OUR FOOD EXPERIENCE EVOKES ALL FIVE SENSES: AMIT BAGGA - The Daily Guardian
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OUR FOOD EXPERIENCE EVOKES ALL FIVE SENSES: AMIT BAGGA

In a candid chat with The Daily Guardian, CEO and Co-founder, Amit Bagga talks about staying relevant in modern times.

Noor Anand Chawla

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What does it take to be known as a truly iconic restaurant in the overly-saturated food space of Delhi? Truly special dishes of course. Hence, as the original creator of the renowned Butter Chicken and Dal Makhani, Delhi’s famous eatery Daryaganj stands apart from all others. In a candid chat with The Daily Guardian, CEO and Co-founder, Amit Bagga talks about staying relevant in modern times. Excerpts from the interview:

Q. How did you enter this field and what has your experience been like so far?

A. We have attempted to carry out the legacy of my partner Raghav Jaggi’s late grandfather, Shri Kundan Lal Jaggi, through Daryganj. As Raghav has travelled the world extensively and been exposed to a range of authentic cuisines and local and regional recipes, he has become an expert at blending this global gourmet culture with age-old family recipes, to bring Daryaganj to life.

I have been part of the restaurant industry for over a decade, and during this time I have been featured in India Today Group’s list of “50 Young Leaders of Delhi”, and been a finalist for the “Business World Magazine’s 40 Under 40”.

DAL MAKHANI
AMIT BAGGA AND RAGHAV JAGGI

BUTTER CHICKEN
DARYAGANJ

I describe myself as a hands-on restaurateur because I pay attention to detail in every aspect of running the restaurant. I like to ensure that all five senses of the customer are evoked positively so they have a truly memorable experience. That is the principle on which I have conceptualised Daryaganj too. 

Q. What is the USP of Daryaganj?

A. We have established a strong brand loyalty as a result of the excellence in food quality and customer experience. Our biggest USP is offering the best value for money in our category by offering simple yet classic North-Indian cuisine made with the freshest and highest quality ingredients, at the lowest price in their category. Also, our USP is that we give a complete sensory experience to the guests with our concept of ‘5 senses dining’.

Q. Being Indian in the 21st century means appreciating tradition and modernity. How does Daryaganj maintain its traditional essence and continue to appeal to the younger generation?

A. Our food is a blend of old-style and contemporary cuisine. The restaurant has been carefully designed with great attention to detail. We have followed an innovative approach by following the principle of a brand concept that appeals to all five senses of our guests:

Taste – the original and nostalgic flavours with the best quality ingredients.        

Touch – traditional utensils mixed with contemporary materials.                   

Sight – retro elements with black and white photos in a chic contemporary setting.             

Smell – a signature fragrance with a blend of Indian and contemporary notes. 

Sound – soulful and unplugged old classic tunes sung by new artists.

Q. What are your signature dishes? Why do you feel they are most popular?

A. Without any doubt, it is “The Original 1947 Butter Chicken” and “The Original 1947 Dal Makhani” as both are the original recipes of Mr Kundan Lal Jaggi, who invented these dishes in the locality of Daryaganj in 1947.

Q. When is the new branch launching? Do you have anything special planned for the launch?

A. We plan to launch a QSR brand next year which would be a prequel to the story of Daryaganj going back 100 years. Extensive research and development is being done for it currently. This will cater to a lower price point than the Daryaganj Restaurant.

Q. How many outlets do you currently have and how many more are in the works?

A. Daryaganj Hospitality has 5 restaurants in top locations of Delhi NCR:

DLF Mall of India, Noida               

Ambience Mall, Gurgaon                

Pacific Mall, Tagore Garden                               

Parliament Street, Connaught Place                       

Worldmark 1, Aerocity

We have plans to open five more stores in the next six months and another 25 stores in the next three years. The ultimate plan is to open 100 stores in the next 5-7 years and launch an IPO. Initially, the focus will be on expanding in the top eight metropolitan cities and Tier I and II cities as well. Also, there are plans for international expansion in Singapore, UAE, UK, Canada and Australia.

Q. How have you adapted to the changing food industry requirements?

A. Daryaganj Hospitality has adopted data analytics with AI for improving its systems and processes and also its customer experience. We believe in innovation of design processes through technology and analytics. Unique packaging design products and concepts have also been developed like a mouth freshener box which is the first-ever smartly designed hygienic solution containing saunf and mishri to end a meal. We also have a Kulfi Drip Tray that prevents kulfi from dripping when it melts.

Our most unique and popular product however, has been the 5 Senses Delivery box, that allows you to touch, see, hear, smell and taste the delights of Daryaganj. We use soothing materials to touch, vivid design colours and fresh ingredients to make a wholesome vision, a fragrant note welcomes you with the scent of Daryaganj, one can taste the delicious flavours and a QR Code plays a specially curated Daryaganj playlist.

The interviewer pens lifestyle articles for various publications and her blog www.nooranandchawla.com. She can be reached on nooranand@gmail.com.

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