Startups in the country in the food services segment can be excited at the prospect of this new program launched by Sodexo and Zone Startups. Sodexo is one of oldest and largest in the world offering what it calls Quality of Life services but is more popular for its food coupons that most employers issue to their staff which they exchange for food and other buyouts. Zone Startups, on the other hand offers specialized startup incubation/acceleration services, apart from engaging in early stage funding.
The new joint initiative by these two global entities aims at helping startups in India come up with better solutions for Sodexoâ€™s customers in delivering their on-site food services and is being termed an Open Innovation Program. Sodexo has run this scheme in its home country France and is now bringing it here.
â€śThe urban food market continues to offer tremendous growth potential for Sodexo India and is at an inflection point with rapid digitalization, evolving consumers and the entry of new players. The differentiator for Sodexo continues to be the Quality of Life experience. By associating with innovative startups, we aim to transform not only the perception of workplace cafeterias, but also the way we operate and serve consumers. With startups offering innovative technologies and business models, we look forward to creating new services together and generate a differentiated experience for our consumer. It will allow us to reach consumers in a way we did not do before, create better connections and deliver better customer-centric services and experiences,â€ť Rishi Gour, Country President, Sodexo On-Site Services India said in a statement.
The first cohort of the accelerator program under the partnership with Zone Startups in India is dedicated to identification of new technology and corporate food models. Sodexo and Zone Startups will collaborate to identify, assess, test and validate the most relevant startups to coach and run pilots within a Sodexo context. The one-year program aims to bring new food experiences to Sodexoâ€™s corporate clients and consumers. Overall, the partnership will help Sodexo India to closely work with local digital and innovative players in sourcing and accelerating new technologies and business models for Sodexo business offers.
"We are pleased to partner with Sodexo to co-create this first of its kind open-innovation program in the enterprise food experience space. This program opens up collaborative avenues for startups working in emerging food services. Sodexo's global domain expertise and large consumer base is a strong ally for selected startups to attain scale at speedâ€ť, Ajay Ramasubramaniam, Director India, Zone Startups India said in a statement.
Startups that want to apply to this accelerator programme can apply through this dedicated website.