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June 15, 2016

Investors boarding Rail Startups



Update by Arun Natarajan, Founder, Venture Intelligence: I recently (in September 2016), for the first time, had the opportunity to try out rail food delivery (when I was traveling from Alleppey to Chennai). Unfortunately, the first online service I headed to - TravelKhana - said they don't service this route and RailYatri's site didn't work at all. I then chose a company from the non VC-backed list - YatraChef. While no one turned up at the station at which they were supposed to deliver (!), someone from their cell center called (immediately at the departure time) to check if I had received the food and once I said no, apologized and said they would deliver at the next major station. And, thankfully the delivery person (from their affiliate restaurant) at the next station, did not only deliver, but actually called 5 minutes before my train arrived and said he was waiting. Whew! Spared embarrassment with the family for suggesting we would use food tech instead of getting packing food at Alleppey!  

I found YatraChef's web site UX to be pretty good. The main down side - apart from the mix up with the delivery at the first station - was that their call center folks seem to only speak Hindi. While this was ok with me, it left me wondering how they would manage with other customers who order from non-Hindi speaking states. Net-net, well done YatraChef!   

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