Chennai-based Tendercuts is a tech-driven omnichannel fresh meat and seafood company. The company sets a new benchmark in the fresh-cut meats industry, with a diverse application of food technology to the selection, processing, preservation, packaging, distribution of fresh-cut meat, and seafood. It currently delivers to more than 80% of Chennai from its multiple warehouses and experience stores through a last-mile delivery network.
Nishanth Chandran, founder and chief executive officer of Tendercuts, speaks about the startup, “In January 2016, we started with just 1,000 orders a month and currently serve around 5,00,000 customers across Chennai and Hyderabad. The trust in our meat and seafood app has led to a considerable shift in loyalty from a local butcher to us.”
Antibiotic and hormone-free meat and seafood
Tendercuts is a traditional butchery modernized with food safety standards. Chandran explains, “We want to change the way people buy and consume meat in India by offering them a convenient and hygienic experience.”
The company understands the importance of farm to consumer traceability of meat for best quality and shelf-life. “We offer antibiotic and hormone-free meat and seafood by establishing direct partnerships with local farming and fishing communities enabling strong backward links to guarantee absolute freshness.” The company offers not only chicken and mutton but also a wide range of seafood products, marinated products, cold cuts, pickles, and spices.
Hygiene and contact-less food deliveries
As Chandran explains, a reputation for high quality drives the brand, “Tendercuts has deployed state-of-the-art technology to put in place several quality measures, including the selection of meat through stringent grading and rigorous standardization systems. We handle our meat and seafood products using automated systems and trained personnel, and the washing and pre-cleaning is done with RO water.”
“At Tendercuts, the entire supply chain, from farm to fork, is hygienic and on par with global standards. The products are maintained at 0 to 4 degrees, ensuring access to fresh and well-preserved meat and seafood,” he claims.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the company introduced a contactless retail service at its 20 stores to ensure the health and safety of its customers and employees. Under contactless retail, a customer can download the Tendercuts app, place the order, and the company will allocate a time slot for the customer to pick up the order from the store.
Government’s initiatives to improve cold chain infrastructure
The government has recently announced measures as part of the 20-lakh crore financial package for the food and agriculture industry. Chandran believes, “The key initiatives to establish traceability, strengthen existing fishing harbors, build more cold chain infrastructure and upgrade the existing ones will pave the way for creating sustainable and comprehensive development of marine and inland fisheries (fish farm).”
Rise in demand amid Covid-19
Like any other industry, the meat and seafood industry faced several supply chain issues during the Covid-19 lockdown. However, according to Chandran, these were strategically resolved. He adds, “The Covid-19 lockdown has created a positive movement for us. On the contrary, we have seen the demand to go up by three times.”
He observed that during the lockdown, many people moved from buying meat from the unorganized, local butcher shops to buying at stores like Tendercuts. He says, “We generally used to see more sales during weekends, especially on Sunday, but when the lockdown came into effect, the sales were spread evenly across weekdays.
“As this is a big opportunity, we have accelerated our plans to expand our retail presence and launch new stores in Hyderabad and Chennai, respectively,” he concludes.