Meet Anx Patel
Anx Patel is the CEO and founder of GoKart, an app that enables restaurants to order ingredients from high quality suppliers easily, quickly and for less money. GoKart offers restaurants savings of up to 20% when ordering supplies through its app, allowing independent restaurants and growing chains to enjoy the same discounts offered to larger chains.
1. Why did you start GoKart and what were you doing before?
I was inspired to start GoKart after my own experiences of running a food business. In this previous role, I was consistently faced with the problem of needing to control the costs of my supplies while, at the same time, being out-competed by large chains. These chains would order ingredients in huge volumes, meaning they held an unfair competitive advantage over smaller companies that couldn’t source supplies at such low costs. And if that wasn’t enough, I was also extremely frustrated by the slow, out-dated analogue methods of ordering supplies.
Growing up in the 80s with a Commodore VIC-20 as my best friend, I knew technology held the answer for independent businesses like mine in the food and drink space. Digital solutions could enable SMEs to work together while also offering suppliers the advantage of earlier payment, meaning even tiny restaurants could benefit from the same pricing the large chains enjoy. And so GoKart was born: an app for independent restaurants to order ingredients from high quality suppliers easily, quickly and for less money (on average users achieve 20% savings by ordering through the app).
2. What were the biggest sources of inspiration and support when you were starting out?
Britain is a treasure trove of innovative entrepreneurs and amazing startups, and these inspire me and countless others. But one of my biggest sources of inspiration is David Buttress, the founder and CEO of Just Eat – he started his career with Coca-Cola before going on to build his own business, which is now one of UK’s best entrepreneurial success stories.
Fortunately for us, Just Eat backed GoKart at a very early stage – the company’s foodtechaccelerator programme gave our business valuable support, including guidance from people like David and the rest of the management team at Just Eat. This gave us a great foundation to build on, and today GoKart is witnessing 30% monthly growth.
3. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned since starting the business?
Get the right people.
Building a startup is hard and to make a success of it, founders need to surround themselves with smart and ambitious people; individuals that have the ability, belief and drive to achieve great things, and not just for themselves but for the good of the team.
Without good people even a brilliant business idea can amount to very little – so hiring the right people and building a great team is absolutely essential.
4. What has been your proudest moment/biggest achievement so far?
I would have to say that my proudest moment and biggest achievement so far is the state of the business right now. At present, GoKart is experiencing really strong growth of 30% month-on-month – it took a huge amount of time and effort from the whole team to get to this point.As most entrepreneurs will appreciate, there was a lot of failing, learning and iterating over the past few years. But this forced us to answer a lot of the questions, and it’s fantastic to see this process convert into success and help make us a company that I’m confident has huge international potential.
5. What advice would you give to anyone starting out?
Keep at it!
It’s a bit of a cliché, but there’s a picture of two miners digging through the soil – one gives up when just a few metres from hitting gold, while the second one keeps going until he gets there. Entrepreneurs must be the latter; they have to keep going.
When you have a vision for something new that would benefit people – whether that’s consumers or business – you have to dig deep and commit to the work it invariably takes to make it a reality. What’s more, you have to be thick skinned and not be deterred by people who criticise the idea. The status quo is always difficult to disrupt, but everything we enjoy today, from electric cars to exotic foreign foods, was brought to us by individuals who had a vision and drive to do something differently.
6. What piece of investment did you make in the business that was worth every penny?
7. What does 2018 look like for you?
As we enter the second half of 2018, our focus at GoKart is to continue with our impressive rate of growth, which is enabling us to double in size every two to three months. To achieve this, we need to keep reaching out to as many restaurants as possible to help them source great ingredients at the best prices.
As well as this, GoKart is seeking further investment in the near future to help us achieve our projected growth forecasts.