Einstein was doing, which is very exciting for me. But as it turns out…

What do you do to de-stress?

Rishabh: I think this is a great question. And it’s often ignored. Founders’ anxiety and founder stress is real and it’s often understated and looked down on. And not a lot of people would want to talk about this. I think talking about it and having something that you do that de-stresses you, because running the company day-to-day, raising money day-to-day, you pitch to a hundred investors, probably 99 would say no. I think having a feeling of rejection early on, failing early on and then coming up with a new idea every day is all stressful. And at Dishserve, we have a chief happiness officer, which is my dog and her name is Fiona. So we play with Fiona and we invite all the people that are going to kind of come to my place. And we all know Fiona and have played the Fiona at some point in time. So I think that’s really de-stressing for me personally.

Anything else you want to share?

Rishabh:  Thank you so much, Paulo for inviting me on to this podcast and having a very candid chat. From my side, all I would like to say is all the F&B brands who are wanting to come to Indonesia and see Jakarta as their target market, Dishserve is your first port of landing.

And for all those home entrepreneurs, micro-entrepreneurs, people who cannot really go out to find work, and want to do something and want to contribute to the economy, sitting inside the house, please come and become a kitchen partner at Dishserve and earn additional income. And I would like to have a special shout out for our amazing team at Dishserve, we are now around 27 people. And it feels as if we’re like the 300 from Sparta, very combative and super eager to make it work. So, yeah, I think all the credit goes to them.

***