We Aim To Empower Market Via Sustainable Asset-light Model, Technology: Madhav Kasturia

In an interview with Everything Experiential and BW Applause, Madhav Kasturia, Founder and CEO, ZFW, talked about his company, its future, and more.


ZFW started as a takeout store - ‘Beijing Street’ in South Delhi, in 2015. In 2020. After that, there is no turning back as it is getting bigger with each passing day. Presently, ZFW is running over 80 internet restaurants across more than 35 Cloud Kitchens in Delhi and is scaling to Mumbai. 

In an interview with Everything Experiential and BW Applause, Madhav Kasturia, Founder and CEO, ZFW, talked about his company, its future, and more. 

Question: Are you a bootstrapped startup or have you raised capital?

Ans- We raised a pre-seed round of funding earlier this year from marquee investors, angels, and accelerators (across India and the US) to strengthen our technology stack.

Question: How do brands benefit by partnering with the ZFW Platform?

Ans- F&B and D2C brands can expand to multiple geographies with Zero Capex, Zero Rentals, Zero Salaries, and Zero Utilities. It's a pay-as-you-go model. They can continue to focus on their product and delight customers while leaving the heavy-lifting to us. A brand can launch 25 locations in 25 days and service orders in less than 25 mins

Question: How’s the growth been in terms of revenue and customers?

Ans- We have been growing 20 per cent MoM and are on target to increase that rate within the next 6 months. The business grew significantly during the pandemic as brands were quick to shift focus from offline to online channels, hence augmenting the need for dark stores and hyperlocal fulfillment. So, we were instrumental in helping brands get closer to both current and new customers across geographies. 

Regarding customers, we’ve witnessed a strong inbound flow of interest and queries. Existing customer brands have also become ZFW evangelists, which has led to continuous referrals and wins. Currently, we have a customer waitlist for the cities we are present in.

Question: We read about ZFW’s entry into Mumbai and how you plan to support 15 brands across 50 dark stores initially, could you elaborate on this?

Ans- ZFW, a hyperlocal fulfillment platform for F&B and D2C brands, entered Mumbai to expand brand penetration in the western region. Mumbai was a very strategic move for the company, as it's the 3rd-largest market in India for Food Delivery and Hyperlocal E-commerce, after Delhi and Bangalore. Most brands prefer to start with the major metros before scaling to Tier-2s and Tier-3s on their expansion trajectory- as these are easy-to-access markets.

Questions: What are your expansion plans and next-in-line markets and when do you plan to launch Bangalore?

Ans- We recently launched operations in Pune and are looking to enter South India soon with a major focus on Bangalore. The platform has started taking early bird bookings for its first 50 dark stores across the South. It's a huge market for quick commerce and demand for existing and new brands on the platform has been overwhelming.

Questions: How does the model work and how does the ZFW Platform support cloud kitchens?

Ans- In a nutshell, ZFW helps F&B and D2C brands expand distribution, get closer to customers, and boost profitability using its network of more than 100 dark stores across cities. We help solve pain points for brands unable to scale up due to limitations of capital, operational bandwidth, and technology. We partner with existing dark stores and cloud kitchen facilities to optimize their idle capacity through a revenue-sharing model.

Question: What are ZFW’s future plans?

Ans- The market is huge! There are over 3 million underutilized kitchen facilities and 10,000 consumer brands that are looking to scale operations across geographies but face unending challenges. That's where we aim to step in and empower using our sustainable asset-light model and technology at the core- where stakeholders also help enable each other’s strengths to optimize resources and grow.

We plan to launch in all metros along with mini-metros by 2022 and are hence hiring for leadership positions across functions.

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Madhav Kasturia ZFW Founder and CEO

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