DEV AMRITESH, MANAGING DIRECTOR, COMPASS INDIA, SAYS TECH SOLUTIONS THAT DELIVER SEAMLESS, ENHANCED EXPERIENCES HAVE BECOME AN IMPORTANT PART OF OUR FOOD EXPERIENCE ONE OF the world’s largest catering conglomerates serving healthcare, education, sports, entertainment, restaurants, refreshment services, offshore and remote sites along with other business and industries, Compass Group PLC’s India wing, Compass India has been servicing the Indian workplace, healthcare and education market since 2008 with operations across 450-plus client locations in the country. “We, at Compass India, are on a journey of transformation, building operational capability, product leadership, technology, and a culture based on the values of collaboration, outperformance and problem-solving. We focus on innovation and development to design relevant foodservice concepts and solutions to nourish workplaces and aid the transition to better workplace food habits and choices,” says Dev Amritesh, Managing Director, Compass India. He adds that the company’s sector-focussed business verticals give its clients access to differentiated food, technology and service solutions, leveraging global best practices and India-specific innovations.

Adopting Smart Business Techniques

“The workforce in India today is increasingly made up of people who have either grown up or are deeply accustomed to personal technology. They are our core consumers and are driving a change in the way we operate contract food services to meet their needs. Tech solutions that deliver seamless and enhanced experiences like menu discovery, pre-ordering, payment and post-order support have become an increasingly important part of the food experience at workplace,” shares Amritesh.

Earlier this year, Compass India acquired a majority stake in SmartQ, a B2B food-tech and aggregator platform, that provides transformative digital technologies to create engaging cafe experiences. Compass India will use SmartQ’s technology solutions such as mobile app for food ordering at orkplace, self-ordering kiosks, cashierless cafeteria, Point-of-Sale (PoS) solutions and Cloudcontrolled Intelligent Menu Display Systems to transform the way people interact at on-site restaurants, enabling employees to browse menus, pay and collect more flexibly and enhance their food at work experience.

“As India prepares to return to office, we have introduced the SafeSphere programme to address the heightened focus and need on personal and food safety, hygienic office environment and sensitised service staff. The programme has been built to support organisations in taking care of the health and wellbeing of their employees through an adaptable and customisable programme of food, safety and hygiene solutions,” says he.

SafeSphere brings disruptive models of working and innovation around serving meals across the company’s client locations. The innovations include app-based innovations that help decongest cafeterias by allowing employees to book their seats in the café with Compass India’s Café-Pass feature. Other features such as pre-order click and collect later that helps in decongesting queues at cafes. “Employees can get desk delivery and several other similar features that have been developed to provide convenience and safety. The programme enables Reimagining Workplace Food Services – what’s next scalability, quality of food, contactless food elivery mechanisms amidst the changing consumer behaviour,” adds Amritesh.

Compass india believes in adapting to newer Models of working, embracing digital, Contactless ordering and innovation

        afeSphere also encompasses enhanced safety standards and protocols, multi-channel employee hygiene communications, employee readiness through Covid-19 training modules, employee personal protective equipment, and enhanced employee health checks. “We want to be at the forefront of this change, continually leading innovation and reinventing our service and experience model with deep understanding of our consumer and client needs and using technology to solve problems that have not been solved before,” Amritesh has us know.

Amritesh is of the belief that the offices will become more mainstream post-Covid and leaders will see them more as sites for promoting shared human experiences and harnessing collective human energy. For this to happen, office spaces may need to become more flexible and social. The role of the office cafeteria will perhaps be far more important than ever before. “From being a place where one went for lunch during a break, the cafeteria is now an opportunity to become a collaboration hub and from being a fixed-day part space to an all-day part space,” he says, adding he also sees an evolution in workplace food and a faster move towards health and wellness.

“We can now notice an enhanced focus on personal safety, food, and hygiene – from the way it is served, sourced, and prepared. Food today is getting more functional and interesting and less about simple indulgence. Being at the forefront of this change, Compass India believes in adapting to newer models of working, embracing digital, contactless ordering, and innovation around the food itself including creative and smart choice of ingredients that promote wellness and well-being of each employee,” he puts in.

Covid-19 Impacting Business

It goes without saying that the pandemic has been unfortunate for everyone. With offices being shut, the corporate food services sector has been impacted. Compass India has focussed on an amplified business model to provide enhanced solutions in this altered environment as well as focus on new and emergent sectors and solutions to broaden our addressable market. “It was important to explore ways to address fears and win back trust. Our commitment towards quality and hygiene standards in kitchens and service offerings stands tall, allowing more visibility and guarantee to our clients and consumers, as they begin to move back to their workplaces,” shares Amritesh.

Management Mantra

“Focus on solving problems through technology and building a performance culture that drives transformation and growth has been a focus area. I’m a believer in the need for imagination and innovation in business and am passionate about people,” he shares.