A Perthshire curry entrepreneur has taken on additional staff after exponential growth of his frozen meal range.
Praveen Kumar said monthly sales of his premium curries had doubled since March which has led to him making additional investments at two units at the Food and Drink Park in Perth.
Mr Kumar now has a team of 18 creating the curries which have been cooked for more than a decade at his restaurant Tabla and subsequently at his Indian Cook School, both located in Perth. The meals are then immediately frozen to seal in the freshness and taste.
Currently 250,000 frozen meals are being sold a year which the business aims to quadruple to 1 million next year.
The owner said: “We’re obviously absolutely delighted with the success of the business to date, which really seems to have taken off during the pandemic as consumers look to recreate that authentic Indian dining experience, but in the comfort of their own home.
“There seems no signs of this slowing down, and as 56% of our sales are from repeat business, we are currently trailing a subscriptions service which allows customers to receive their box of curries from us as regularly as they choose, either monthly or bimonthly.”
Praveen Kumar Authentic Indian Cuisine, which launched in April last year, using fresh ingredients from the UK and spices imported from Mr Kumar’s home village in Southern India.
The business is now exploring other revenue opportunities in light of the ongoing pandemic.
“In many ways, the pandemic has presented opportunities which otherwise we would not have considered,” Mr Kumar added.
“For instance, we are also we are trialling a corporate offer, given the fact that offices are not yet open for staff to return.
“For virtual staff meetings we can arrange for mailboxes of curries to be sent to all staff members at their home address before the meeting takes place.
“One of our chefs is available to join the zoom meeting to give a 45-minute explanation of the curries within the box.”
Customers can purchase the curries directly from a website or a growing network of independent stores, farm shops and delis around Scotland which stock the curries.
Online orders are delivered sustainably in a fully recyclable cardboard box.