Interview: Apurv Patel: Co-founder of Petpooja, Restaurant POS and Management System
At Sugermint Media, our aim is to bring to our entrepreneurs community some of the inspiring and motivational stories from the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
As part of this endeavour, we invited yet another successful entrepreneur Apurv Patel: Co-founder of Petpooja, Restaurant POS and Management System for an exclusive interview with us.
This is the interview of Apurv Patel: Co-founder of Petpooja, Restaurant POS and Management System.
Tell us a little about yourself
Hey, I am Apurv Patel. I have worked with many tech companies & have a working experience of over a decade. But my magnum opus, if you think of it like that, is Petpooja which has successfully completed 11 years in the business.
Please tell us a little about your entrepreneurial journey
After working with many companies for years, I wanted to start a business of my own. But an ideology that was, & still is, the main guiding principle of my entrepreneurial journey is that I wanted to create a product or service that helped people.
I wanted to tackle the pain points of our customers rather than just focusing on doing business to make money.
What service(s) or product(s) do you offer at Petpooja?
Our company is called Petpooja. We provide cloud-based restaurant management software & ancillary services to the Indian F&B retail segment.
Along with my college friend Parthiv Patel, we laid the foundation of what has now grown & morphed into a company of more than 35,000 active customers.
We have always focused on providing holistic business management solutions. And so, along with the POS, Petpooja also provide more than 10 different supplement marketplace services & products that are essential for the growth of restaurants.
The idea is that once a restaurant business comes to us, we solve all their issues & provide a synced ecosystem that acts as a bridge between the business & its customers.
What is unique about Petpooja?
We wanted to solve problems faced by the restaurants & give them chance to grow. We learned that the restaurants don’t want high-end technology; they don’t have the knowledge or manpower needed to operate it.
And since, the majority of Indian F&B retail is SMBs, they need something that is affordable too.
Taking that into consideration, we have constantly worked to make our POS technology simple.
Even our other tech products, & services like the Waiter Calling Device, Captain App, Tvito: the marketing app, & many others have incubated from the same ideology.
We are continuously working towards making Petpooja an industrially renowned name for being a one-stop for restaurant management solutions.
That, if you ask me is unique about our brand; we are people-centric. We care about our customers & they can feel it too because of our attention to their complaints.
What made you choose this type of business?
The earlier infra of the company was entirely based on taking food orders from big corporates & taking them to local restaurants.
Amidst the process, we realised that there are many loopholes in the then-present restaurant business model.
And so, we decided to help these businesses expand by providing growth-conducive tech solutions at a very affordable price.
So we created Petpooja POS; a simple & affordable billing software. Plus, Parthiv & I are big-time foodies, so the cause was close to our hearts.
What was your mission and vision at the outset?
Petpooja drives towards becoming the ideal OS for any restaurant small or large. We wish to create an ecosystem that empowers restaurants.
During the pandemic, it is saddening how many businesses were shut down. We want to do something for the restaurant industry that brings them to par.
How many employees in your organization?
We started from a team of 5 in a small place in Ahmedabad & now we are a family of 850+ employees pan-India & even abroad.
It fills my heart to see so many people working for a common purpose. At the same time, Parthiv, me & the team are fully aware of our responsibility to make this growing family proud.
What’s your company’s goals?
If we talk stats then, as per a report by Technomic, there are around 41 lakh players in Indian F&B retail. For China, this number is almost a crore.
Given that both the countries are almost at par for population, there is a huge growth potential for the Indian sector once the majority of unorganised players switch to the organized sector.
But this is only possible if they are empowered with every essential tech solution. Petpooja’s goal is to be this tech provider.
We are constantly working towards onboarding businesses & teaching them ways of growing they don’t know to exist.
What was the inspiration behind turning an entrepreneur
I consider myself to be driven & aggressive when it comes to working. But somewhere during my employment years, I felt I was not meeting my potential.
And so, I quit my job & channelled my energy toward creating something I wholeheartedly believed in. Plus,
I am a people person. For me meeting new people, understanding various perspectives or just having a good laugh with them is a very important element of my being. I am lucky to be able to do that as an entrepreneur.
What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?
I took my engineering years very lightly. But then during my MBA, I excelled. It was the pressure that I endured during those years to try to match up with my peers that shaped me to be who I am today.
Key things to consider before starting a startup
An essential is to have a team that you can trust blindly & that has faith in your idea. A good team can make or break any business.
It is not so much about the money or the revolutionary ideas, but the hands that are ready to get down to business & focus on achieving it.
If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Have the right attitude. Business is all about people. Your skillset would fail if your attitude is not right. But despite not having the needed skills, you would grow more with the right attitude.
Also, I know it might sound redundant, but be positive. Things often turn in our favours more than not.
Your success tips for young and aspiring entrepreneurs
Be honest. Be ethical. Be transparent. Large business goals seem amazing but if day-to-day execution is not at par, then those are just false dreams.
News from Petpooja:
- Ahmedabad-based Petpooja empowering restaurants to automate their operations: Petpooja’s innovative software is powering more than 25,000 foot outlets including QSRs, cloud kitchens, fine-dine restaurants and all other F&B formats across India.
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