Ever tucked into a comforting meal from homely and silently thanked it for rescuing you from the bad mess ka khana? Or had a delicious bowl of Tuscan Bolognese from The Bowl Company for a desk lunch, instead of a plain ol’ sandwich? Ever wondered who was behind these brands?
Meet Vishal Bhatia, CEO of New Supply, the team that’s constantly introducing new brands to India’s culinary landscape in an attempt to fulfill the modern consumer’s unmet needs. In this interview, Vishal talks about his role at Swiggy, building the New Supply team and life outside work.
Talk to us about your Swiggy journey
Exhilarating, fun, challenging and delightful — that is what I’d say about my two-year journey with Swiggy. Swiggy has taught me how to navigate through ambiguity effortlessly! Even when you don’t know the answer, you’re trusted to go ahead and do it anyway. You’ll figure out the right answer as you go along.
How about your role at New Supply?
It’s been great to be able to build the New Supply organisation from scratch! New Supply has an interesting edge because it’s a blend of creation and curation. There’s a thrill in the challenge of creating something that’s best-in-class and consumer-loved.
“Swiggy has taught me how to navigate through ambiguity effortlessly! Even when you don’t know the right answer, you’re trusted to go ahead and do it anyway.”
What is one of the lesser known things about New Supply?
The Menu Scientists! We have a team of them to drive consumer-first thinking. Also, most people are not aware of the work our Research & Development and Culinary Operations teams put in. For every dish that makes it to our menus, hundreds are rejected after multiple rounds of comparison and review.
What is one dish you could eat for all of eternity?
I have a story for this! I spent my engineering days in a hostel known for its terrible food. No Swiggy and no pocket money to eat out left us with only one option – the ghastly mess food! But the Wednesday menu had something called Malai Toast. It’s a slice of toasted bread dipped in rabdi – basically, it’s bliss on a plate. I knew I could eat it every day if I had to.
Tell us a bit about Vishal outside of work.
Oh, I’m always working. My team complains about this because even when I’m on vacation, I still end up responding to emails. I know that’s a bad thing, but I just can’t switch off. But if I’m at home and my kids are awake, then I’m completely focussed on them. I’m told by my seven-year-old, “It’s family time. You need to put your phone away.”
On a separate note, I’m a big stationery buff and have a collection of 300 odd pens in different colours.