While the Indian healthcare sector continues to grow manifold, it isn’t just medicare that is keeping up with the rapidly changing global standards. Hospitality services in this booming industry, too, are undergoing drastic changes to match up with the current trend of a luxurious stay.
In addition to the opulent wards, courteous staff and technologically sound establishments, the private healthcare units have also come up with an innovative healing process, known as food therapy.
All about serving a delectable and nutritious diet to the ailing, food therapy strives to accelerate the healing process by offering an appetizing and eye-pleasing menu to those who need to pay extra attention to their diet.
Following this idea is Invisible Kitchen, which caters to the nutritional and gastronomic requirements of over 100,000 patients in Delhi and NCR. Rajesh Verma, who launched the initiative last year in June, spoke to Guardian 20 about this project’s inception, the challenges involved, and its future.
Q. What inspired you to come up with this unique a concept?
A. Having gone through personal experience and managed a few hospitals for over two years, I realised that most hospitals serve boring, bland and unappetising food. My past experience of heading operations of full service airlines and five-star hotels came in handy to bring in the change.
Fortis Healthcare’s top management was quick to understand this gap and gave me an opportunity to start a company which produces healthy, gourmet food. This gave birth to Invisible Kitchen’s Food Therapy. Inspired by cultures from India and around the world, we prepare wholesome and tasty food using mostly organic, pesticide-free ingredients sourced directly from farmers.
Fortis Healthcare’s top management was quick to understand this gap and gave me an opportunity to start a company which produces healthy, gourmet food. This gave birth to Invisible Kitchen’s Food Therapy.
Q. How challenging is it to run a kitchen with special needs?
A. Running a hospital kitchen has its own challenges as there are various therapeutic diets involved. Our highly skilled chefs design the menu after taking inputs from specialised doctors. Inspiration is taken from ayurveda, and the final outcome is a fine blend of science and art which makes food not only tasty and healthy but visually appealing too.
Q. Could you please elaborate on the present structure, and future plans or goals of Invisible Kitchen?
A. Presently, we are catering to five Fortis hospitals in Delhi-NCR. We have 150 specialised chefs who are catering to over 100,000 patients, 60,000 doctors and staff meals every month.
Fortis Healthcare has asked us to cater to all their hospitals in the country. Some of the other large chains of hospitals have also shown interest to introduce this new concept of food therapy. Initially, we would like to concentrate on the Delhi-NCR region. Later on, we will expand our network to other regions of the country as well. Ultimately our goal is to be a global player, providing wholesome and nutritious food with a focus on prevention of diseases through eating right.
Q. Since high-end medical services in the country are hardly able to percolate down to the masses, how do you intend to make this particular service available for the marginalised?
A. After achieving a particular scale, we will approach the health ministry and ask them to take this concept to government hospitals as well. This will be a real game-changer as the under-privileged will also be able to relish the change.
Q. How do you ensure that the recipes prepared in the kitchen are scrumptious and nutritious at the same time?
A. Our menus are based upon three pillars of well-being, nutrition and taste. The focus is on delivering taste without compromising on health. Fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables are at the centre of all our menus. The catering store ensures that the kitchen is issued the exact quantity of ingredients based on standardised recipes created by culinary experts.