Siddhi Mittal Podcast Transcript

Siddhi Mittal Podcast TranscriptListen to episode here

Siddhi Mittal: [00:00:00] A lot of big businesses have been built by outsiders because they see the industry how it should be, not how it currently is. I do not cook. I do not wanna be in the kitchen. Like that's like the worst thing ever. My conversation with Heinin, uh, propel this idea into motion. We both are very much doers and instead of just like faffing around, we were like, right, okay, let's test this.

Siddhi Mittal: Does this make sense? We've raised over three million dollars so far, we're gonna make this a big success. We really care. Like I care so much about getting this insane experience at affordable prices in the homes of customers, and to give so much money to chefs and actually change their lives.

Amardeep Parmar: Welcome to The BAE HQ, where we inspire, connect, and guide, the next generation of British Asians. If you're watching on YouTube, make sure you hit that subscribe button, and if you're listening on Apple or Spotify, make sure you leave us a five star review. Today, we have with us Siddhi Mattal, who's the co-founder and co-CEO of yhangry.

Amardeep Parmar: It's a marketplace for private chefs. How are you doing today? 

Siddhi Mittal: Very, very  [00:01:00] good, and thank you for having me.

Amardeep Parmar: So we've had a good chat before we started recording today. And it was quite interesting your background, 'cause you come from like India originally and then you moved to America and now you're here.

Amardeep Parmar: But can you walk us through that journey and like your confidence on there? So did you ever believe when you were growing up that one day you'd be where you are today? 

Siddhi Mittal: I grew up in Agra, which is actually a very small city where Taj Mahal is one of the seven wonders of the world in India. And I think at that time I actually thought I would only ever be agra all of my life.

Siddhi Mittal: I left Agra in 10th grade because my, a father is an entrepreneur and he decided to move to Delhi for more business opportunity. And when I moved to Delhi, I had the biggest culture shock of my life. Like instead of women wearing like full suits, they were wearing skirts and tops. For me it was like a very huge culture change and it really, it was like the first time I was exposed to like a large city and the possibilities of what could be. I would say

Siddhi Mittal: however, it's only until I got to America for my undergrad, so I went to Columbia for artificial intelligence and computer science. [00:02:00] And it's only when I got there and I realized, wow, like you could do anything possible. I didn't even know like the things people were doing out there because even though I grew up in Delhi where things are quite modern, and this is like I'm talking about 2009, like obviously this is like after the Lehman crisis and like let's be clear, things are obviously

Siddhi Mittal: a lot more modern now, but back in 2009, all the opportunities sort of existed, but for me, I had no idea if I would ever do that or would I just be a housewife. It sounds really crazy, but then obviously fast forward.

Amardeep Parmar: Even at university, you're thinking that. 

Siddhi Mittal: In high school. 

Amardeep Parmar: Okay. 

Siddhi Mittal: But the moment I entered Columbia, I was like, oh my gosh, this is amazing and I cannot wait.

Siddhi Mittal: And then obviously I was like, do I wanna be a developer or other things? And I am relatively loud. Um, yeah, I love sort of like fast paced environments and I research a bunch of stuff and I was like, trader, that sounds like something I would love. It sounds like it's analytical, really fast paced. And I sort of made that [00:03:00] transition and there was no looking back.

Siddhi Mittal: So I think once I decided I could be a trader, I think in America, everything opened up. But I would say up until India, almost up until even going to college, I don't know. I don't think I could see all the possibilities that existed in this world. 

Amardeep Parmar: So you picked AI as well, right? And you did that before It was cool.

Amardeep Parmar: Now it's a buzzword and a bit of a fad. 

Siddhi Mittal:  Yes, yes. 

Amardeep Parmar: But back then, like it was still something, which a lot of people thought was science fiction anyway. What made you go for 

Siddhi Mittal: AI? The honest answer is my sister, who's very clever and also another founder, she was from Stanford. She told me I had to do computer science, so I was like, sure I will.

Siddhi Mittal: And it just sounded cool. I was like, wow, that sounds very futuristic. Let's do it. I actually, now, I wouldn't say it because I'm like, God, there's like a big gap to bridge. But yeah, it, it made a lot of sense even back then because we were, I remember like my senior year assignment, you were building this thing, which

Siddhi Mittal: this program a game, which self-taught itself the answer, which was wild and it was like, oh my God, this is so cool. Yeah. I think it just, it seemed cool. I [00:04:00] thought, why not? 

Amardeep Parmar: Yeah.  Then you obviously decided against the trading side of things and you were there for a while. Right? And you were actually, I wanna get back a second.

Amardeep Parmar: 'Cause you said you were like very confident and loud at this point, but you had that transition from Agra where you said it was more of a small town vibe to the city. Did that confidence come straight away, or did it take your time to adjust and grow 

Siddhi Mittal: into that? I'd say growing up pretty confident in the sense where my parents.

Siddhi Mittal: It kind of raised us to just not care. Do what you want to. But I had a huge confidence drop when we moved to Delhi because I was suddenly exposed to this whole new city and I felt very invisible or new and I just felt so like sort of frightened and I wanted to not speak at all, 'cause I was like, ah, I just don't wanna be noticed.

Siddhi Mittal: I actually found my voice back when I went to Columbia. Then I was like, great, let's smash this. But it's funny, I think every transition either made me bolder or made me kind of like be a bit more nervous and kind of watch. [00:05:00] 'cause I remember when I actually transitioned into trading, it was like the most brutal environment I remember.

Siddhi Mittal: It was insane, like, People would obviously use the F word very easily, but it was more like I once came in 10 minutes later and one of my bosses, I won't say, who just looked at me and went, where the fuck were you? Like Jesus Christ, send out your fucking runs, God, what have you been doing? And I just kind of froze in that moment and I was like, Oh my God.

Siddhi Mittal: Like every second was so intense that you just kind of had to build a lot of thick skin. And at that point I had a confidence drop and I remember just being more scared and being like, right, okay, I'm gonna get through this. But then once I got through it, I loved it. I was like, oh my God, this is great.

Siddhi Mittal: This is exactly what I'm built for, but I've actually never spoken about to anyone. The time where initially I was quite, yeah, I didn't have a lot of confidence. I just kind of like waited and watched and hope no one asked me too many questions 'cause I really had no idea 

Amardeep Parmar: what was going on. I guess one thing you might have realized as it gone through life is that a lot of times people don't really know what's going on and you can sometimes think they do and it's, as you get to that point in [00:06:00] yourself, you realize.

Amardeep Parmar: Yes, there's skill involved, but it's also a lot of it's the confidence to try things that you don't know how to do and learn how to do them.

Siddhi Mittal: You know, I, the confidence competence loop, I, someone just articulated this the other day and I was like, that absolutely makes sense. Only when you do something, do it enough, you then feel right.

Siddhi Mittal: I actually know I'm great at this. And that gives you confidence. And I think that's very similar. And that happened against, once we started y hangry at the beginning, I don't know, I pretended I knew, I had no clue. And now like we've done. You build confidence. Yeah. As you do things. 

Amardeep Parmar: What gave you the idea to move to London as well originally, right?

Amardeep Parmar: Because you're, you're in India, then you're in Columbia, and then what made you 

Siddhi Mittal: I got deported. Okay. Yeah, so I didn't actually, I see that as a shorthand, but I would have, yeah. In short what happened, every immigrant in America knows it's a disaster to get visas. I actually was an engineering student, so technically I had the ability to have like extensions and stuff, but it ended up that the bank I decided to work for was

Siddhi Mittal: British [00:07:00] headquartered. I didn't have that extension. There were issues. And then basically short, long story short, I had to choose between going back to India or choosing to come to London. And at which point I was like, man, I'm just gonna choose to come to London and pretend I have a choice. So actually overnight, within seven days, I left everything in New York.

Siddhi Mittal: I actually left my apartment exactly how it was. Barclays got everything packed up, like my bed airlifted, my clothes were in the cupboard. I just left the country and within seven days I was here. And then I sort of restarted my life. 

Amardeep Parmar: And how did you find that? So did you, are you, I guess you're still here, so hopefully you like it here.

Amardeep Parmar: How did you find that move from New York to London and the cultural differences there?

Siddhi Mittal: Very crazy. So I think the only people asked me a lot when I moved to New York, oh do, did you not have a culture shock? I'm like, no, I love it. Like I loved Columbia. I just made sense. When I moved to London, I had a big culture shock and I understood what culture shock is because I'd speak to someone and I'd be like, oh my God.

Siddhi Mittal: Like, great, and then I'd sort of be expected to be invited to [00:08:00] dinner or, or I don't know. And it just never happened. And I was like, this is so confusing because if this was America, people just go along, like groups just get formed. Whereas coming to London, it was actually a very like isolating experience because I didn't realize British are polite and nice always, but then can be quite abrupt and curt.

Siddhi Mittal: And then the second bizarre thing was, sSomeone will say something and I'd start to laugh, and then I'd stop being like, oh my God, they're saying that seriously. And at some point I had to Google dry humor and I was like, oh, right, what is happening? So I think there were some really clear differences in how people operated, which actually, once it impacts your social life, you start to be like, wait, what's happening here?

Siddhi Mittal: So yeah, I would say it was a very different experience and once I got over that again, it was great. People here are awesome, but they really, uh, take a while to get used to. 

Amardeep Parmar: It's one of the things I think sometimes people don't necessarily realize is that in the London's a huge city, people can be quite lonely here.[00:09:00] 

Amardeep Parmar: And like you said, it's sometimes where people have their groups or their cliques and things like that, and it's hard to break into that. And so it's one of the things we are trying to do as well when we do our rents, like open up a bit, get people to meet each other because it is sad how many people move here.

Amardeep Parmar: I think, oh, there's all this stuff going on. But then they struggle to make real friends. So it's a problem which needs to be solved, and hopefully there's a lot of people out there trying to do that.

Siddhi Mittal: The thing is like when I moved here, I. It's almost like once you're here long enough and either if you're working or you are, you're involved in a few things, you'll then inevitably meet people and they will become your circle or social network or whatever.

Siddhi Mittal: But when you move here, yeah, you're right. It's just very isolating because even though there's so many people, Who do you speak to and how? I remember having like lunch and dinner by myself and I was like, I kind of love this. I just go with my book. But that's really bizarre. Like when's the last time you had dinner by yourself?

Siddhi Mittal: But I did that a lot in London when I came. I was like, okay, cool. Got no friends, but gonna have a great dinner by myself. And 

Amardeep Parmar: then again, but it's obviously over time you then did build those friends and obviously now things are better. 

Siddhi Mittal: [00:10:00] Oh, it's amazing. Yeah. Now it's been. 11 years. Ooh, wait, T, 20, 13, 10 years.

Siddhi Mittal: Exactly. And I think obviously I have finance friends and, um, I have a partner and I have, yeah, loads of friends from loads of different circles. We did yc, we did like Google for startups and loads of networks where we accumulated some great minded people. And then some, some of them have stuck through as very close friends versus acquaintances, et cetera.

Amardeep Parmar: And so you're still working for Barclay and you moved here, right? 

Siddhi Mittal: Yes. 

Amardeep Parmar:When did the idea for you to start appearing business come from, like, where did that spark come from? 

Siddhi Mittal: So I moved here in 2013, almost right after I graduated, uh, Barclays I did for around six and a half years. The idea that I just needed help with someone cooking was just always there.

Siddhi Mittal: I was like, oh, can someone just find me something? I'm so stressed and so busy and I hate having delivery or restaurant food. I just needed someone to like help me sort out my food. And I think I've tried it in the past and I was like, oh, just nothing great exists. Like whatever. So [00:11:00] that was like kind of always in my mind, the sort of initial inception of this idea really was like 2019.

Siddhi Mittal: I met Heinan, which is my now Co- CEO,  co-founder on the trading floor. So I was a trader and she was in sales. We got along so well because as she joined from Goldman Sachs, she came in as one of like the junior most youngest  hedge fund sales, doing really well. I was like, okay, awesome. I have like another incredible person I can like, we lunch buddies with, and we were in actually Germany for a client visit.

Siddhi Mittal: And this is after dinner. This is like 1:00 AM, I just like, go to a room and then we're chatting. We're like, ah, how are things going? This is really fun. And that's when we were like, oh my gosh, we would actually love to do something different. And that's when we were brainstorming ideas and I was like, look, this is something that's always been on my mind.

Siddhi Mittal: She immediately said me, like, this sounds amazing. Let's do it. And that was like, yeah. And I think my conversation with Heinin, kind of incr like, uh, propelled this idea into motion. [00:12:00] She was one of the first people who was like, let's do it. Let's go. 

Amardeep Parmar:  Yeah. 

Siddhi Mittal:  And that was like, yeah, that was our first steps. 

Amardeep Parmar: And so once you had that idea, right, it's one thing, having the idea and having the enthusiasm, 

Amardeep Parmar: where'd you go from there? Like how did you actually start to make it a reality? 

Siddhi Mittal: For  me, it was really important actually to meet a co-founder, so I think Heinin like very pivotable in the story and everything starts with her and me together. After that. I think we both are very much doers and instead of just like faffing around, we were like, right, okay, let's test this.

Siddhi Mittal: Does this make sense? Sort of the first 30 days after we got like a, we had a P D F, we wrote down a bunch of dishes. And then we, the, funnily enough, none of us are actually British like originally. So there were no British dishes on that meal. It was like Indian curries, like Chinese dishes, Thai. And we created that menu and we sent it to our friends and meanwhile we found a chef who was like, cool.

Siddhi Mittal: Yeah, I'm happy to actually batch cooked meals, 'cause at that point, the idea started with like batch cooking, 'cause that's what we wanted for ourselves [00:13:00] and we sent it over to our friends on WhatsApp. We were like, place your order now. Can you please try the service at cost? And people were like, oh sure.

Siddhi Mittal: Like whatever. Then they tried it and we did like 15, 20 of these. So we just like logistically reached out to every single person, got these date in their diary. We were like, go, go, go. We know enough people in finance, like let's go. Everyone can, everyone has the money to book this. Let's go. It's just a matter of getting the dates and then testing it.

Siddhi Mittal: Like the following month we had done 1520 of these. We were like, right, okay. Like that's not working. That's working. Actually people are now inviting their friends over 'cause they have too much food in their fridge. What's happening here? And then slowly it was like, ah, people are actually using this.

Siddhi Mittal: When people are around. So, oh, it's kind of like dinner party. Oh, oh, that's how customers are using us. So that's actually how we got started. It was very, um, basic. 

Amardeep Parmar: So,  so it's kind of like you were the, you're the consumers of the products yourself, right, as well. 

Siddhi Mittal: Yeah. So we set at slightly different spectrums.

Siddhi Mittal: Like Heinin is much more of like a foodie. She knows her wine, she does like wine exam. She like [00:14:00] understands food more. I'm actually vegetarian. I do not cook. I do not wanna be in the kitchen. Like that's like the worst thing ever. I actually would create a group for like liberating South Asian women from kitchen if I could.

Siddhi Mittal: Like it's a real thing. Just because I'm woman doesn't mean I should be in the kitchen cooking. So I grew up never cooking and my mom told me, you never need to. And yeah, for me, like cooking is just more like morally. I don't wanna be asked if I cook because if I'm gonna be asked my partner whose meal, better be asked if he cooks.

Siddhi Mittal: Yeah. So I'm not a cook, Heinin is. 

Amardeep Parmar: Yeah. 

Siddhi Mittal: And somehow we are both the consumers of the product. 

Amardeep Parmar: Yes. But, but Heinin, was she cooking for the, you were getting a private chef to do it or was she, was she cooking? No, 

Siddhi Mittal: no, she was not. No, no. Yeah. The private chef was, yeah, 

Amardeep Parmar: Because what I was getting out there is like, it's interesting because neither you were chefs in some way.

Siddhi Mittal: No.

Amardeep Parmar: But then to go ahead with this idea.

Siddhi Mittal:  Yeah.

Amardeep Parmar: And I think one of the key benefits you had there is because you had this network of people in finance who'd be one to try the product. And I guess what other skills do you think from your past in the banking background helped you with Yhungry?  

Siddhi Mittal: So firstly, [00:15:00] I think a lot of big businesses have been built by outsiders because they see the industry how it should be, not how it currently is.

Siddhi Mittal: And if we were in hospitality, we'd be like, oh, but that's an issue. That's an issue. That's an issue. But we came into this industry thinking it makes no sense. Like chefs are actually one of the lowest paid professions out there yet people think private chefs are fully inaccessible. What is going on here?

Siddhi Mittal: Let's bridge this gap. And I think that unique insight got us into this. As for our skills from finance, also many, I think having thick skin, like being shouted at, screamed at like the kind of jobs you do is insane. You have a lot of risk tolerance. Like I was writing a book with over 500 million worth of risk assets, like every day P and L, SW, swings a lot of volatility.

Siddhi Mittal: And that really kind of gave you the sense like, yeah, of course, like I know how to sort of balance risk, um, or I understand what that means. Fundraising, like sort of the know how of what's actually commercial, what price you should raise at how to like forecast these cash flows. Probably even [00:16:00] speaking to people like Heinin comes from sales.

Siddhi Mittal: I was a trader. We were speaking to clients all the time, and that's like selling bonds, but how different are chefs and bonds? It's like the same thing. 

Amardeep Parmar:  Basically. The same thing. Yep. 

Siddhi Mittal:And then I think. I think overall I'd say there's just like a certain amount of street smart that finance or trading or sales as like a profession really gives you, and you've worked hard, you've worked a lot of hours, you've been overpaid probably for what you're doing.

Siddhi Mittal: But I think all of that combined really set us up for this sort of like, We can just do whatever attitude. So when we started at never at no point we were like, oh, we don't know how to do that. We didn't know how to do anything, but we knew we could do everything 'cause it was just a matter of figuring it out.

Siddhi Mittal: And I think all of that sort of stems from the hustle or like the training finance, or at least training gave us on the floor. 

Amardeep Parmar: And I think what's interesting as well is that sometimes people think, oh, like I've got really good at one career. I can't move now 'cause this school's not gonna be worth anything.

Amardeep Parmar: And what you've just shown there is just how people listening right now are maybe in banking or whatever professional industry. Those skills do transfer. [00:17:00] And like you said, you don't need to necessarily be from that background, but their skills can work in other ways. And that holds as an outsider and 

Amardeep Parmar: once you did that kind of trial period, how did you then think about like maybe we is our full-time gig? Like when did that mindset shift start to happen? 

Siddhi Mittal: Look, really good question. Mostly because like, it's not as easy at, I make it look right now. I remember in that moment it was psychologically one of the hardest things to make the leap.

Siddhi Mittal: And before even we made the leap, it's like there was so much fear and doubt. Could we crack it? Like what happens if we quit? Um, what are we gonna do? And I think it took a help from a lot of our CLO people close to us, and actually my partner Peter, like he was amazing. He was like, look, why are you so stressed about money?

Siddhi Mittal: You have a lot of saved. Worst case you'll be able to come back. I'm already doing this. Like two of us don't need to earn like a big paycheck in finance. And also, what is the fear here? And when I peeled back the fears layer by layer, layer, [00:18:00] the last layer, really sort of fear of failure. And at that point you go, right, but that's not a problem.

Siddhi Mittal: Let's go. So I think for some reason that decision felt very hard. We had to make sure I will quit high and like I wanted to make sure Heinin will quit. We both also respected our like parents a lot, and especially our fathers, like both of our, both of them are businessmen, which is very different to entrepreneur.

Siddhi Mittal: Entrepreneur feels very sexy, but businessman is like hardcore, like, you know, you really, um, yeah. Fought your way to like earn a living and they've done really well. Her, her father is like Chinese, based in China slash Germany. Mine is in India. And we were like, right, we're gonna fly back to our homes, convince our parents slash dad and then quit.

Siddhi Mittal: And I remember she went back and her dad was like, no pressure, no diamonds. So it was like the blessing, let's go. My dad had a very funny reaction, so he's. A risk taker. He's awesome. And when I actually started finance, he was like, [00:19:00] I'm not sure that's peanuts. Like, how are you gonna like make a living for yourself?

Siddhi Mittal: That's really good. And I was like, dad, come on, gimme some time. And when I went back and I was like, dad, look, I, we've had this idea, like we think we're gonna start a business. And he immediately went, but your paycheck's pretty big. Like, why are you looking to quit? And I just went. Hmm. Need to do something different.

Siddhi Mittal: Wanna build something. We really think there's like opportunity here and I would like to take that risk. And then after he wasn't convinced, I was like, look, if it's not this, I'm gonna go get an M B A. And that's gonna cost 200 K like in America, at which point he got the numbers, he was like, okay, you can go and start a business.

Siddhi Mittal: And then that's better, I guess, than paying all this money to get an M B A. Not saying M B A is not good at all. It's like a very, um, it's amazing and it's a privilege for whoever can afford it. But yeah, I think that kind of consolidated him giving me the blessing and that's, we needed that to psychologically know.

Siddhi Mittal: But everyone in our lives that really matters and wants Yeah, [00:20:00] our success. Aka  our fathers give us their Go ahead. 

Amardeep Parmar: I had an interesting experience when I quit my job because my dad encouraged me to quit my job before I was ready. 

Siddhi Mittal:Uh, I love that. 

Amardeep Parmar: So I was like, oh, I what? Like, I was, it was opposite argument.

Amardeep Parmar: Be like, I'll pull about stability, Paul, but this and this and this. Like, oh, you'll be fine. Just do it. Just like you'll be happier quitting, like doing your own thing than working. So just do it. And I think that confidence, like you said, did make a big difference to me. And I do wonder where I would equip if he'd said, oh, but like, I didn't think it's a good idea.

Amardeep Parmar: And stuff like that. And.. 

Siddhi Mittal: You need some enablers in your life, whoever that might be, to help you take that leap..

Amardeep Parmar:  With that as well. 'cause it's interesting in, because you said, 'cause it was, it's interesting 'cause you're both co-founders, right? That you had to make that decision mutually and make sure you agree upon it.

Amardeep Parmar: Because if one person wants to take the leap and the other person doesn't, it creates that bit of friction. And you're co-CEOs as well, right? How does that relationship work? Like how do you split up your responsibilities and your roles within that? 

Siddhi Mittal: It's so fluid. It's so amazing. When we started, it was very much a matter [00:21:00] of, cool, let's see where our skills land.

Siddhi Mittal: We worked a lot on like communication and trust. 'Cause actually when you start off on a trading floor, you don't know actually how to communicate in a way that's productive. And we realized that very quickly because we'd start, like there'll be like a question and we'll be like, this is what I think. No, this is what I think every statement started with a, no, it was wild, but we were just replicating a trading floor.

Siddhi Mittal: On a trading floor. It's just like a battle ring. You have it out and then like the loudest person or like the best argument wins immediately and then you move on. But P and L there is instant, whereas here we're building a product for a long time. So we realized that pretty quickly. And I think those are like the fundamental skills.

Siddhi Mittal: We obviously improved. To become really good co-founders. The re, but then it was very, very natural. Like I come from a tech background, obviously I did trading, working with a lot of data. Like product is naturally where I sit in and I was like, this is awesome. Like building the product where things go.

Siddhi Mittal: And for her, she comes from a sales background, she's more of a foodie. So she naturally sort of evolved into growth and I think we [00:22:00] just very naturally kind of cover areas that are overlapping. For example, fundraising. Actually in the past we've run it parallelly because we think it's faster. It's really boring sometimes going through like a million calls, and it's actually very taxing and people always say it's so disruptive to the business.

Siddhi Mittal: Someone needs to be back in the business. But we flipped it around. It's actually really fun talking to people and telling them what you're doing, 'cause it's so exciting. It might not be very fun if you can't do your actual work. So we actually run fundraising in Paro, parallel. We just have parallel conversations.

Siddhi Mittal: It gets done like two x faster in two x half, like in half of the time. And it's really fun because we actually had some great conversations and we're always coming back and saying, actually that was a great conversation. Do we need to tweak something here? Should we rethink that part? And I almost think if I only, if only I did that, how, how would the product evolve as quickly as it does right now?

Siddhi Mittal: So look, I think we both, yeah, work really well. I think only, I think there's like a lot more research on how [00:23:00] like, Co-CEOs work very well, like Harvard Progress study recently. It's still very new. We actually had the privilege of meeting some co-CEO female founders at Slush recently. Incredible. And I think watching them on the stage, we were like, that's how we feel.

Siddhi Mittal: It's really hard to describe the way we work, but it's just like she knows what I'm thinking before I say it. It's just everything is covered. Yeah. It's very easy. I don't know how people do it without it, let me put it that way. 

Amardeep Parmar: Yeah, because it's interesting. I think it's one things that's always. It all depends on the strength of your relationship, right?

Amardeep Parmar: Because it doesn't almost matter what the titles are if you don't get along with people. 

Siddhi Mittal: Correct. 

Amardeep Parmar:Because you can have whatever title, it could be Co-CEOS, C T O, whatever. But if there's a fundamental thing that you disagree on values wise, there's always gonna be that friction. 

Siddhi Mittal:  Yes. 

Amardeep Parmar:And you mentioned there about fundraising, right?

Amardeep Parmar: So obviously you guys have raised money and you've raised money as. Obviously two women from, not from the uk, not who obviously aren't white, so that's quite a rare thing. Right. And like how much have you raised and how do you think you were able to raise that?

Siddhi Mittal: We've raised [00:24:00] over $3 million so far. Look, although on the face of it, like you pointed out, like we probably, if you start to look at us as numbers, our very minority stat, but to us, It's not about stats, like we know we can do this, what we bring to the table and look, we're gonna make this a big success.

Siddhi Mittal: We really care. Like I care so much about getting this insane experience at affordable prices in the homes of customers and to give so much money to chefs and actually change their lives. And yeah, fundraising is just like a way. To grow this so we can impact more lives chefs and also actually change, um, yeah, a lot of customers' lives and make them have this insane, amazing, uh, product, uh, in their homes.

Siddhi Mittal: So yeah, I think fundraising is just like a means to end. And we've just approached it very like mathematically we've used our connections where we can. And we also did Y Combinator last year, and that sort of helped. And [00:25:00] actually conversations after that also changed quite a lot because it's a label and it's a label that really helps you.

Siddhi Mittal: And I think it was useful because at that point, you don't have to say, I. I think the biggest thing it changes is people don't think, oh, you're like in the catering business. They're like, okay, right. You're building a food tech platform. You must be 'cause you're yc. And it just makes it easier. 

Amardeep Parmar: And I guess that framing side of things, right?

Amardeep Parmar: 'cause many people are trying to raise money, is also trying to decide whether or not you should raise money. Right? So what made you decide, okay, this is a business which we wanna raise money for rather than go the bootstrap group. And I guess it's to do with the tech side of things. You needed that investment there.

Siddhi Mittal: So to be honest, when we started we were very bootstrap actually. Dragons then asked us this question and at that point time, Heinin and I panicked and looked at each other and, and we just used the number 10 K, I think it was less than 10 K. It was like nothing. Whilst we started off bootstrapped and that's when we got into Google for Startups.

Siddhi Mittal: There are a lot of labels here, but Google for Startups, the female founders program. At some point we were like, right, actually inve, like raising a little bit of round actually allows us to build a better product [00:26:00] and actually go a little bit faster than so slow. So then we did that, and then progressively it was like right actually, By having some money or decent amount of money gives you the ability to just move faster and it's a competitive advantage.

Siddhi Mittal: So we did Bootstrap for a little bit while we were figuring things out. Covid was pretty shaky. But then once we got the opportunity, we've always known we want to build a very big business. Like the goal isn't like a lifestyle business here. We want to build a global tech unicorn and in order to get there, yeah, raising around really allows you to

Siddhi Mittal: figure out things in a more sensible fashion. And actually, like when we were bootstrap, like, and this is like really, oh God, like right at the beginning, you don't make, you don't wanna pay for little stuff which you're meant to pay for. Like you're meant to invest in your product where you can, you don't do that 'cause you think, oh gosh, it's so much money.

Siddhi Mittal: But once you raise it around, you're like, right, how am I gonna deploy this capital? It really takes away it, it increases objectivity. [00:27:00] So, yeah. 

Amardeep Parmar: So you mentioned  there about the global ambitions there. Can you just tell us more about that before you go into quickfire questions? Like what are the ambitions?

Amardeep Parmar: Like what excites you about the journey you've got to come? 

Siddhi Mittal: Yeah, so I think top level, definitely the goal here is to build a company, for example, Airbnb, but private chefs. I think it's the easiest way to visualize it and the, the vision, like in like 10 years would be if you're anywhere in the world and you want some great food, you're with friends, you're with family, or maybe you just wanted some meal prep for yourself.

Siddhi Mittal: An incredible chef just drops up with food and like sorts you out. And that's all at the top of a button. On the flip side. Everywhere people are not, either they're chefs or aspiring cooks or home cooks. There's so many people, like our country's obsessed with cooking. These people cannot monetize as well.

Siddhi Mittal: Why is it that chefs are one of the lowest paid? It actually breaks my heart and they have terrible restaurant kitchen conditions. So globally you can put a lot more money in their pocket. You can actually make it so easy for a chef to say, actually, great, today I'm gonna travel to Italy, but I [00:28:00] still have a job.

Siddhi Mittal: And I think just making sure that the entire catering side of industry to monetize is huge. And we've started off with private chefs. That's also big, like whether people, people are using us, whether it's for events like my birthday anniversary, oh, I wanna get my friends together. Or maybe like you said, it's a work event.

Siddhi Mittal: Let's get some canopies. We're doing a Y Combinator event after we're using it for that or for something for yourself. Actually, I would love for a chef deliver very specific meals because I'm vegetarian or I eat Indian food. Or actually I don't like this random stuff. I just love panier and I want this and I want this specific stuff delivered to my house.

Siddhi Mittal: And all that should be possible, but this is just private chefs. If you think of the next step and how big the catering industry is, how are people still finding potentially for their wedding. It's word of mouth. You go on Instagram, you, you don't fully know, but you kind of know you are then stressed about availability or they might get booked up.

Siddhi Mittal: It's like the top three [00:29:00] people that I can book, but what if you had a lot more options and it was very easy to do that. So I think ultimately we want to revolutionize. Access to catering industry for anyone, anywhere. 

Amardeep Parmar: So you can just tell the passion that comes through that. So it's, it's one of the things I wish I'm judging people as when, as a listener you can tell, like just you really care about this problem and you can see, obviously you're on the path now to making that dream a reality.

Amardeep Parmar: So we're gonna move to a quick five questions now. 

Siddhi Mittal Okay. 

Amardeep Parmar: So first one is who are three British Asians you’d love to shout out you think people listening right now should be paying attention to?

Siddhi Mittal: Okay, so three people I'd love to shout out about away from Heinin Zhang, who's my co-founder, are Riya Grover from Sequence, incredible founder.

Siddhi Mittal: She started feeders and sold this platform actually to Compass Group and now her new startup actually sort of as a competitive to Stripe. That's an easy way to put it. They are backed by a 16 Z and yeah, she's absolutely incredible. The second founder is Murvah Iqbal. She's the founder of Hived HQ. They are [00:30:00] building a global logistics actually.

Siddhi Mittal: Unicorn. And what they do is make, uh, all of their fleets are actually e-Fleets. So they're making it, um, sustainable and very easy. And they have some like amazing contracts from ASOS, Zara and things like that now. So doing really well. And the third person is Priyanka Gill from, she's the CEO  and co-founder of  Good Glamm Group , which is actually a unicorn.

Siddhi Mittal: India, she's British Asian. She's my personal inspiration. I met her. She's incredible and she understands a lot about, yeah, how like content, how people position themselves. And yeah, I have a lot to learn from her. 

Amardeep Parmar: So, next question. So I love all those people by the way. And um, Hived HQ is coming on soon.

Siddhi Mittal: Amazing.

Amardeep Parmar: So what can people listening right now reach out to you about if they're looking for help or guidance? 

Siddhi Mittal: I love consumer tech. I really feel like, 'cause you can understand and visualize a customer. So product, I love product actually love. Uh, taking insights from customers and building that into products.

Siddhi Mittal: So I think any product related questions would love [00:31:00] to answer. Also, I know a lot of people struggle with fundraising and there are more women that need to get funded. It's like a fact. So love to help in any way I can. There are a lot of amazing angels we have on our cap table that have a lot of extensive sort of groups.

Siddhi Mittal: So yeah, always happy to make those connections, um, for fundraising. And third, yeah, if you need like any, I don't love the word mentorship, but if you're getting started and yeah, you just need to understand a little bit or you're trying to make the leap or you're like a Seed sage founder, you need some help.

Siddhi Mittal: Yeah, happy to definitely be connected. 

Amardeep Parmar: And then on  the other side is you need help right now or that yhangry needs help with ?

Siddhi Mittal: Great. Love it. Um, we are working a lot on our customer journey on the product side right now. So if you are someone who has worked with conversion rates, our and or UX background, please get in touch.

Siddhi Mittal: We'd love to have a chat. Also, we are, um, sort of streamlining our incentives for both customers and chefs and like what it means, why they would come back, and whether that's like. [00:32:00] Yeah, I guess kind of creating like retention incentives, so people who have worked a lot to understand the incentives of like a two-sided platform.

Siddhi Mittal: Very fascinating. Please get in touch and I think a lot of platforms exist here that I've done this in the past really well. Like treat well or um, or like even deliver three-sided marketplace, those of them. But yeah, would love, love to pick your brain or I guess the third is if you are growth in, if you're in growth and you love us as a business and have ideas.

Siddhi Mittal: I'd love to put you in touch with Heinin. 

Amardeep Parmar: So really enjoyed this chat. Have you got any final words for the audience? 

Siddhi Mittal: The only big advice I would give to someone who wants to start something that's right at the beginning full of fears. There will be fears always in your life, and it's just a way of your body and your brain to protect you from dangers that actually don't even exist.

Siddhi Mittal: Write down your fears every one of them you have, and then write why that does not apply to every one of them. Then when you [00:33:00] have that fear again, which you will inevitably like the next day or the next week, just go back and read it and just stop it. So go through this fear exercise once, and then every time you have that fear again, just be like, actually, I've gone through this thinking already, and that will probably give you the ammo to get started and then just get started.

Siddhi Mittal: The easiest way to build confidence really is to do every day. When I got started, actually, someone from an MD from Barclays told me, go to a cafe every single day with your laptop and the magic will happen. And it really did. It just meant carving out the time and then just doing anything and getting started.

Siddhi Mittal: So really the way to, yeah get started, do more is to do, so do!.

Amardeep Parmar: Hello. Hello everyone. Thank you so much for listening. It makes a huge amount to us and we don't think you realize how important you are because if you subscribe to our YouTube channel, if you leave us a five star review, it makes a world of difference. And if you believe in what we're trying to do here, to [00:34:00] inspire, connect, and guide the next generation British Asians.

Amardeep Parmar: If you do those things, you can help us achieve that mission and you can help us make a bigger impact. And by doing that it means we can get bigger guests, we can host more events, we can do more for the community. So you can play a huge part. So thank you so much for supporting us.