The shared passion for non-vegetarian food, especially seafood, led to the creation of Fishvish by three guys – Shumu (center), KK (left) and yours truly, Bijal (right).
The Founders Three
We have spent the better part of 4 years now travelling all over India, identifying the various types of regional favourites, export houses in these regions that process these fishes and tying up cold chain logistic loose ends. It’s been a long road that is coming to fruition now with a largish seafood variety on offer already which is continually growing.
From nearly missing a flight due to being stuck in a Telangana related “rasta-roko” protest between Bhimavaram and Vijaywada, to weird hour connecting flights to Cochin or Bhubaneshwar or the unexpected deliciousness of the food at the Bhubaneshwar Club to overcoming cold-chain logistics issues the hard way – destroyed or delayed shipments – it’s been one incredible ride. Looking back, we laugh about it now, but believe you me, we were not laughing back then! It was a combination of these experiences with our learnings along the way that have shaped almost all of our process both internal and external.
Our top most priority has always been and will remain the quality of product we offer. There are no compromises and we have always replaced product if and when a customer has complained. There haven’t been many. Our own learning experiences along the way, help of some professionals in the field and having someone with over 50 years of commercial seafood buying experience on board has fine tuned our product selection process. Dealing with certified export factories and availing only export grade product certainly helps the process along.
High Quality Seafood
The basics of identifying quality of fish is fairly standard:
crystal clear eyes that are still plump, wet and shiney
tail and dorsal fins should be wet, intact &healthy-looking
the flesh of the fish should feel wet, cold and slippery not sticky to the touch and when pressed should spring back to its original shape
the gills should feel clean &cold to the touch with a bright color to them
if the fish has scales, they should be shiny and firm and not dry and flaky
if you’re looking at filleted or cut fish there should be no dryness or breaking of the flesh
water pooling in the container would suggest the fish is losing its ability to hold moisture
white fish, such as pomfret or halibut, the flesh should look translucent
darker flesh fish, like tuna or salmon, the flesh should be bright and saturated in color
Filleting Station at the In-house Butchery
Steaks & Cuts Station at the In-house Butchery
We decided at the very start that we wanted to build a product and service brand. This would require not only plenty of time but also creation & implementation of processes that would aid the building of that brand. It meant we hire professionally trained staff for our In-house Butchery & Kitchen.
Vacuum Packing Station
It also meant we needed a chef in-house to ensure that our curation process was more complete and of the highest standards. Sure all three of us cook, but we’re home cooks with aspirations. Professionally trained staff will always remain a key part of our operations. The highest standards of hygiene are maintained at all times. The butchery is temperature controlled and all equipment is cleaned and disinfected immediately after use.
The Fishvish Kitchen – Yep, we really do cook!
Standards have been maintained with our product quality and the way it is handled, transported, processed, packed and stored. What seemed to be an area of concern was the weighing. In the end it was simple. We ensure that there is always more product added in than what we claim as packed weight. It made our processes simpler and less stressful for the weighing team and hey, happy customers are more than worth their weight in gold right?
Our delivery model has not impressed the pundits but we’re adamant about controlling the last mile. Our customers’ trust in our products is based on our control of the entire cold chain. It’s probably more costly this way, but it allows us to rest easy in the knowledge that our customers are getting the best possible quality of product and service.
Stages of Delivery
We’ve built a good team. And what’s most heart warming are the calls we get from customers to point out by name our delivery boys who have gone beyond their brief to help the customer out. It really is a good team and a growing one.
The foundation of our brand is quality and helping us maintain that is my wife, Pooja. She has a consumer research and advertising background which of course helps us in droves. But the most telling function she performs is keeping the three of us focused on who we are as a brand and we’ll steadily and surely get there.
The Fishvish Team
Bijal Patel Co-Founder Fishvish Hardcore food junkie, loves to cook for his wife.