The Fast Food & Café Conventions’ editor, Neha Mukund had an opportunity to interview Mr. Stephen Poonnen, the Founder & Chief Entrepreneur at Wyn Brands on why he chose Q-Commerce, and his extensive journey through the F&B industry for over two decades. 

Tell us About Your Choice to Move from Coffee to Q Commerce.

I would prefer to say I evolved through Coffee into enabling Q commerce. Coffee the second largest globally traded commodity after oil, gave early exposure into export markets. I have since progressed into growing speciality coffee in Laos which is the in demand high end coffee globally.

The cultivation model used in coffee gave me the confidence to explore large area high density farming of mangoes to ride the modern retail evolution of the 2000’s. Growing and selling branded mangoes (WYN ALPHONSO’s) with a consumer promise of even ripening and a 10-day shelf life. My first brush with post-harvest practices and scientific packaging. This retailer connect enabled WYNFARMS fresh cut chilled vegetables to be launched in Bangalore and being early days of chilled food trend evolved as a full blown fresh produce supply chain for all the Branded QSR’s supporting their operations with OTIF (on time in full) deliveries come hail or frost for over 17 years. 900 stores from Trivandrum to Bhubaneshwar to Goa from the Bangalore and Hyderabad processing facilities.

Established the first Food assembly unit for CCD to service 250 plus cafes across Bangalore and Mysore region enabling JIT freshly prepared food as per a national recipe .This has today evolved into a Cloud @ the mid mile for café brands ,D2C brands , subscription service providers and digital brands to look a co creating recipes to OTIF delivers at multi temperatures aligned to their shelf life requirement and formats including the instant formats (under 10 minute ) with insta- menus .Digitally ordered Food is mostly delivered last mile only on 2 wheelers and hence the terms Q commerce .

How Has the Pandemic Impacted the Consumer and the Relevance of Q Commerce? 

The pandemic brough food discovery into homes through images from the earlier model of through restaurants through a buffet or a chefs choice .The earlier construct of cook at home or eat outside is today moved beyond two extreme points to a continuum where you cook at home or assemble at home or aggregate at home to order in  at work place or in premise at a third place or subscribe to be delivered at home or work place to order digitally and take outs  to pre order to customized/personalized to fine dining where you look at the whole experience. Food delivery, therefore, has a lot more occasions and reasons to service and therefore stays relevant and by extension Q commerce. I am not wanting to argue for or against the time promises of delivery. Guess that will be menu, occasion and relevance specific.

Your Opinion on the F&B Industry Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow?

The analogy I love to draw is between the Big Box office movie production model and the OTT. Something similar is happening in food. Tech enablement, Growth vectors along day parts, formats, taste, nutrition & flavor profiles is comparable to personal screen viewing made available by OTT, when you like, what you like and where you like to view or eat, transferable audiences irrespective of regional tags and like wise with the BIG screen remaining an experience like fine dining.

The Future of Wynbrands? Where Do You See Yourself Headed?

WYN is in the flow of information, recipes, multi-tasking being the cloud @ the mid mile. Wyn will continue to remain in the flow and will invest in technologies of relevance, automation, sensors which will enable efficient mass customizations, effective personalization’s as desired by our customers for their consumers using alt data, predictive abilities and packaging to support the sustainable promise – reduce, reuse and repurpose. A rolling stone gathers no moss.

The Fast Food & Cafe Convention was excited to host Wynbrand as a partner at the recently concluded 6th Edition.

The event was held at The Lalit Ashok, in Bangalore on the 10th of May 2022. The event was the biggest yet! With over 700 attendees, speakers, exhibitors and partners. It was, to say the least, a triumph. 

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