Where a software pro ventures into mobile food biz

Palakkad Gopan Govindan’s initiative

M Rafi Ahmed

Coimbatore, Dec 17:

‘Start, Grow and Succeed’ is the mantra for thirty year old young entrepreneur Gopan Govindan, a B Tech, MS in computer technology, from God’s Own Country to venture into mobile food biz concept in the textile city of Coimbatore. Perhaps, he was inspired by the book penned by entrepreneur-cum-lawyer David Weber, founder and president of New York City Food Truck Association (NYCFTA) on mobile food biz.

This scribe spotted this enterprising youngster busy catering to customers from his Dakshinn Food Truck parked at Velankurichi Main Road near TIDEL Park around 7.30 pm. And the menu board mentioned Kerala’s traditional items like Puttu with Kadalakkari, Puttu with chicken gravy, Palada Pradhamam. Taking time off to speak to Trinity Mirror amidst his work schedule, Gopan Govindan briefed about his start-up venture launched just a month ago. “The idea behind this is a result of inheriting western concept of food truck meant to cater food on the streets at pocket friendly prices. Expedition across 22 different countries across the globe as part of official duty helped me explore and evolve the idea into practice.”Dakshinn”, as the name indicates is meant to cater south Indian delicacies. The truck is equipped with cooking facilities to cater our current menu of puttu, dosa and few other recipes. Curries, Malabar Dum Biriyani and Payasam are prepared in centralized kitchen as part of standardization and scalability in mind. Currently we are operating only in the evening from 6:00pm to 10pm,” he said adding that they have plans to look at lunch options since many bachelors working in TIDEL Park and other sectors besides students are staying in the surroundings of Velankurichi main road. And centralised kitchen is what he plans in the long run to reach out to larger segment of customers of varied needs.

It is said behind every successful man, there is a woman. True to this adage, Gopan Govindan’s spouse Shruti, a post graduate working as a teacher at a private school, spends the evenings with her husband helping him in the mobile food business. Shedding more light on his mobile food intiative, Gopan said that he conceived the idea of establishing ‘Fagon Food Services LLP’ in November this year and named the food truck under a brand name of ‘Dakshinn’ mainly to cater south Indian dishes. Based on the taste and needs of customers, he said more items will be added. And he has visioned to make it big in his line of interest. He went on to say that his seven and half years corporate experience in the IT field travelling across the globe on official duty made him think out-of-the-box to start a venture on his own and more particularly food business.

How to spread the message about his food truck. Taking a cue from Air Force veteran Richard Myrick’s views in his trade website Mobile-Cuisine.com that social media is a vital component for running a food truck, Gopan opened an exclusive page titled Dakshinn Food Truck and started posting details about location, menu, timings alongwith cell number and website.

Not only does social media allow a food truck owner to post their next parking location or event they’ll be attending, but it gives them the ability to see what their customers are saying about them. The info gives insight into how to make their food and service better. Moreover, it allows them to speak directly to their customers and share infon about their food truck brand.