The story of Kilobeaters (or KB as we like to call it) is no less enthralling than a juicy Hollywood thriller with loads of Bollywood flare thrown in for good measure. There were elements of serendipity, hard work, drama, incredulousness, stress, joy, sadness, euphoria and hope all mixed into a large cauldron and served up unexpectedly at every stage of our exciting journey.
It all began in 2016 when my partner and I were on the lookout for options to outsource our daily mundane chore of what’s for breakfast, lunch and dinner. While he was busy climbing the corporate ladder, I had decided to follow my passion which was fitness and nutrition. I had also had a few years of training under various chefs and realized that I was a natural at the culinary arts. Both of us had always been fitness enthusiasts and eating right was second nature. The options, however, were limited and those that existed were selling preservative and carb loaded junk in the guise of health food. That is when on one fateful, wine filled evening, we decided to start a meal plan service that would cater to the likes of us and customize meals to a person’s body type and fitness goals. We ran the idea by a few friends and one particularly creative friend came up with the name, Kilobeaters. It had a nice ring to it, we said why not and et voila- KB was born.
We started from our kitchen at home and as people came to know about us the numbers grew and we moved to a commercial kitchen in Prahbat Road, Pune. The product-market fit at that time was perfect and there was hardly anyone else in the space. There was steady growth and things were going well. We expanded our footprint and opened 2 more dark kitchen this time in Bangalore. This part of our journey had just 3 elements – hard work, joy and eventually Euphoria – for a few months.
Then came the other elements – drama, incredulousness, Stress – lots of it and eventually sadness – China decided to play spoilt sport, supply lines were disrupted, fear gripped the world, bird flu struck at the same time and we had one customer after another requesting that their meals be suspended. Our cash flows dried up and we eventually had to close down the kitchens in Bangalore and lay off staff. We suspended operations in Pune and resigned to our fate – KB will need to shut down.
I suddenly had a lot of spare time with the lockdown and started toying with the idea of starting a line of health food products. I started with zero grain low carb breakfast cereal – sent it to a few loyal customers and the feedback was good- encouraging! I then moved on to low carb savoury snacks, pre work out products and then eventually products that would suit diabetics.
In May 2021, an ex-customer of ours, who happens to run a famous packaged food chain, approached us with the idea of developing IP and contract manufacturing for them as they were looking to foray into health food. At around the same time Modi announced the Stand-Up Mitra scheme for early-stage start-ups. This phase of our journey was that of Serendipity and hope. We dipped into our savings and set up a manufacturing facility in Narhe, Pune with all the necessary equipment, licences and approvals to manufacture health food products at scale. We fulfilled our first order from our new factory on the 4th of Jan 2022.
The phase we are now in is that of optimism and with your help and support that should soon turn back into Joy and God willing- Euphoria! As Jeff Bezos famously said – “In the end we are our choices. Build yourself a great story. Thanks for reading!