A Perthshire entrepreneur has seen sales of his premium frozen curries rocket since the start of lockdown, with his company’s monthly turnover more than doubling since the beginning of March.
Praveen Kumar Authentic Indian Cuisine was launched in April 2019, headed up by founder and restauranteur Praveen Kumar.
The team, which has now expanded to 18, create authentic Indian curries which are based on what Kumar says are tried and tested recipes.
They have been provided for more than a decade at his award-winning Indian restaurant Tabla, in Perth, and subsequently at Praveen’s successful Indian Cook School, also in Perth.
Praveen Kumar Authentic Indian Cuisine has won awards including a gold star for two of its most popular curries, Kodi Koora and Butter Chicken, at the 2020 Great Taste Awards announced this week.
The team of chefs make the meals by hand using fresh UK ingredients, coupled with spices imported from Praveen’s home village in Southern India.
The meals are then immediately frozen to seal in the freshness and taste.
Appetite for these authentically made curries has grown exponentially since the start of the pandemic in March, with customers all over the UK ordering the curries to eat in the comfort of their own home, re-creating that much missed authentic Indian dining experience.
In addition to the doubling of turnover, research shows that 56% of sales are from repeat business.
To cope with this increased level of business, Kumar has expanded his team and invested in two units at the specially designated Food and Drink Park in Perth.
As well as delivering the frozen curries to locations all across the UK, customers are also able to buy the curries from an growing network of independent stores, farm shops and delis around Scotland.
Praveen Kumar 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.
“In many ways, the pandemic has presented opportunities which otherwise we would not have considered.
“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.”