SATTORI LIFESTYLES PVT. LTD: Creating Exquisite Fine-Dining Experiences with Pure Craftsmanship
20 EMERGING STARTUPS TO WATCH IN 2023-24
SATTORI LIFESTYLES PVT. LTD.
High Net Worth individuals have a penchant for immersing themselves in fine dining experiences. They relish the opportunity to savor tastes prepared with exotic and rare ingredients. Indeed, this dynamic industry requires profound perfectionism and exclusivity. Expanding this segment in Mumbai, India, is an emerging startup led by the sterling entrepreneurial duo Mr. Yen Valavalkar and Ms. Soonye Choi.
Sattori Lifestyles Private Limited was started during the COVID-19 pandemic, with Mr. Yen Valavalkar and Ms. Soonye Choi deciding to start their entrepreneurial stints back in 2020. They primarily focused on catering to HNIs, UHNIs, and corporate dignitaries and initiated the journey as a private dining business. Later in 2021-2022, the business model was carved in the direction of starting the “private dining at home” concept.
Under this concept, the chefs of Sattori Food lab (under umbrella of Sattori lifestyles limited) visit the desired destinations along with all the requirements and equipment for food preparation to create a unique, luxurious at-home private dining experience. The concept picked up great momentum, and the business expanded significantly. Sattori Lifestyles Private Limited also ventured into the segment of food consultation in India and overseas. What makes Sattori Lifestyles stand apart is its specialization in utilizing only authentic and globally sourced luxury ingredients to put together a unique, one-of-a-kind gourmet dining experience within the comfort of home.
Both Mr. Yen Valavalkar and Ms. Soonye Choi, having strong culinary backgrounds, efficiently combined their indelible skills and entrepreneurial spirit to formulate menus and kitchen set-ups for restaurants and hotels across the globe. Today, the company is operating in every part of Mumbai, India, including Pune, Goa, Alibaug, Karjat, and Lonavala.
Prime Insights arranged a conversation with the leaders to get insights from their journeys. Compiling all those insights, we have weaved this narrative for the enticing edition of “20 EMERGING STARTUPS TO WATCH IN 2023-24.” Knowing their journey upfront was a delightful opportunity, and we believe that Sattori Lifestyles’ story sinks beautifully under this edition.
Confronting Challenges with Dignity
As the target audience of Sattori Lifestyles Private Limited is quite niche, it requires immense perfection and strategic planning to execute the services successfully. During the initial phases, major challenges were building a loyal customer base, establishing a fluent networking chain, and sourcing the ingredients with secure logistics. As the company is completely bootstrapped, coming up with the initial capital was challenging. Mr. Yen Valavalkar and Ms. Soonye Choi had to ensure that the projects delivered maximum ROI within the budget constraints and didn’t become capex-intensive. In phase two of expanding the business, maintaining the cost of logistics was another target on the list. The duo had to pour in extensive efforts to find the right logistics partner who understood the dynamics of their supply chain for HNI consumerism.
“Our products and services are designed to cater to the busy elite class who can provide us with the responsibility to handle the entire load of planning, organizing, and execution of a luxury meal experience, giving an absolute value for their trust and investment. Our services come with an ardent commitment to standing true to the expectations of our clients. In addition to the above, we also provide HNI concierge service, where we do monthly subscription-based sourcing of premium ingredients needed by our clients for their pantry or personal use, and we also provide at-home chef service for cooking the same.”
“As we mentioned above, our business started during COVID-19, which was an implicit challenge in itself. Considering the costs and parameters for the same, we wanted to keep overhead expenses to a minimum to sustain ourselves financially. Hence, we started operating out of a prep kitchen, which helped in bringing down the rental costs and overhead expenses. However, we worked extensively on building an adroit team, knowing that the workforce is and will be our tangible asset in the years to come. We have managed to navigate through by collaborating with eminent chefs and industry professionals. The entire success of Sattori Lifestyles is a pure outcome of our team’s consistent efforts, and as leaders, we must safeguard their well-being, which we have been achieving through our core values.”
The Current Industry Scenario
The tides are turning in favor of service providers like Sattori Lifestyles Private Limited because the niche they are catering to exhibits a proactive attitude toward substantial spending. However, success in this arena stands on the condition of delivering the right services—ones that not only represent value for money but also resonate with a sense of luxury. If a product or service provider is dealing with the luxury or HNI niche, it is essential to evaluate the mentality of consumerism. If the client feels that he is receiving more value than the price point, then his willingness to invest cascades naturally.
The company has garnered leads solely through word-of-mouth and referral incentive programs, where clients are given exclusive discounts for referring the services to their acquaintances. Hence, they will be focusing on this marketing strategy itself and will continue to broaden the customer base. The team at Sattori Lifestyles is motivated to take the company to new heights of excellence and position it as a global private chef service provider. They aim to cater to the elite circle around the globe, providing private chef solutions. In India, for the next three years, they are planning to inaugurate multiple service kitchens across metro cities.
The Administrative Leaders
Mr. Yen Valavalkar, Executive Director of Sattori Lifestyles Private Limited, completed his graduation from the internationally acclaimed culinary school “Le Cordon Bleu Paris.” His expertise also extends to working as a private chef for celebrities and luminaries around the globe.
- After completing his academics, Mr. Valavalkar started his professional career at the distinguished “Guy Savoy Restaurant” in Paris. Later, he worked in other prestigious restaurants and hotel chains, like “Amass Restaurant” in Copenhagen, Denmark.
- He also showcased his culinary potential at the “Noma Restaurant” in Stagier, Copenhagen (ever since Noma Restaurant opened in 2004, this three-starred Michelin restaurant has been named the world’s best restaurant five times by the World’s 50 Best Restaurants).
Ms. Soonye Choi, the Head of Culinary Operations at Sattori Lifestyles Private Limited, also completed her academics at the renowned culinary school “Le Cordon Bleu Paris.” The lady has predominantly worked in numerous 2- and 3-star Michelin restaurants across the globe, along with the aforementioned “Noma Restaurant” in Stagier, Copenhagen.
Inspiring Nuggets for Wisdom for Upcoming Business Leaders
“Learning for us has always been a dynamic experience. We are not industry veterans, yet we are pursuing our aspirations with full enthusiasm because there are immense perspectives to learn about when you’re in the entrepreneurial field. Although we would love to share advice with the readers:
First, we would like to tell all aspiring chefs and hospitality professionals to have a dream in front of which challenges feel small. Focus on achieving one goal at a time, and don’t rush yourself to complete multiple tasks. The quality of your solutions has much more weight than the quantity of challenges you solve.
If you’re also surrounded by the stereotypical criticism of the people around you, then the best thing you can do is simply ignore it! Take this negative criticism as a challenge to keep improving day by day. Focus on building authentic and integrity-backed relationships with your workforce and your stakeholders. Concluding our words, we wish to see young leaders hustling to become better than what they were yesterday. Keep a positive outlook, as hurdles are temporary, but the stamp of success is forever.”