Rocking the Food & Liquor Industry: Rocky Mohan

Rocky Mohan is changing the way we dine with Gourmet Passport

BY NAMITA GUPTA

Rocky Mohan is a food connoisseur who prides himself on the revival of the heritage of Indian cuisine. His knowledge stems from a combination of factors; his parental roots in Rawalpindi & Amritsar, where it is a tradition for men to cook, and his years he spent in Lucknow, where he learnt the art of fine cuisine, eating at the tables of the decedents of the nawabs & talukdars. His bachelor days in London helped him to put recipes into practice when he yearned for home food & had to cook his own meals. He is the author of several best-selling cookbooks including, Art of Indian Cuisine which has been in continuous print for the last 20 years, Wazwaan: Traditional Kashmiri Cuisine, the only cookbook of its kind, Rice & Spice & Rocky’s Table. His food columns have been hugely popular over the years.

His recent appearance with Celebrity Chef Rick Stein in a TV series on BBC has been received really well & one of his recipes appears in Stein’s cookbook on the Curry’s of India. He has also very recently done the launch episode of Masters of Taste Season 2 with Master chef Judge, chef, restaurateur & TV presenter Gary Mehigan which has been very well accepted and is currently being aired on Fox Life.
Rocky Mohan is also the founder of the Food Tech app Gourmet Passport that is currently listing 1,000 fine dining restaurants across 8 metro cities in India. It’s a high-end dining app that has a unique offering of Buy 1 Get 1 Free at the best fine dining restaurants in the country. It’s a subscription-based app and boasts a membership of over 125,000 members. Rocky shares his journey with us.

BY NAMITA GUPTA

How did the idea of starting Gourmet Passport come about? How’s it different from others in the same space?

It’s the outcome of wanting to remove a clutter of offers, by having one offer across all its partner restaurants which were handpicked by my team and me.

What were the challenges then and how did you overcome them?

The biggest challenge was getting the partner restaurants understanding the offer correctly. The offer was and is simple. 1+1 on main course for a max of three times a year for each member of the Gourmet Passport thus creating a win-win for both the member and the partner restaurant.

How has the journey been since then? What have been the highpoints of your journey?

It’s been a wonderful joy making Gourmet Passport a class product for the classy diner who loves discovery and is not for the atypical discount seeker. The journey like all similar journeys has had its challenges, but then if there are no challenges, where is the fun.

How do you think you revolutionsed the industry, stayed ahead of the game and made people stand up and take notice?

After we started, suddenly a number of #metoo brands appeared. We have stuck to our core strength and have not changed our offer since inception, while others have changed the offers complicating it for the user and then made further changes.

How do you keep innovating everytime and what keeps you motivated?

Innovation is a must for any product, but the core strength must not be tampered with. Motivation comes from challenges and success.

How do you maintain a work-life balance? What are your other hobbies?

When one’s work is also what one enjoys then the balance is automatically struck. My hobbies are reading, cooking and spending quality time with a select number of people. I love to travel and am happy that my work takes me to new places all the time.

What are your future plans?

I have a few ideas that I’m working on.