Meet Manish Chandra the Man behind Railrestro and RailMitra
Mr. Manish Chandra, Founder of Patna-based Start-up Railrestro and RailMitra
PATNA, 1st July, 2021- The CEO and Director of Railrestro and Railmitra, Mr Manish Chandra, is a technology entrepreneur who paved the way for recognition for his 2015’s Patna-based start-up by start-up India of the Government of India.
People nowadays prefer to take trains as a mode of transport because of its cost-effectiveness and also less travel time to avoid hectic traffic. Be it a short or long journey, food is a must-have thing everybody needs. When there is a matter of food, the question of its hygiene and freshness comes along. While travelling on a train in India, it is not that easy to get good and quality food.
A long train journey needs a wholesome meal which gives nourishment at the same time it is finger licking good. Many people carry food from home that might get spoiled and also create a problem for the fellow passengers. The fast foods that are available at the stations are also not safe and hygienic. The best option to avail food in trains now is to get e-catering services.
Those days are past when you need to see a limited options menu to order from the rail food pantry. Though in some express trains the food is included with the ticket’s price. Most of the passengers are now bending towards Railrestro and RailMitra for online food orders in the tough time of the pandemic. Railrestro and RailMitra are IRCTC authorized & FSSAI certified e-catering services.
Amid pandemic, when IRCTC gives the nod to resume e-catering services in the train, the founder of Railrestro and RailMitra, Mr. Manish Chandra, ensures the passengers that the delivered food is safely prepared, and they maintain 100% hygiene. As of 2021, the food-tech startups, which served together with more than 450 railway stations in India, says it has booked over 19 lakh meals till now.
About the CEO
The enthusiastic 30-year-old Patna based tech entrepreneur, Mr. Manish Chandra started the joint venture of serving hygienic food for the rail passengers in 2015, an e-catering service named Railrestro. After three years of that, in 2018, he founded another one-stop solution called RailMitra for the Indian railway passengers.
Both IRCTC (Indian railway catering and tourism corporation) affiliate platforms are the brainchild of Mr. Chandra, who is also the Director of the Yescom group of companies. Coming from a business family based in Patna, Chandra first decided to follow an independent path as a commercial pilot after school. But he left his flying school and came back to Terra firma to join his family business.
The lack of good quality food in train always pinched Mr. Chandra. With his childhood interest in food processing he had somewhere made up his mind to bring the best food solution for common passengers on trains during his teenage only. When Railrestro launched in 2015, it was the only unique online food delivery service of IRCTC.
Chandra was not happy to see people only having normal chai, bread pakora and samosa while travelling on the wheels. Instead of that his dream project started to serve several bakery items, kid’s food, Indian and Continental cuisine etc. In 2018 after launching his dream duo start-up, Railrestro and RailMitra both became very popular among the passengers instantly. And now Mr Chandra’s tireless work, the e-commerce business is flourishing with success.
History of Railrestro
Manish Chandra and his life partner Suman Priya’s endless love for travelling often spotlighted a problem that existed across India; the scarcity of fresh, hygienic food. After marriage, his wife Suman Priya, a software engineer by profession, proposed the idea of a food delivery service while travelling on wheels. They were very unsatisfied with the quality of pantry food already available on the trains.
Mr. Chandra merged his intelligent business quotient with Suman Priya’s technical expertise to design Railrestro as an AI-enabled app (www.railrestro.com). Their dream company became an authorised e-catering service partner of IRCTC in 2017.
As of now, it is their largest food brochure site available through an app, website and customer care service call. It claims to have tie-ups with more than 2000 restaurants across India. Till now, it is the best in the market which has approval from FSSAI. For tasty, fresh & hygienic food from trusted restaurants with contactless delivery on the train seat, Railrestro is doing a great job and earning the trust of millions of passengers.
It offers food delivery on trains across India, including 7000+ trains. Passengers have the advantage of choosing their preferred mode of payment either through a COD option (cash on delivery) or secure online payment. “We keep tracking the train in the last hour to synchronise the delivery of food on the train,” Manish Chandra said.
Business and Revenue Model
Through Railrestro and RailMira’s vast network of vendors and tie-ups with restaurants within 5km radius of selected stations, Manish Chandra has built a Swiggy- Zomato like food delivery model for train passengers’ quenching for delicious food beyond the age-old rail food pantry menu. All that passengers need to do is to book at least 45mins beforehand when they want their food orders to be delivered.
So that the company can track train timings, routes, junction halts and alert their vendors. For a clear cheat before their customers, they show the booking confirmations also at their website. Their fully computerised revenue model, along with AI integrated app, customer support, and feedback, ensures hygienically packed food and a secure mode of payment both online & offline.
Manish Chandra’s brainchild companies came up with the agenda to serve their passengers high quality and fresh meals while being on the train. Keeping in mind the health and age factors, they also offer customized food for diabetic patients or high blood pressure patients.
While stations from where the train departs, not obtain many orders, it is busy in between halts where the maximum food orders are booked. Haridwar, Vizag, Gwalior are the busiest for Railrestro, with more than half the passengers ordering wholesome meals or ‘Thalis’. Chandra wants to make sure no passenger longing for north Indian food in a south Indian station is disheartened.
RailMitra is the second start-up of CEO Manish Chandra under Yescom Group of Companies in Patna, Bihar. Launched in 2018, the dream project of Mr. Chandra turned three years old this year. Recently on 3rd July,2020 RailMitra is certified by the government body, Start-up India with the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of Government of India.
It is recognised as working in the ‘Travel and Tourism’ Industry and ‘Facility Management’ sector. In the beginning, passengers used RailMitra only for tracking and planning their railway journey. But now the founder of RailMitra says, “Users love RailMitra due to its several features. The users can do a lot with RailMitra App such as check PNR status, timetable of the trains, and ordering restaurant food in trains.” Along with the website (www.railmitra.com), the RailMitra app is also making train journeys more comfortable for passengers. Till now, RailMitra has served passengers around 50 lakh meals on trains.
About the Team
Manish Chandra, along with his co-founder wife Suman Priya, have a manageable cooperative team. Coronavirus pandemic has taken the business to a temporary shut-down. But the employees remain together to fight this situation with Mr. Chandra. They tried not to cut-off any employees and had given their wages.
The public relations manager of Railrestro quoted, “There is no source of revenue generation. But we strongly believe that one day everything will be fine and we would become the example for ‘rising again’ and the golden comeback…the founder and the employees are pretty sure that we’ll overcome this phase.
”At last Indian Railways has permitted Railrestro and RailMitra to resume contactless food delivery on trains. “As the trains have started to operate now and nationwide restaurants have been allowed to reopen by the government, we now also need to focus on e-catering for convenience. All of our restaurants have been sent safety measurement guidelines for hygienic food preparation and zero-contact food deliveries to ensure healthy and safe food on train,” says Manish Chandra, Founder and CEO of Railrestro and RailMitra.
CEO’s Vision and Goals for the Coming Years
Railrestro and RailMitra are currently active in over 450 stations across India, but the entrepreneur Chandra expects to have 600 stations under his belt. He stated, “I want people to be able to order food from Railrestro after a stop of every 30 mins”. Chandra is working with 2100+ vendors right now. Manish Chandra who owns delivery staff at 15 stations but want to cover 100 more stations with more company delivery staffs in the upcoming years.
“I got so caught up with operations I never had time to reach out for funding. I started making good profits in the bootstrap stage itself. Investors themselves have reached out with pitches for funding and collaboration. Maybe I will seek out funding this year,” says the man behind the successful duo start-ups.
RailMitra and Railrestro are a joint initiative of CEO Mr. Manish Chandra serving a one-tap solution to the Indian Railway passengers for a comfortable journey on train.
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