Fast food is easily available in most cities of Pakistan. It is quick and easy to make, satisfies hunger and not too expensive. Most of it, though, is prepared by international chains with big outlets and the domestic variants are prepared under unhygienic conditions.
Bun Ka Baap aims to bring local cuisine at par with international standard.
“Few years ago I represented a local restaurant in Dubai’s Global Village,” Said Zain, founder of Bun Ka Baap. “I learned a lot about food business, it’s branding and how local cuisines are exposed to international audience.”
Zain discovered more about food varieties across the globe that made him think of what was unique about food in Pakistan.
“We have plenty of dishes of desi variety, and they are known in the world already.” Zain informed. “But there is just one which is unique to Pakistan and belongs to fast food variety, and that is Bun Kabab.”
Zain had created a concept of local cuisine branded properly like fast food, focusing on Bun Kabab. During his studies abroad he also ran a food stall at the university, and the concept remained at the back of his mind even after returning to Pakistan. After reading Nadeem Hussain’s LinkedIn post, he applied to 10xC and discussed the concept.
“Bun Ka Baap is about bringing a completely indigenous food, one we have been eating for the last 50 years, to hygienic level and give it the same respect given to fast foods of international chains. To achieve that we are branding it properly and using the food material supplied to international fast food chains in the country.”
Starting from universities, Bun Ka Baap is setting up kiosks that are easy to maintain and field test the concept. Students, being opinion makers, will soon prove how acceptable and viable the whole idea is and the startup can focus on other parts of the city to spread its business.
“With kiosks it will be much easy,” Zain explained. “They are easy to maintain and require little space. We don’t want a restaurant-type setup with sparkling outlets. We want to maintain the authenticity of Bun Kabab and for that streets are still the better option. Karachi is a big city and we aim to cover it in the next 12 months.”
With kiosks, Bun Ka Baap plans on having at least one outlet in all major areas of the city. Larger sections, like Gulshan, can have multiple outlets. The nature of this venture rests on direct interaction with customer, so customer touch point is primarily the kiosks. In the beginning, five varieties of Bun Kababs will be offered and gradually the number will be increased.
Zain looks after the concept, strategy and branding while his cofounder, Asad Merchant, manages the business and marketing side of Bun Ka Baap. The startup joined 10xC in August as part of the first cohort.
“It was through 10xC that this concept became a reality,” Zain said. “The idea was vetted and eventually accepted for incubation. The resources, guidance and funding were all essential without which it may have stayed just a concept.”
Bun Ka Baap will soon be available at a university near you.