Innovation during COVID-19: Founders Roundtable | Haptik

Key Highlights from our Founders Roundtable on Innovation

The COVID-19 pandemic has had disastrous consequences for humans and businesses all around the world. Technology has played a key role in assisting corporations to innovate and create digital experiences for customers while adapting to the new normal of living.

To highlight how brands leveraged technology to innovate during the COVID-19 crisis, Haptik organized a one of a kind Founders Roundtable panel discussion consisting of stalwarts from India’s leading consumer tech companies. The session was moderated by our Co-Founder & CEO Aakrit Vaish. A big thank you to Jaydeep Barman, Co-Founder and CEO, Rebel Foods (Formerly Faasos), Pradeep Dadha, Founder and CEO, Netmeds and Ankit Mehrotra, Co-Founder and CEO, Dineout for being a part of this discussion and making it a success.

The diversity in their companies’ background  is what made the Founders Roundtable interesting and insightful. There was an engaging discussion on how they drove digital transformation for their respective companies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some highlights from what each of them said during the session.

How Dineout Embraced “Contactless Dining” during COVID-19 Pandemic

The restaurant industry has been facing challenging times due to the nation wide lockdown. Overnight, restaurants had to reimagine all aspects affecting their business; supply chain management, cash flow, logistics and operations, etc.
The growing concern amongst consumers regarding safety and hygiene has forced restaurants to think about innovative digital solutions. Owing to this scenario, contactless dining or contact-light dining is the emerging trend in the restaurant industry.
Dineout recognized the problem statement here: How can we reduce unnecessary touch points during a customer’s visit to a restaurant?

Dineout was quick in building the necessary technology required to facilitate restaurants in reducing the time taken by the customer to consume a meal from the restaurant.

So how does this work?

Once a person enters a mall, he can discover different restaurants inside the mall by scanning a QR code. Diners can also use the application to order food while they are driving to the restaurant or are shopping in the mall. This will help the restaurants in reducing the table turn around time, thereby increasing revenue and decreasing operational costs. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has given birth to the drive-thru and takeaway culture in India. If customers want to pick up food from their favourite restaurant, they can now place an order from the dineout app and collect it from the restaurant. 

Dineout also helped restaurants develop a process where diners can read the menu from their mobile phones and order digitally, drop a feedback and pay online.


Ankit Mehrotra, Co-Founder and CEO, Dineout, states that, Dineout is leveraging deep tech and working with partners all across the country to enable contactless dining for them.

Netmeds Leverages Video Consultation Service during COVID-19 Pandemic

The healthcare sector is at the forefront of battling the pandemic. While it has many responsibilities riding on their shoulders, the COVID-19 pandemic has fuelled the growth of the healthcare industry. With the rising need to take care of one’s health and people being restricted to their homes, the e-pharmacy sector has thrived  tremendously during this period.

The launch of new telemedicine guidelines by the government forced Netmeds to fast track their video consultation solution. The only way to consult a doctor during such times is digitally.

Users can either book services of a doctor as per specialisation or choose from the pool of general practitioners available on the platform.


Netmeds has partnered with lab agencies to make it easy for users wanting to conduct the COVID-19 test.



With such unique innovations, Netmeds, a market leader in the e-pharmacy space, played a crucial role in ensuring health and safety of people all around the country.

Pradeep Dadha, Founder and CEO, Netmeds, highlights, “the rapid development in the speed of tech adoption and the realization of maintaining one’s health will contribute significantly to the future growth of the e-pharmacy market

Rebel Foods Bets Big on QR Codes to Build Trust in Consumers during COVID-19 Pandemic.

One kitchen, multiple brands. That’s how Jaydeep Barman, Co-Founder and CEO, Rebel Foods (Formerly Faasos) describes the Cloud Kitchen business. The COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown measures have forced people to stay indoors and limit movement only for essential services.
This setting has significantly boosted the development of the cloud kitchen industry across the globe. While demand sees an upward trend, there are other challenges faced by businesses, irrespective of their industry; supply chain disruptions, ensuring safety measures, building trust amongst consumers, etc.

Rebel Foods is expanding the scope of QR codes in the restaurant and food delivery space. In order to ensure transparency, the QR code on customer’s invoices will help them track the body temperature of every individual who comes in contact with the order. With their medical background, it also includes the 200 point safety checklist that is followed in their kitchens. Jaydeep also plans to strengthen the QR Code by adding features like live streaming of the kitchen.

Rebel Foods claims this to be first in the delivery industry and the tracker is operational in 350 locations across India, UAE and South East Asia. 

Faasos eat safe

Jaydeep Barman mentions, With a dip in the in-restaurant dining business and house celebrations becoming a new way of recreation, I am confident that Cloud Kitchens will witness a huge surge in the post COVID world as well” 

Apart from mentioning the innovations they undertook for their respective companies, the founders shared valuable points on present and  future business trends.

A Few More Interesting Takeaways from Our Founders Roundtable Discussion

1. Owing to the work-from-home scenario, the workforce has migrated from the metropolitan cities to the Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, this has resulted in a rise in demand in these regions.

2. Due to IPL, birth of the takeaway culture, and increased home celebrations, the restaurant industry will be the fastest industry to bounce back. 

3. Digital payments have dominated the payments market, and with “contactless experience” becoming the new normal, online payments will continue to be on the rise. 

4. Technology was considered to be a “good to have” business ingredient, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it a “must have” ingredient.

Final Thoughts

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced businesses to embrace digital transformation and create innovative solutions that cater to consumers’ changing needs. 

Each of the founders is driving technological innovations for their companies differently, but what lies at the core of these innovations is their ability to adapt to the changing ways of conducting business and turning crisis into an opportunity. 
If you have missed our Founders Roundtable discussion, you can watch the entire discussion to gain actionable insights on how to leverage technology to fight the COVID-19 business crisis.

Watch the Founders Roundtable On-Demand Webinar to know how leading consumer tech companies leveraged technology to fight the COVID-19 pandemic


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