He’s come as a messiah to many young parents in the city — to rid them of their tyke’s tiffin woes at the break of dawn every day. Packing a healthy meal for the little monsters that stays fresh is always a task for many young parents.
Entrepreneur Sanjay Rao, left his corporate job to start MonkeyBox and it is the first in the city to acknowledge the food preferences of kids, while serving them with the required nutrition. With our young generation not willing to settle for anything less, but the best, this start-up ties up with city schools and helps kid’s meals reach fresh.
What makes this enterprise different is that the start-up focuses on the children’s food tech space. “It is a subscription model where the entire meal delivered three times is planned by nutritionists based on the micro and macro nutritional requirements for each age group, and portioned accordingly. It’s prepared fresh without colours, MSG and preservatives and delivered at a fixed time on pre-booking. The boxes are reusable and so there is minimal disruption to the environment. We’re already delivering to 30 schools. Some of popular dishes are whole wheat noodles, pastas and healthy burgers along with very traditional millet bisi bele bath and ragi ladoos. On our advisory board, we have nutritionists and world-class chefs like Dr Sadananda Maiya, Dr Sripriya Venkiteswaran, K Jayaraj and Trishtha Ramamurthy,” says Sanjay.
Sharing how the idea was born, Sanjay reveals, “After completing my master’s degree in quality and reliability from the University of Warwick, UK, I worked with top-notch IT firms. Urban parents, especially working couples find it challenging to provide a healthy, tasty and balanced diet for their children. With their super busy schedules, they are finding it difficult to keep track of everyone’s food preferences, which is time and labour intensive. Like any other working couples, my childhood friend Sandeep N Kannambadi and I along with our spouses also found that planning and executing tasty food for our kids a constant struggle. When I checked with my peers and did further market research, I found that it was a common challenge among nuclear families.”
It’s a hassle-free daily food solution for children, delivering nutritious fresh breakfast, lunch and after-school snacks to the school-going, directly to school. “Understanding the fact that school children are always on the move, and require food from time to time to recharge, we ensure that the ‘cooking to consume time’ lag never exceeds two hours, with the child getting hygienic and colourful meals just 30 minutes before the respective breaks,” says Sanjay.
On World Chef Day recently, Sanjay organised a ‘Superchef Challenge’ where he got chefs from star hotels to curate nutritional dishes that would find place on his menu. “Many star hotel chefs were invited and the ones that were selected by eminent judges were of Chef Pawan Kumar Reddy, Jr Sous Chef, Leela Palace (Teriyaki glazed mushroom tacos with parmesan fondue, superfood quinoa salad and Tian of ragi dosa, spinach and paneer with tomato cream).”