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As the voice of the Indian restaurant industry, we represent the interests of 500000+ restaurants & an industry valued @ USD 4 billion. Whether a chain or independent restaurant, the NRAI is here to help every step of the way. Join us!


The pioneers – The coming together of tech & restaurants


That the horizon for greater technology integration is nearer than ever was the key message at the inaugural TechIt, co-hosted by the NRAI and held in Mumbai on Oct 26. It was organised by X Events Hospitality.

“Technology is essential to how & what we do. There’s not escaping that. We see the tech companies as partners in our future, one where we have to develop together,” said Riyaaz Amlani, president, NRAI.

The NRAI TechIt was presented by Dineout in association with Mobikwik. It was a unique event where new tech companies were invited to present to restaurateurs and foodservice owners in hybrid format of Silicon Valley informality and elevator pitches popular among the B-school and start-up community today.

With Baseline and .co.in MobiKwik

18 companies, each with their special value offering to this growing industry, engaged directly with owners as part of the event’s theme of ‘adoption’, the need to try out and accept tech to improve profitability in this challenging business. In the same spirit, each company offered the audience compelling discounts and deals that were exclusive to the event only, thus meeting TechIt’s goal.


“TechIt by NRAI brought together key stakeholders from technology and the F&B industry on a single platform today. Dineout has committed to support this initiative for all the TechIt chapters, and as the pioneers of table reservation and restaurant technology in India, it is our responsibility to expand the eco-system together.

Mumbai is a key market for us and we have invested a lot of time and manpower here. This TechIt, we shared our open-platform full-stack restaurant management solution, inResto, with the F&B industry,” said Ankit Mehrotra, co-founder, Dineout.

“We are entering into the restaurant payment space as we wanted to give more options to 25 million customers where they can use their Mobikwik wallet currency which will in return open an extra revenue stream for our restaurant partners,” said Abhishek Chandra, associate director, business development, Mobikwik.

Special Mention

Special mention is needed for the three event partners, Cloudcherry, Qlicket and Radiowalla. In the true spirit of TechIt, each provided wonderful support with their services, Qlicket by managing the Wi-Fi so that each exhibitor and delegate got adequate and safe high-speed bandwidth, while Radiowalla provided a customised collection of music that kept the mood upbeat.

On their part, Cloudcherry stepped in at the last moment to provide the voting services that were a key part of the elevator pitch programme. Filling in the void, the Cloudcherry team did a fantastic job adapting their cloud-based feedback and survey system to TechIt’s needs. Their engagement for TechIt will continue with a post-event survey for delegates and exhibitors.

In this list of special mentions, professor Shirish Bokde of the Appejay Institute of Hospitality, Mumbai needs one too. An avid techie, Bokde was the master of ceremony, keeping the day’s events rolling on time and ensuring the critical aspects like the voting experience went off smoothly.

Panel Discussion

The event has three panel discussions that broadly covered the operational and technological challenges of today’s restaurateur. Detailed reports of each panel will be published on this portal as well as videos of all panels and presentations.

Panel #1: New revenue areas – what are they & how do we get it.

  • Moderated by Amlani, it featured restaurateurs and entrepreneurs that have made technology an integral part of the operations and customer interaction. On the panel were Hitesh Bhatia, founder, Noodle Play; Mihir Desai, co-founder, Corum Hospitality (Bar Stock Exchange et al), Ankit Mehtora of Dineout and Abhishek Chandra of Mobikwik.

L-R: Riyaaz, Hitesh, Mihir, Ankit & Abhishek

Panel #2: Being customer focused – where they’re going & what we need to do

  • Also moderated by Amlani, this panel featured restaurateurs and technologists who have built massive online followings and who’ve got the pulse of today’s customer. On the panel were Pooja Dhingra, owner of Le15 Patisserie, Aakash Sethi, co-founder & COO, Sweetish House Mafia as well as Sreeraman Thiagarajan, Google Business Group (Mumbai) founder and vice-president of client services at Publicis Beehive.

L-R: Riyaaz, Sreeraman, Pooja & Aakash.

Panel #3: Efficient operations – Learning of the old school in today’s times.

  • Moderated by Alan D’Mello, this panel featured legends of the hospitality industry and successful new owners such as Rahul Leekha of Di Bella Coffee, Aspi Nallaseth and PN Basu.

L-R: Alan, Rahul, Aspi & PN Basu.

Elevator Pitch

TechIt is intended as a new template for the Indian restaurant industry. A ‘pop-up’, it is adaptable to almost any setting while keeping the focus on the main purpose, excellent conversations and networking.

In a sense, TechIt is a product of today’s times, a hybrid that incorporates the best in varied genres into a new identity. The elevator pitch introduced the hospitality sector to the fast paced presentations of the start-up community and its competitive spirit. It took many of the 18 exhibitors out of their comfort zone and even though it was completely voluntary, all 18 took part.

The two-phase programme gave each exhibitor get exactly three minutes on stage, with a clock counting down their time. Some used an AV presentation to bolster their pitch while others used just the mic. Each gave special deals, which many delegates later took up. All came prepared and it showed.

Via Cloudcherry’s app, the audience selected their top three exhibitors – Mass Blurb, Momoe and VIP Table – for the second round. Here the domino format saw all three on stage simultaneously, again using their three-minute pitch to seal the deal.

With the tension set at high and the audience enthralled, Mass Blurb came out tops, earning an INR 25,000/- cash reward for their effort. Look for the full review of Mass Blurb on this portal next week.

TechIt_Mumbai_2015_Event_Pics828  TechIt_Mumbai_2015_Event_Pics867

TechIt Mumbai was the first in a series that will see it travel across the country, bringing together restaurateurs and new technology. In 2016, TechIt will be held in Bengaluru (May), Kolkata (June), Mumbai (July) and Delhi (August).

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