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As a former employee of a call centre, Rachel Arora knows how limited the choices can be be when you go scouting for a meal late at night. "There was little choice. In the office you got sandwiches, or you had do make do with whatever was open at 3 am. Often, during our night shifts we had to make do with paranthas and Maggi," says Arora.
So, she decided if she couldn't get that perfect meal, she would make one. She left her job in 2006 but the idea stayed with her and this January, the 29-year-old launched the BPO Biryani Centre at her home in Vasundhara. But before that she had a trial run, getting 16 friends to sample her food. They thought it was great and her husband agreed that if it was good enough for home, it was good enough to be served to others. Post the sampling day, she bagged a corporate order for lunch for 450 people which set the ball rolling.
At her home in Vasundhara, plates of Reshmi biryani, a vegetable mélange with potatoes and coriander, the beautifully flavoured khaibari chicken biryani, Changezi chicken and shammi kababs along with a slew of salads, wait to be delivered— Biryani BPO delivers both in the afternoon and then again from night till 6 in the morning to cater to call centre employees on the US and UK shift.
Arora, who began the service with a modest budget of Rs 10,000, started delivering in Noida's Sector-58, 59, called the call centre lane. The biryani belt has now expanded to Sector 60, 61, 63 to 65 in Noida , where her four delivery boys cater to BPO employees working in graveyard shifts (that starts at midnight). She has also expanded her turf to her Ghaziabad neighbourhood— Indirapuram, Vaishali and Kaushambi where she takes orders for parties.
As many as 75 to 120 orders pours in a day and Arora, along with a kitchen help, gets the food ready. "It wasn't easy in the beginning but I soon figured that the maximum orders came between 10.30 pm to 2.30 am. For lunches, orders start coming in from noon," says Arora.
The biryani is delivered in microwave safe boxes and starts from—Rs 70—there are no charges for delivery. Arora, who relies only on word-of-mouth, Facebook and blogs for publicity, often updating her customers with text messages, is happy with her success. "We haven't even printed pamphlets yet to send around," she says.
But the message has certainly got around.