By Rohan Paranjpey, Principal, Blume Ventures

The Blume team went on an interesting expedition while we were in Bangalore. Though we travel almost on a weekly basis to our portfolio company offices in Bangalore, Mumbai and NCR, this was the first instance when all of us took some time out to take on the role of an employee of some of our startups.

The investment space gives you a lot of exposure to data points, analogies and shared experiences. But nothing gives you a better perspective than experiencing what it’s like on the ground, not just as a founder but as the employee the founder relies on to make the wheels turn (literally sometimes).

Here is what we did and how we fared:

First Task – Dunzo, an on-demand concierge service

Six of us from the Blume team took a shot at completing daily tasks for Dunzo users. Karthik and I accompanied two experienced Dunzo runners, while four others – Arpit and Dhanasree on one scooter, Avantika and Ashish on another, took matters into their own hands.

Report Card

Karthik – 3 tasks initiated, 1 cancelled

  • Task 1 : Deliver laundry
  • Task 2: Deliver masala dosa with extra chutney
  • Task 3: Deliver 3 kgs of chicken from Nature’s Basket

Rohan – 2 tasks completed. 

  •  Task 1: pick up dry cleaning. Completed with no hiccups, but the customer looked pretty shocked to see 2           people deliver his clothes
  • Task 2: pick up Starbucks coffee. Interestingly here, Starbucks staff made the runner wait while they cleared the orders of everyone else there – don’t blame Dunzo if your Starbucks coffee is a bit late!

Ashish + Avantika – Mission Aborted (bike ran out of fuel, phone ran out of battery)

Arpit + Dhanasree – 2 tasks completed  

  • Task 1: Pick up envelope in Indiranagar, deliver to UB city. Completed with no hiccups
  • Task 2: Pick up a huge set of photo frames from Richmond Town, deliver to Nagarpethe. That’s the last we saw of Arpit and Dhanasree that day!

Next stop –  iService – Expert Gadget Repair

We spent the afternoon with Ankit and team at the iService office, and then some time at their service center close-by.

Did you know that more than 50% requests for phone/tablet repair are screen related? In fact, 15% of iPhone users use an iPhone with a broken screen. This statistic might have been lifted off our team – 1 out of the 6 of us who own an iPhone has a broken screen!

Ankit walked us through how a phone screen is fixed, using the best parts from China and the best machines available, and also showed us how easy it is for repair shops to just use fake parts and take advantage of unsuspecting customers. There’s definitely a space for a trustworthy brand for unauthorized repair of personal gadgets, and we’re glad iService is miles ahead of its competition here.  

P.S. Some of us (most of us) took advantage of this opportunity and walked out with new screens, batteries and microphones.

MonkeyBox – Not Quite Nostalgia

Last stop, we spent time with Sanjay and Sandeep of MonkeyBox at their kitchen where they prepare healthy, nutritious food for a whole bunch of school-going children in Bangalore.

They’re getting the best chefs from 5-star hotels and the best nutritionists who, in a daily tug-of-war, push out the best tasting healthy food even adults can’t get enough of. And they do it with a strong focus on getting the freshest ingredients daily.

What’s great about MonkeyBox is the complete transparency in the process. They frequently call parents over to their kitchen so parents can see for themselves the care that goes into ensuring that the whole process is hygienic

Pictures are worth a thousand words here –

Where was MonkeyBox when we were in school??

All in all, an epic 3 days to say the least!