Pop Quiz, Monday with Harry Sekhon, Founder & CEO at Feastively

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?

Harry Sekhon

What is your job role?

Founder & CEO

Tell us about your company?

Feastively helps busy families save an hour a day for what matters most in their lives. We deliver fresh meal boxes, with pre-cut ingredients so that you can cook a delicious & nutritious meal in 15 minutes using just one pan. Feastively is the first of it’s kind in the Australian market.

What do you love most about your job?

I love the variety of work that comes with being the CEO of a small company. In a week I could be working on creative projects such as brand strategy, assessing technology tools for improving efficiency, coaching my team to achieve bigger goals, exercising my culinary passion for food with recipe development and speaking to customers.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?

I came to this realisation after speaking with a number of our customers — we help people spend more time on what matters most in their lives. Whether it’s having more downtime so they can perform better at work the next day, spending more time with the kids so that they grow up to do well or going to bed satisfied that all the chores have been taken care of. We empower people to do the things that will help them have a better life. Making dinner choices and preparation easier is how we do it. Knowing that we make a difference in people’s lives keeps me motivated and excited every day.

How do your co-workers inspire you?

I am a product of my experiences in life, and the same goes for my co-workers. I believe by sharing our experience we can learn from each other. My team inspires me by giving me different ways to look at things, which has been shaped by their interpretation of the world and reality. This is fascinating because sometimes all you need to do is change the perspective to solve challenging problems. They each have their ways to address challenges, both in business and their personal lives.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?

We’re all foodies at Feastively. Although we have our personal preferences, we love putting random ingredients together to experiment with food. Every Saturday, when we break for lunch (yes, we work on weekends), we put our heads together to cook a new dish with the leftover produce. Everyone chips in with ideas and we sit and eat together. Every once in a while we end up using one of these recipes as the inspiration for what we serve to our customers.

What are some of the challenges of your job?

When we get inquiries via live chat on the website from prospects asking about something we can’t deliver it can be tempting to say yes. I’ve made this mistake before and realised soon after that we were in no position to continue to fulfill the customer’s requirements. As a small business, it can be tempting to grow by doing a few different things. Cashflow is king, after all. This is when having communicated and understood guardrails become very important. In a nutshell, it’s challenging saying no, for now, at least.

I’m learning a lot of different things on the job such as people management and company management. Thankfully, due to LaunchVic’s funding for amazing programs run by Rocket Seeder, a business accelerator for food & ag innovation, and Dr. Zivit Inbar from DifferenThinking, a people performance consultancy, I have the right foundation for tackling day to day challenges.

Finally, recruiting remains a major challenge for us. We’re a digitally native food business. We’re evenly split across food and tech industries. It’s not as hot space as blockchain, and there’s a dearth of chefs in the hospitality industry. Getting culinary staff comfortable with tech and processes unlike the kitchen brigade has also been an uphill march.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?

Don’t worry about building the product and the operations. It’s already been done. If you’re going to create a digitally native brand in a competitive marketplace, spend as long as you can on getting your route-to-market (RTM) strategy right. While differentiation can be an excellent way to enter a space with few market leaders, differentiation combined with niche customer segment is likely to produce better growth results, presuming you already have a product a few people love. Your RTM will make or break your business. This will be one of the most significant risks in your business plan.

Secondly, if you’re going to be an e-commerce-only brand, learn to do some of the tech in-house. It’ll save you tens of thousands of dollars when you’re starting. It’s about getting your priorities right. As mentioned in the last paragraph, it comes back to spending on RTM testing and development. You can use any of the big 3 e-commerce platforms to get you off the ground, i.e. WooCommerce, Shopify and BigCommerce.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:


Author: Ricky Singh, MBA

Editor of The Startup Growth.

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