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South 2 Mouth: Innovative Fusion Food Deal on Wheel

CASE STUDY, ENTREPRENEURSHIP & STARTUPS
ET Cases, 22 Pages
AUTHOR(S) : Dr. Reshmi Manna, Associate Professor, IBS-Gurgaon, Haryana and Raghvendra Sharma, Assistant Professor, Department of Management, ICFAI University, Dehradun

Case Preview

South 2 Mouth: Innovative Fusion Food Deal on Wheel

 

India has been known for most unique food cultures in the world and it is hard to imagine Indian cuisine without spices. To add variety in flavour and taste, Indians prefer delicious and economical street foods during their leisure and holidays outings. Street foods are ready-to-eat foods sold on streets sides, which could be on a bicycle, a stall or a small shop. In India, street food vendors or peddles are very common outside schools & colleges, in markets, near bus stands & railway stations, etc. Some of these street foods are authentic regional delicacies; others are fusions of different tastes. This case is about a street-side food joint, South 2 Mouth at Ahmedabad, India (Annexure I). Pradeep Parekh (Pradeep), founder of this food-joint, wanted to pursue his passion as entrepreneur with a vision of providing tasty food to customers as well as employment to the needy. He succeeded in winning hearts of many customers through his unique business model and strategic innovation in fusion menu.

The street entrepreneurs are the persons who offer services (services include foods, apparels, vegetable selling, etc.) or goods for sale to public with temporary infrastructure either static or mobile stalls (pushcarts, cycles, baskets or motorized carts) moving from one place to another. Motive to use the word street entrepreneur instead of street vendor differentiates the class as self-employed person with self-direction, creative vision, imagination and ability in generation of employment. The Government of India had inclusively defined both street entrepreneur and urban vendor as traders or service providers to local/regional public through their static or mobile infrastructure. Other Indian terminology used to describe them are hawker, pheriwalla (cadger, cheapjack, pedlar, rounds man), rehri-patriwalla (packman, pitchman, huckster) etc.

Genesis of South 2 Mouth

South 2 Mouth canvased a case on Pradeep Parekh’s dream venture, who decided to start an entrepreneurship different from mainstream business orientation. Pradeep (a native of Ahmedabad), popularly known as Peddy, started South 2 Mouth as a street-side food joint in October 2014. After completing graduation in Commerce, he joined his family business of transportation2, however, found it difficult to sustain. The issues, which hunted him to shut down that business, were truck driver’s hostile behaviour, road accidents causing owner’s sleepless nights, lot of hassles due to assignment not reaching destiny on time, etc. Within few years Pradeep realised that, he was not born for those old monotonous family business and chosen to change his line of business as per his passion and propensity..................

Business Model and Innovation

South 2 Mouth was started in October 2014 with start-up fund INR4 lakh ($25,420,000) with a simple mission to achieve ‘delight to hunger and be right to customer’. The self-financed business model had four simple sections to handle, viz. market mix, production unit, revenue model and value chain strategy (Exhibit III and Annexure IV)................

Idea Validation: Customer’s Feedback

To analyze the critical success factors of South 2 Mouth’s innovative business model as well as to understand customers’ perception on South 2 Mouth’s menu and service quality, a qualitative survey was conducted by two researchers Silk and Raghav, who were IIM-Ahmedabad scholars. They were keen to support Pradeep and explore business outcomes to plan future strategies. Their support was a friendly gesture, as Pradeep was mostly busy dealing with customers and he hardly had time to conduct such survey on his business.............

Business Challenges

The scenario of street entrepreneurs struggling for existence reveals the tough fight for their business sustainability. In fact, Pradeep was in a big dilemma when he thought of starting a street food joint in such a competitive milieu. Cut-throat competition from street food vendors offering similar menu was one of the prominent issues bothering Pradeep. To differentiate himself from the rest of the players, Pradeep first tried to analyze the nature of the business. He listed out various factors which highlighted customers’ perception about street side food outlets such as low price, poor hygiene and ambience, lack of innovative products and poor interpersonal skills of the owners.............

Road Map Ahead

South 2 Mouth succeeded in marking an impression in hearts of Ahmedabad people. According to Polka Café survey, back in time there were food carts and roadside vendors serving sumptuous food. However, in recent times, food trucks have replaced those old food carts and they seemed to be catching people’s fancy as well. There were many food vans serving food all over India. Some were externally eye-catching vans, while others had finger-licking fast food as per at the survey results of Polka Café (Exhibit XVI).............

Assignment Questions

I. What is street entrepreneurship? Elucidate pros and cons of street entrepreneurship.
II. ........................

Exhibits

Exhibit I: Pradeep Parekh’s Innovative South 2 Mouth Food Wagon

Exhibit II: South 2 Mouth, a Unique Street Entrepreneurship

Exhibit III: South 2 Mouth Business Model

Exhibit IV: Evening Ambience and Siting Arrangement

Exhibit V: South 2 Mouth Product Innovation

Exhibit VI: Traditional View of Idly and Dosa

Exhibit VII: South 2 Mouth Unique Servicing Style

Exhibit VIII: Customer’s Feedback through Social Media

Exhibit IX: South 2 Mouth’s Organizational Chart

Exhibit X: Monthly Salary of Employees

Exhibit XI: People’s Choice Award 2015 from City Shor

Exhibit XII: Content Analysis and Coding the Reason of visit to South 2 Mouth

Exhibit XIII: Content Analysis and Coding for Positive Feedback

Exhibit XIV: Content Analysis and Coding for Negative Feedback

Exhibit XV: Qualitative Model based on Interview of Service Quality

Exhibit XVI: Other Competitors of South 2 Mouth in Different Cities of India

Teaching Note Preview

South 2 Mouth: Innovative Fusion Food Deal on Wheel

 

Synopsis

In October 2014, Pradeep Parekh (Pradeep) decided to leave his 40-year-old transport business, due to certain unavoidable circumstances. As he was a passionate cook, he decided to convert his passion into an innovative business model such as street side entrepreneurship. High competition from street side vendors offering similar types of products and street side location of entrepreneurial ventures were prominent among various issues troubling Pradeep. He explored and found that customers’ perception on street food joints as outlets was characterized by specific factors such as low price, poor hygiene, absence of good ambience, lack of innovative products and owners of such outlets with poor interpersonal skills. The dilemma remained open for Pradeep was whether to go for business expansion and opening more branches to meet the demand or to consolidate business first.

Prerequisite Conceptual Understandings

This case study is mapped to the concepts specifically mentioned in the Exhibit (TN)-I. Accordingly, the participants are expected to have a prior understanding of the following concepts.........

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Abstract

The Kutch region of Gujarat is originator of the most popular street foods such as Dabeli, fafra, dhokla, etc. and the taste travelled across the streets of Indian cities. South 2 Mouth, one of the street food ventures at Ahmedabad, had been able to triumph success as street entrepreneur by offering them twisted street food with fusion of simple south Indian idly and dosa stuffed with northern spicy chana masala, manchurian or cheese. Pradeep Parekh (Pradeep) founded the venture in the October 2014 with start-up fund of INR4 lakh ($25420000). He designed an engine-less auto rickshaw vehicle into an innovative and attention drawing food wagon. South 2 Mouth innovative business model could win thousands of hearts in catering fast food within a span of a year, however the business model had certain threats for existence to be handled daily. The case gives an overview on a new type of entrepreneurship of street venturing leading to quick and effective breakeven. The case will also help in understanding the innovative business model canvased by Pradeep, which reaped him recurring customers. The case offers the participants an overview of how to start a micro entrepreneurship, what could be the possible business model, what are the challenges associate with it, how they could be handled effectively. The case would also offer an understanding of the impact of innovation on consumer behaviour which enables better strategic decision making for a sustainable competitive edge.


Pedagogical Objectives

  • To understand the concept of street entrepreneurship
  • To discuss the critical thwart factors for street entrepreneurs as start-up and then succeeding as innovative business model
  • To apply the theoretical concepts to complex real world situations of street entrepreneur in handling challenges and discuss certain alternatives for managing business in more professional approach

Case Positioning and Setting

Students opted for Entrepreneurship or Business Management studies in Courses like MBA, PGD in Business Management, PGD in Management, PG Programme of Management etc. Also, can be utilized for the course work of Executive MBA. The case is positioned for 2nd year students, who had opted entrepreneurship as a subject of specialization. The case can be best discussed for types of entrepreneurship.



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