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Feenix delivers takeaway orders to remote areas in and around Tiruchi

Feeling peckish but too lazy or busy to cook or drive out for a meal? Feenix, possibly Tiruchi’s only ‘online feeder’ is here to help. All customers have to do is to search for their favourite dishes through restaurant menus on Feenix’s website, place their order, and wait for the delivery.

“There are many people in the delivery business in the city, but we are the only ones who promise to take food orders up to a radius of 25 kilometers in and around Tiruchi,” says J Dominic Dhanabal, the soft-spoken Human Resource Management postgraduate from St Joseph’s College who set up Feenix with his friend S Johnson, a Commerce graduate, last year.

Delivering to remote areas has always been part of the plan, says Dominic, who has just recently rented a commercial premises in the Cantonment area. “Johnson and I actually started out as part-time delivery boys for an online service called ‘Third Dhabha’ which was run by two students from the National Institute of Technology, Tiruchi (NITT) in 2012. We would deliver food to customers in the campus (around 20 kilometers from the city) and to the nearby Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) township, mostly only in the night. When the founders graduated and moved abroad, they asked us to take over the business, but we couldn’t do much because the domain name didn’t belong to us. So, we decided to start Feenix last year,” says Dominic.

Rising again

The company’s name is evocative of the mythical bird phoenix, which rose from the ashes to live with renewed vigour. “But mostly, I wanted a name that was easy to recall and type in,” says Dominic.

Within a year, Feenix has managed to expand the number of eateries from the original five to 11, and has several more restaurants coming up. The service has both multinational fast food franchises and local eateries on its list. “To get a tie-up with a restaurant, we have to guarantee a minimum number of orders worth Rs. 1000 to Rs. 5,000 per day. We charge a delivery fee from the customer based on the total cost of the order,” says Dominic. Payments are accepted in cash or through PayTM.

Feenix employs six delivery boys on a full-time basis. “We prefer to employ young men who have their own two-wheelers to get around. The daily fuel costs are taken care of by us,” says Dominic.

A tele-calling facility has increased the orders, and nearly 55 localities in and around Tiruchi are covered by Feenix.

The online feeder gets around 500 orders per month, ensuring a comfortable profit for Dominic and his team.

“The biggest challenge is in getting the food delivered while it is still hot, and within the first half hour of the order being placed. Bad weather is not an excuse; we expect our staff to deliver in all circumstances,” he adds.

Test of service

Though Feenix doesn’t track its delivery electronically, a repeat order is the best test of service, says Dominic. “Burgers, cakes, pizzas and biryani are the most ordered items in Tiruchi. Basically, anything that is tasty will get the customer’s vote again and again.” He follows the work of bigger online delivery services like Swiggy and Food Panda, and hopes to make Feenix as recognisable as the them soon.

Also on the cards is a plan to source agricultural produce from farmers directly and deliver them to customers’ homes.

“There are many people like me, who have not found their metier in anything, and have changed many jobs in their career. I want to help them find their true talent through Feenix,” says Dominic as orders continue to ping on his phone.


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