Talking about the brand, Sagar Daryani, Co-founder and CEO, Wow! Momo and Wow! CHINA said on the sidelines of India Food Forum 2019, “We have launched a new brand Wow! CHINA. In the same way that we have enhanced the taste of roadside momos through Wow! Momo, at Wow! CHINA we are redefining roadside Indian-Chinese food. We are giving a new look and feel to the cuisine. We plan to convert this unorganised Indian-Chinese cuisine market into an organised one.”
“There are many brands which have been doing Indian-Chinese but there is no brand to my knowledge as such which has been serving across India as a national player and no brand has innovated and tried to give a different look and feel to this food. And the best part is, Chinese is well accepted in all parts of the country and that is what we are going to thrive upon,” he added.
The brand will operate out of foodcourts in malls and as a QSR in high-streets. Average capex involved in opening an outlet of the brand in mall is around Rs 30 lakh whereas a QSR in high-street is around Rs 40-50 lakh and a mini-QSR format which is just right for a mall costs around Rs 25-30 lakh.
“Wow! CHINA outlets will operate out of kiosks. The first outlet of the brand has opened in City Centre Mall, Kolkata. It is an 8×8 kiosk which is making average revenue of Rs 11 lakh per month,” he stated.
“The best part about running this format is that the average ticket size is going to be higher. We are expecting a lot of deliveries to happen from the outlets,” Daryani said. Franchising is not on the cards for the brand, Daryani said adding, they will stick to a COCO (company-owned-company-operated) model.
“We are happy to take the initial risk and once we become the masters then will be happy to opt for the franchising route,” Daryani said, explaining his COCO stance.
The initial markets which the brand is planning to explore are Kolkata, Bengaluru, Mumbai and Chennai as well as Tier II cities like Bhubaneshwar and Lucknow.
The brand has a vast menu with 120 options which include starters, soups and main courses.
“We have divided the menu in a very smart QSR format which includes 36 recipes. These can be divided into 4 different parts keeping in mind the four main sauces and the food can be easily customised as per the needs of the consumers,” explained Daryani.
“Just like Wow! Momo, Wow! CHINA will also be known for innovation. We have dishes like Chinese Bhel, Chilli Cheese Stuffed Mushroom, Chicken Wrap Prawn to name a few. We are also manufacturing our own sauces for the brand,” he added.
The brand is planning on opening 15-20 outlets by December 2019.
“We will take these 20 outlets as a litmus test to know where we stand. If everything clicks, then there is no end to what we can achieve. If things go as planned, then initially for every 10 outlets of Wow! Momo, we are looking at 3 outlets of Wow! CHINA – the ratio of expansion,” he stated, adding that with 20 outlets, we expect the new brand to contribute at least 10 percent of our total revenue. “However, we will be treating both the brands separately,” he said.
What’s In-store For Wow! Momo
As far as Wow! Momo is concerned, currently, the brand has 226 outlets across 13 cities and is looking to close this financial year with 250 outlets. According to Daryani, Wow! Momo might think of getting into a FICO (Franchise Invested Company Operated) model of business soon.
“Every year, we enter three new cities, and the next cities on our radar are Goa, Hyderabad, Pune, Ahmedabad and Punjab,” he said, adding that this fiscal, the brand is looking at a revenue between Rs 120-130 crore, while targeting Rs 200 crore revenue in the next fiscal.
The Investor’s Point of View
In 2017, Wow! Momo raised Rs 44 crore in Series B funding from venture capital firm Lighthouse Funds and angel investor group Indian Angel Network (IAN).
Lighthouse bets big on the brand and resonating the same, Rochelle D’Souza, Principal at Lighthouse said, “Wow! Momo is one of the best brands that we have on-board currently. Sagar Daryani was one of the most impressive entrepreneurs that we have met. He had an absolutely clear vision on how to grow his business and he worked to converting it into one of the biggest food-brands in India. I feel, his vision is coming true and Wow! Momo has become one of India’s biggest homegrown brands. It has been two years since we have invested, and the journey has been fabulous. The business is continuously growing and requires investment and we are here for the long run for them,” she concluded.
Lighthouse Funds has earlier invested in brands like Fabindia, Cera Sanitaryware, Xseed Education, Bikaji Foods and Kama Ayurveda, among others.