PANAJI: Goa’s Kamaxi College of Culinary Arts (KCCA) is spearheading a revolution to boost the startup culture in food industry and is part of one of the first culinary incubator programme in India.
There is no doubt that Goa is full of opportunities in the foodpreneurship domain, yet the biggest hurdle remains the transition from a concept to a business model. Does KCCA have a solution? Livenewsgoa.com caught up with KCCA Programme Director, Rati Telgu to know more about the Verna-based culinary business school.
LNG. KCCA aims to shape up ‘Culinary Rock Stars’ of the future. What will be the essential attributes of this new breed of food entrepreneurs/ workforce?
RT: Firstly, this new breed of food entrepreneurs will be geared up to take calculated risks considering that we are living in unpredictable times, fueled by the pandemic. They will be encouraged to be innovative, to think out-of-the-box and most importantly to be resilient. The foodpreneur of today needs to be a game-changer, who has to learn to bounce back every single time in the face of adversity. We all know that the journey ahead may not be smooth but we want to help the individual who has a great idea to forge ahead with passion and enthusiasm to see that idea transforms into reality.
LNG. How significant is the partnership of KCCA with AIC-GIM as Niti Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission makes its way into the state to boost start-ups in Goa?
RT: The Atal Incubation Centre, set up by India’s premier B-school, the Goa Institute of Management (GIM), has partnered with us at Kamaxi College of Culinary Arts to develop one of the country’s first culinary incubator programme, in order to provide cutting-edge support to culinary start-ups and upcoming ‘foodpreneurs’ from across regions. The incubator will function from the KCCA campus at Verna in South Goa and will feature top-of-the-line infrastructure, including classrooms and state-of-the-art kitchen spaces for research and development (R&D), for participants who sign up for the novel programme.
Goa is brimming with opportunities for potential foodpreneurs who need an impetus to make the transition from a concept to a viable business. This new vertical encourages culinary entrepreneurs to come forward with their innovative ideas and together AIC-GIM and KCCA will offer them the knowledge and know-how of turning that concept into reality. We are excited about this collaboration and look forward to a spurt of foodpreneurs emerging from the state. Incidentally KCCA is founded by GIM alumnus Parixit Pai Fondekar.
LNG. How is the response from Goan parents towards the KCCA vision and infrastructure? What’s the admission strength and interest level of the students joining?
RT: There is a sense of pride among parents that the students are going to be a part of the state and arguably the country’s first culinary business school. Being a smaller batch the students will have more individual attention. We have seen a lot of interest from girls and ladies come forward who have a spart of entrepreneurial talent and are keen to see it through.The present strength is 30 seats for the 3 – year degree programme – the BVoc Culinary Management Programme affiliated to the Goa University and 10 seats for the Culinary incubation programme ‘FIERCE Kitchens’ which is a collaboration between KCCA and AIC-GIM.
LNG. What trend do you foresee in foodpreneurship as the pandemic has disrupted the fine-dining culture as we see now?
RT: Over the years we see various trends emerge around foodpreneurship. The past decade has witnessed the emergence of technology play a large role in the dining experience. The pandemic has reshaped the dining experience as we knew it. We foresee the emergence of cloud kitchens in a big way where several brands will operate and run their food business out of a common cloud kitchen. As a company Kamaxi already has two cloud kitchens operating out of south Goa where the food entrepreneurs can have access to after the completion of the incubation programme. Additionally, we will continue to see technology play a large role in bringing the food community together.
LNG. What is your message to Goa’s aspiring hospitality professionals who might be a bit dejected due to the current covid situation?
RT: The current situation is here, but it won’t stay this way always. It will change for the better. And when that happens, you need to be ready and prepared to go ahead full steam in your professional and entrepreneurial journeys. Now is the time to upskill, learn, grasp and prepare yourself. Stay positive!