Wow!Momo set to enter Mumbai, eyes UK, US

Wow! Momo, the food start-up running the largest chain of branded momos, is set to enter Mumbai in October.

The chain, having 130 outlets in 30 cities, intends to open 12 outlets by December, and has signed up with prominent malls and standalone locations at places in Nariman Point, Fort, Thane, among others, Sagar Daryani, co-founder and CEO told DNA Money.

The new funding of Rs 45 crore from current along with new investors like Lighthouse Funds would be partly used to fund overseas venture in a year's time, he said.

"Beginning with Nariman Point, we are starting with 12 outlets mostly in the top malls reaching out to every part of greater Mumbai like Seawoods Grand Central Mall in Navi Mumbai, Viviana Mall in Thane, Phoenix Mall in Kurla and Inorbit Mall in Malad with a firm plan to set up 50 outlets within two years," Daryani said.

Kolkata-based Wow!Momo Foods Pvt Ltd was set up in 2008 by school buddies Daryani and Binod Homagai.

Starting off from a single outlet in Kolkata, the dim sum from Tibet, the most popular convenient non-vegetarian food of Kolkata reached Bangalore, Chennai, Pune, Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida--with 30 outlets in NCR itself--and now Mumbai and Bhubaneswar.

With the majority of the population in Mumbai being vegetarians, the chain is working on a pure-veg outlet sub-brand called Wow!Momo Veggies and the pilot outlet would come up in Kolkata at Elgin Road frequented by Gujaratis and Marwaris.

Wow!Momo's biggest kitchen, housing a research and development lab, is coming up in Kolkata at Kasba industrial park.

The plant, a global hygiene standard certified facility, is developing frozen momos fit for exports to US and UK.

"Since meat wouldn't be allowed, we would be offering corn and cheese variants. Our aim is to appoint a master franchisee and set up chains there," he said.

PAT positive since inception, the quick service chain clocked Rs 50 crore of topline in FY17 and is on road to touch Rs 75 crore this year.

"We have been earning 11% Ebita and 4% PAT margins. This year, there could be pressure on margins following an uptick in capex and spike in depreciation," Sagar said.

The company in 2015 raised Rs 10 crore Series-A equity funding from Indian Angel Network led by Sanjeev Bhikchandani and Saurabh Shristava valuing the company at Rs 100 crore.

The latest round earlier this year of Rs 45 crore saw funding from new investors like Lighthouse Funds, led by their partner, Sachin Bhartia values Wow!Momo at Rs 230 crores.

(As published in bwdisrupt on Wed, September 27 2017. )