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Sodexo and Zone Startups have Joined Hands to Launch India’s First-ever Enterprise Foodtech Program

Sodexo, the world leader of Life Services, announced on 11th December 2018, a strategic initiative to work with Indian Startups and closely connect with the local digital & innovation ecosystem to strengthen food offers for Sodexo’s clients and consumers.

This open innovation program is in partnership with Zone Startups, a global brand of tech accelerators and early stage venture funds, demonstrating its strong commitment to fast-track growth in the Indian market. The initiative is an effort to extend Sodexo’s Open Innovation Program, which has been successful in France. It is now focusing on Asia Pacific – India & China to explore market-leading innovations.

Speaking about consumer significance in food services, Rishi Gour, Country President, Sodexo On-Site Services India highlighted,

“The urban food market continues to offer tremendous growth potential for Sodexo India and is at an inflection point with rapid digitalization, evolving consumers and the entry of new players. The differentiator for Sodexo continues to be the Quality of Life experience. By associating with innovative startups, we aim to transform not only the perception of workplace cafeterias but also the way we operate and serve consumers. With startups offering innovative technologies and business models, we look forward to creating new services together and generate a differentiated experience for our consumer. It will allow us to reach consumers in a way we did not do before, create better connections and deliver better customer-centric services and experiences”.

The first cohort of the accelerator program in India under the partnership with Zone Startups is dedicated to the identification of new technology and corporate food models. Startups can apply through a dedicated website (www.sodexoaccelerator.com).

Sodexo and Zone Startups will collaborate to identify, assess, test, and validate the most relevant startups to coach and run pilots within a Sodexo context. The one-year program aims to bring new food experiences to Sodexo’s corporate clients and consumers.

Overall, the partnership will help Sodexo India to closely work with local digital and innovative players in sourcing and accelerating new technologies and business models for Sodexo business offers.

“We’re extremely excited about our digital and innovation journey in India”, said  Belen Moscoso Del Prado, Chief Digital and Innovation Officer, Sodexo. “New business models are constantly challenging the established ways of working. To enhance the Quality of Life experience it is vital to combine the agility and creativity of innovative startups with Sodexo’s market access and the deep understanding of consumer behavior. We are deploying local initiatives under a global strategy of moving closer to our consumers through such strategic partnerships and are therefore keen to work closely with Zone Startups on attracting partners with leading-edge technologies and emerging business models. We are sure that this partnership will bring new energy to Sodexo’s business in India, and even inspire innovation across other markets.”

“We are pleased to partner with Sodexo to co-create this first of its kind open-innovation program in the enterprise food experience space. This program opens up collaborative avenues for startups working in emerging food services. Sodexo’s global domain expertise and large consumer base is a strong ally for selected startups to attain scale at speed”, concluded Ajay Ramasubramaniam, Managing Director of Zone Startups India

About Sodexo

Founded in Marseille in 1966 by Pierre Bellon, Sodexo is the global leader in services that improve Quality of Life, an essential factor in individual and organizational performance. Operating in 80 countries, Sodexo serves 100 million consumers each day through its unique combination of On-site Services, Benefits and Rewards Services, and Personal and Home Services.

Sodexo provides its clients an integrated offering developed over more than 50 years of experience: from food services, reception, maintenance and cleaning, to facilities and equipment management; from services and programs fostering employees’ engagement to solutions that simplify and optimize their mobility and expenses management, to in-home assistance, child care centers and concierge services. Sodexo’s success and performance are founded on its independence, its sustainable business model, and its ability to continuously develop and engage its 460,000 employees throughout the world.

Sodexo is included in the CAC 40, FTSE 4 Good and DJSI indices.

Key figures (as of August 31, 2018)

  1. 20.4 billion euro in consolidated revenues
  2. 460,000 employees
  3. 19th largest employer worldwide
  4. 72 countries
  5. 100 million consumers served daily
  6. 13 billion euro in market capitalization (as of November 7, 2018)

Sodexo On-Site Services India

Sodexo India On-site Services is a leading service provider of food and facilities management solutions that impact the Quality of Life of clients and its employees. With 100+ service offerings, a robust QHSE framework and a sustainable business model, they are touching the lives of over a million consumers daily in the Auto & Ancillary, Pharmaceutical & FMCG, IT & ITES, Industrial & Infrastructure and Diversified business segments; Oil & Gas; Healthcare and Schools & Universities.

In 2018, Sodexo On-site Services has delivered food and facilities management solutions across 1100 sites for 450+ clients with its network of 43,000 employees, spread across 8 Regional offices and a Corporate office in Mumbai.

About Zone Startups

Zone Startups is a global brand of tech accelerators and early stage venture funds operated by Toronto based Ryerson Futures Inc. Established in Toronto in 2012, today, Zone Startups is present across Canada, India and Vietnam. Zone Startups accelerator programs are built on the pillars of validation, mentorship, industry connect and investor access.

Under the accelerators business, Zone Startups operates its own brand of programs as well as partners with large corporations to co-create and manage corporate accelerators and innovation programs.

In India, Zone Startups has been operating since 2014 and has built a portfolio of 200+ startups across multiple programs. Zone Startups also works with the Central and State Governments and CSR, towards developing and operating startup programs for furthering the ecosystem.

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