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Vaya's lunch box stores up many opportunities

Hrithik Kiran Bagade, August 24, 2016, Bengaluru, DHNS
Vashist Vasanthakumar
Vaya Life, a young innovation firm looking at reinventing daily personal items, has rolled out its first product — Vaya Tyffyn — adding a new demension to the humble ‘Indian’ lunch box.

Sharing the thought behind reinventing the lunch box with DH, Vaya Life Founder and Chief Executive Officer Vashist Vasanthakumar said, “I have been involved with consumer products at Apple in my career, where I realised that there is more than just technology needed to design a product in order to make it aspirational. The lunch box is a very personalised product that hasn’t changed in over 200 years.”

Vasanthakumar created a team of 12 specialists, including product designers and thermal engineers, who went about fixing some of the key issues surrounding regular lunch or tiffin boxes, such as poor plastics, leaking, low heat retention, and so on. “We found that people want a lunch box that holds hot food for 6-7 hours, which is good to look at, and made of high-quality steel. We wanted to create an aspirational product, while catering to demand for the ‘dabba’.”

Vaya Tyffyn, available in three variants, has gone through water-resistant tests and thermal simulations, before coming to market, where it is priced at Rs 2,500 per unit on Vaya’s website. “As part of styling and convenience, we also developed a separate messenger bag for the lunch box that doubles up as a table mat, with a pouch to hold cutlery too,” he said.

The lunch boxes are made from 18-8 food-grade stainless steel, which is imported from countries within Asia, before getting assembled in China.

“Currently, we’re only focusing on design and engineering, and want to work on products. We may look at domestic manufacturing in future. Also, we’re keen on eventually building an ecosystem around the lunch box. We will eye multiple retail stores for sales later,” Vasanthakumar said, adding that more variants of Vaya Tyffyn are being looked at as well.

Vaya Life has raised around $6 million as angel investment, and over the coming year, plans to get into reinventing more daily-use personal items.


 

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