Q&A: Eshwar Vikas, CEO, Mukunda Foods Private Limited
The SKS 2019 team connected with Eshwar Vikus from sponsor Mukunda Foods – discussing their role in the smart kitchen and future food space ahead of the show:
What are the unique challenges Mukunda Foods is tackling within the foodtech or smart kitchen space?
Mukunda food is solving the predicament of consistency in taste and quality; it is also addressing major issue of real estate by providing customized table-top machines which occupies less space cooks faster and is cost effective. The primary myth around food industry is that machine cannot cook at par with chef, and Mukunda food has solved this issue with food robots created with the help of chef and food entrepreneur who determines the recipe, ingredients, cook time, temperature, etc. The food robots are IoT enabled and take command from a central location to empower the Chief Culinary Officer to decide the day’s recipe to all the machines across all locations.
MF is also helping food entrepreneur replicate their way of cooking so that they can scale fast, and it’s also solving the problem of human dependency and attrition. Food robots don’t need expertise in food or kitchen space to operate the machine, and Mukunda Foods is also aiding the process of localization of food through food automation.
Who is Mukunda Foods?
Mukunda Foods is a Kitchen Robotics and Food Automation Company based out of India. It has created an uncontested market space for itself as it pioneers machines for specific cuisine requirements. The way we have been cooking has not seen much evolution in the last 100 years - we still cook largely the same was as we did in the 1900s. Mukunda Foods has brought IoT and tech to the traditional food industry with machines designed by the R&D team to that can be remotely controlled and feed a recipe from a central location by the head chef.
Mukunda Foods is involved with SKS as the leader in Kitchen Robotics, and we are redefining the way we look at cooking by making the process more efficient and effective.
Give us an important “origin story” moment in creating Mukunda Foods:
Eshwar and Sudip co-founded Mukunda Foods, having gotten the idea while they were travelling: They noticed the differential pricing, labor problems and finding skilled people comes at a cost. They say how the food industry is stuck in a limbo, and a vision to overcome this issue to solve the pain point by creating a food tech and kitchen robotics company, Mukunda Foods. Today it’s now one of the largest foodtech companies in India. While there were already machines available in the market, they were not big, bulky and tough to clean, making adoption minimal or negligible. So, the co-founders created a machine and process to solve the existing pain points and address customer demand. Now Mukunda has mastered the process and has a strong R&D system in place to bring new solutions to the table.
What is Mukunda Foods doing differently? What are you disrupting, innovating, or inventing?
Mukunda Foods is reinventing the foodtech and kitchen robotics space, formulating a unique approach of man, machine, and material in a one-size-fits-all approach. Mukunda Foods offers customized solutions to all its clients based on their needs, making the food robots in collaboration with chefs, food entrepreneurs, and engineers. Mukunda Foods is disrupting the food industry by creating unique and smart IoT enabled food robots which are fast, smart, and cost effective.
What’s Mukunda Food’s future vision for how foodtech will change the way we think about and interact with food?
Mukunda Foods has a vision to be the torch bearer of kitchen robotics, seeking to be the largest kitchen robotics company in the world by providing smart tech solutions to the smart kitchen space. So far, there is not enough tech penetration in the food space, as it’s stayed traditional thus far. Mukunda food has made cooking a smart endeavor with the intention of providing food localization and reducing the cooking time with increased production.
Mukunda Foods seeks to ease becoming a food entrepreneur with the IoT enabled food robots with machine learning that improves the process every day and reduces dependency on manpower. In a conventional setup, food entrepreneurs would need five to 10 people per outlet to run the process, with inconsistent taste relying on the chef’s skills – contributing to scalability challenges for food entrepreneurs. Mukunda Foods helps entrepreneurs grow at astronomical rates while maintaining the consistency and quality of their food.
What are some of the challenges Mukunda Foods and others within your industry are facing?
The primary challenge is the perception that there is hardly any scope for innovation in the kitchen robotics space as it has long been dominated by humans, and the low awareness about the tech efficacy. Over the years, Mukunda Foods has seen a bottleneck around inventing and innovating within the space as people have reservations about robotics technologies, with fear that they would take away jobs. Over the last six years, years Mukunda Food has as a dominant player in the food tech industry as it proves how food robots are indeed the future of kitchen automation.