Dhiren Makhija, Nirmesh Mehta and Aravind R S opted out of placements to start their new company Ictoban. The website will be launched today. Currently, the site covers nearly 20 restaurants in the western part of the city which includes areas like Satellite, Vastrapur, Gurukul, Drive-In, SG Highway and Vijay charrasta. Nearly 20 restaurants have tied up with Ictoban.
Customers can view the menu of these restaurants online and place an order without having to go through the hassle of calling them up. As soon as they click the submit button on the website, an automated SMS is sent to the restaurant, which then makes the home delivery. A small commission goes to Ictoban for every order delivered.
Interestingly, you can also search not just according to area and restaurant name but even menu wise. If you wish to savour a paneer preparation, all you need to do is enter paneer as the search keyword and you’ll have a list of paneer dishes along with the name of the restaurant offering it.
The idea was test driven first at IIM-A from September 8, 2008 to January 14 this year. “It was an instant hit. We had 14 orders a day, on an average. That is what encouraged us to start the venture,” says Aravind.
“We kept thinking about what to name our new venture. Since we couldn’t come up with anything appealing, we decided to name it Ictoban, an acronym for I can’t think of better alternative names,” says Dhiren.
It was Nirmesh who came up with the idea just months after they had joined the IIMA. “It was much before recession that we came up with the idea,” says Aravind, who did his engineering from IIT Kharagpur prior to MBA from IIM-A. The board of directors of Ictoban include IIM-A professors Abhinandan Jain and Sunil Handa while Mehul from a leading media company is the advisor.
“Till 2home.in becomes a habit for people, we shall also have a call centre to mediate between the customers and the restaurants. As time goes by, we will also have more number of restaurants tying up. Later on we’ll also introduce features like takeaways and table-booking. With food loving Amdavadis around, we hope to do very well,” says Dhiren, who plans to take the venture to four more cities by the year-end.
Source: AM Bureau