iFood assistant – deliciously simple!

Posted in Uncategorized by Abhinaya Chandrasekhar on October 11, 2009

You are a twenty-something. You work and have a lot of things to do, that is so much more fun than cooking. Every morning, evening, it is the same situation. You cant decide what to cook.

“I want to eat healthy. I want to be fit. But, I cant eat tasteless food too. Even if I decide what I want to eat, it takes me a while to figure out the ingredients. Its a pain. I’d rather just eat out.”

A very familiar scene out of everybody’s life.

Kraft’s iFood assistant can be a necessary application for many people. It’s a time-saver. “iFood Assistant” brings out a Recipe of the Day and an idea for Dinner every evening. These are the ideas that have been cooked up and tested by the experts in the Kraft Kitchens, which sure holds a lot of credibility.Also, “iFood Assistant” makes mealtime easy and fun by giving out 1-2-3 steps and shortcuts.

Why is iFood assistant successful?

The iFood assistant has been hugely popular from the time it was introduced. This is an evolution into a service from products provided by Kraft foods. This use of social media is a smart move. Use of smart phones has been increasing at a very fast pace. Being an early bird in this sphere is always good.

At the beginning, it was weird – a food company with an app. But, the success rate speaks for itself. By the time smart phones completely take over, iFood Assistant will have become a necessity.

This tool makes life simple which is a must for any good service. It helps you decide and once the choice of recipe is made, it gives you ingredient quantities, shortcut tips, calorie content and also location of stores from where the ingredients can be bought!

All this has a direct impact on our brains. The mother brand holds a lot of credibility and positioning it as a tool to make life easy is ingenious. Life made easier is always welcome for any consumer. Most important, this application isnt trying to push / sell anything directly. Its always nice when a business giant reaches out to its consumers with no ulterior motives lurking within (atleast directly).

Will charging for iFood assistant work?

Surprisingly, its working great! This might be a well thought out reverse psychology marketing in action. Free = anytime welcome. Expensive = valuable. This concept has been depicted beautifully in Robert Cialdini’s Influence (which I recommend). When the application was free, it would have been one among the yet-another-app. But, now that they are charging for it, the value increases automatically.

This, I think, is the best time to charge for it. The target audience has already absorbed the application. Its become a daily necessity for many. Charging for it has been a huge debating topic that has won it a lot more publicity. Yet, many feel that charging for it is a grave mistake. Couple of weeks more and many reviews later, we will know if reverse psychology and publicity has made an impact or not.


Epitome of innovation

Posted in Uncategorized by Abhinaya Chandrasekhar on August 18, 2009

Remember that stylish metal bin which you bought in 1990s. That bin which was placed under your Billy bookcase. Here’s something very interesting about it: Kamprad wanted to sell the bins for 10$ while they were being sold in the high street for 40$. This stumped the IKEA team as they were not able to find a supplier who could manufacture them at less than 20$. Kamprad led his team into the IKEA kitchen and pointed to an industrial can of tomato soup. The next thing we know, the soup manufacturer agreed to make stylish bins that could be sold for 10$.

What about Skopa? The plastic hardwearing chair in your garden. The one which has witnessed many quiet moments and many cups of coffee. To align it with IKEA’s low cost business model, they struck a deal with a factory that made plastic bowls and buckets.

Not surprised yet? Read on ..

8-17-ikea catalog1

  • A sofa is made from a shopping trolley.
  • A table is made from some skis.
  • Table legs are made by a window factory.
  • Bed headboards are made by a door factory.
  • Cushion covers are made from shirts.
  • A chair is made from a tomato tin can.
  • A tea light holder is made from an electricity pylon.
  • A photo frame is made from some rubber car tires.

It sure takes a lot to design a stylish piece of furniture. But, it takes way more than that to design the same piece which can sell for 15$ and be a part of everybody / anybody’s home.

To the 11 in-house product managers at IKEA- Respect!

Tagged with:


Posted in Uncategorized by Abhinaya Chandrasekhar on August 4, 2009

After sitting through a very interesting lecture on Innovation and strategy during the MBA days, I was asked to write a paper on “Innovate to Integrate” for Business India.

The following 15 days were filled with a lot of brainstorming sessions, deriving models and formulating solutions for various questions posed by the power of innovation.  Here is an abstract of the paper.


The two big ‘I’s – Innovation and Integration – are to be the key defining features of today and tomorrow’s businesses. Innovation is the vehicle to continuously enhance customer delight. It is one of the most talked about concepts in the corporate world and now looked at as the conscious competence of a business. Integration is the seamless partnership between customers and business processes that sustains customer delight. A scan of businesses however shows that the full potential of integration is not being realized, primarily because the business model seems to have evolved into a silo mode. The tool to remedy this is innovation, so as to achieve integration of business processes with customer aspirations and needs.

This paper looks at examples of how business leaders have innovated to integrate their businesses. Four pillars – technology, processes, relationships and information – have been the focus of innovation on the journey towards a holistic business. Finally, the author’s personal application of the innovate-to-integrate lessons in her activities has been included as a learning experience.

Click to download the entire paper –

Tagged with: