SmartCooky – promoting a healthier lifestyle

seema-chandra-md-smartcookyIn an attempt to become India’s number one ecommerce portal for all things healthy, NDTV has launched – an ecommerce platform focused on helping consumers lead a healthier lifestyle, providing a unique mix of content and commerce.

The platform started out under the banner of NDTV Food as a content website, focusing on recipes, health and fitness articles. In the current avatar of SmartCooky, the website offers a mix of its existing articles, recipes and a chance for customers to shop from a wide range of 2000+ products. The e-commerce shop offers products within the health, nutrition, wellness and personal care space, which have been individually handpicked by their in-house experts. MarkUp in conversation with Seema Chandra, Managing Director,

 Define the USP of is a first of its kind content, community and commerce site, which aims at becoming a one-stop-shop for all things good for you.

What role do you play as the MD of this food startup? 

Being in the food space for more than 15 years, my role as the MD, apart from providing a vision for the business, is to make sure that the content remains robust and the ecommerce team is carrying out their job efficiently.

What latest trends are doing the rounds in the healthy-food industry of India pertaining to the ecommerce space? 

Well, consumers are more likely to make ‘healthy choices’, that’s one key trend and the backbone of our business. Healthy and tasty food will be the way of going ahead. Consumers will shop online and want the convenience of groceries and food delivered to them as the supply chain right now is very fragmented. You need to visit half a dozen of shops to get all your health food products.

How is this portal helping the Indian consumer? 

SmartCooky has handpicked all its health foods and personal care products. So, we know what we are selling is best in the market. Along with that, the credibility of our content over the past 15 years at NDTV, helps the consumer trust our range of products.

What marketing hacks did you employ to scale up your portal? 

SmartCooky is an NDTV Venture and enjoys the patronage support from the group, be it television or online. Also, we have a massive database on Facebook and Twitter. We have also carefully picked key strategic partners to help scale our business – schools, marathons, healthcare providers and more.

How did you get your first 1000 customers? 

The first 1000 customers have come organically, via the existing customer base of SmartCooky as well as

What social media strategies did you employ to get more viewership/customers? 

We already have an ever-expanding social community of food enthusiasts; we build these via contextually relevant content placement on social media.

Define your target audience.

Our target audience would be 15-45 years old, aspirational Indians who are aware of global trends.

Tell us about your future expansion plans.

Going ahead, SmartCooky intends to scale up its product catalogue, engage better with customers and generate content that is rich and relevant.

Did you face any challenges during the initial setting-up stage of this venture? How did you overcome them?

There were a lot of minor challenges that we faced along the way but we were able to adapt our business model to overcome those fairly quickly. The good thing is that the ecosystem in itself is evolving and that in itself brings an inherent challenge but is also an opportunity to establish yourself as the pioneer and leader; all you have to be is flexible and adapt to anything that comes in the way.

Priyanka Chakrabarti

Priyanka Chakrabarti

Priyanka heads the content department at BoringBrands. You can usually find her hard at work creating path-breaking content strategies for the startup ecosystem or online, tweeting about her blog on all things fashion and lifestyle. Priyanka has previously worked as a journalist for The Times Group, Creative Nest Media and Hindustan Times. Find her on Twitter @PriyankaTLP

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