Former IT head to start 40 organic restaurants in Bangalore



"Modak", part of the Aspasia Group, has come out with a strategy to promote organic food at the IT hub, offering a vegetarian thali beginning Rs 50. Among the 40 restaurants, 20 are planned in the mid-range and fast-food categories each.
The first Modak restaurant started operations in the upmarket Koramangala area, a major residential hub of Information Technology professionals, over the weekend.
"Our focus is on 'aam aadmi'", Aspasia Group's Chairman Satish Bangalore, who earlier served as the Managing Director of Phoenix Global Solutions, a provider of technology-business solutions to insurance companies across the globe, said.
Phoenix was acquired by TCS in 2004.
Bangalore said the Aspasia Group, which runs a 16-room premium boutique hotel, plans to open 20 "Modak" restaurants, which are positioned as mid-ranged ones and another 20 "Tulasi" restaurants in 'Darshini' or fast food category, within the next two years.

These 40 restaurants would be a mix of group-owned and franchise-operated ones, he said, adding, most of them are expected to fall in the latter category. The group is also looking at opening such restaurants in Tier-II and Tier-III towns of the south-western state with an idea of involving local farmers.

"As people are becoming increasingly health conscious and figure conscious, it is necessary to make available food that is healthy, nutritious and affordable", Bangalore said.
Plans are also afoot to start high-end organic restaurants under the brand name "H3O", with four such outlets in the second half of next year, though he admitted that he has "less affinity" for the premium (high-end) category.

The Group plans to lease farms to the extent of 100 acres and work on transforming them with the help of Non-Governmental Organisations and an "army of youths".
The focus is on producing sustainable foods by a demand driven process with tightly integrated just-in-time supply chain, whereby farm fresh products directly reaches the dining table with the smallest possible carbon footprint,he said.
"We will involve with farmers at the seed-level itself", Bangalore said.
A team of IT professionals would come out with a supply chain management software for operations, Bangalore said.
Bangalore said the Group also plans to foray into the institutional catering market with a view to taking the organic mission agenda further

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