Start-ups deploy smart vending machines in office food-courts

  • October 20, 2020
  • Steve Rogerson

Indian start-ups Gokhana and Vendekin Technologies are collaborating to bring smart vending machines for snacks, meals and coffee to office food-courts.

Gokhana is solving the problem faced by working professionals visiting food-courts. They often have to spend time queuing to place an order, and then wait even more for the order to be ready for pick-up. The Gokhana digital experience puts the ordering experience seamlessly into the employees’ hands; they can place orders from a mobile phone app and collect the order only when they receive the notification.

The machines are powered with Vendekin’s touch-free technology, and integrated with Gokhana’s contactless ordering for offices across India.

This lets users scan the QR on the vending machine and choose the meal, snack or drink and pay using digital payments. This reduces the number of contact points.

“The need for touchless, unmanned snacking and food kiosks and machines at office cafeterias will become more pronounced as the economy opens up and people start going back to work,” said Aroon Khatter, founder and CEO of Vendekin Technologies. “We are excited about this partnership that will enable seamless access to touchless, unmanned vending machines for employees for all Gokhana digitally enabled cafeterias.”

Gokhana and Vendekin plan to expand this partnership to tech-parks and apartment complexes.

“Continuous innovation is one of the core principles at Gokhana,” said Ankur Marda, co-founder and CEO of Gokhana. “And we are excited to find a partner in Vendekin that shares our drive for innovation. Touchless vending is a meeting of strengths for Gokhana and Vendekin, and we are looking forward to serving our clients better as their employees start returning to the campuses.”

Vendekin was founded in 2016 and offers a digital aggregator platform that enables a smart, digital vending ecosystem. The VCommerce platform enables multiple options for touch-free digital payments for consumers, an end-to-end AI- and ML-based platform to manage the supply chain for its vending operator partners, and an intuitive analytical dashboard for FMCG and CPG brands to understand and connect with their consumers.

The platform can be activated and enabled for existing, legacy vending machines through a plug-and-play retrofittable device or can be factory integrated into new machines and kiosks at the time of manufacture.

Founded in 2018 by Ankur Marda, Ashish Marballi and Hitesh Sarda, Gokhana wants to change the way India eats out. It is helping food-courts and restaurants in India provide more engaging customer experiences to their customers, while increasing revenues and reducing costs at the same time. The start-up does this by digitising the customer experience in restaurants and food-courts, and by linking this digital experience seamlessly with food service operations.