Mandhir Singh took the leap into entrepreneurship after realizing that there was a huge gap in the food delivery industry. After ordering from restaurants and using meal kits, Mandhir quickly noticed that these options came at a high cost. They were either unaffordable or involved a lot of time spent doing prep work and cooking.
A foodie at heart, Mandhir created his own online service that saves people time and money through affordable personal chefs. Easy Platter provides best-in-class chefs to come right into the home of their customers and prepare high-quality meals with fresh ingredients for the week. Customers can fully customize the service by filtering for meals based on their dietary restrictions and choose from Easy Platter’s catalogue of recipes (or upload their own personal favourites!). Customers even have the option for groceries to be ordered and picked up for them. His revolutionary idea has made waves across the country, landing him on the news and TV.
Earlier this year, we had the opportunity to interview Mandhir and delve into his journey as the founder of Easy Platter. Throughout our discussion, we gained insight into the potential opportunities he envisions for racialized entrepreneurs within the tech industry.
Tell us about yourself.
Hi. My name is Mandhir Singh and I’m the founder of Easy Platter. We are an online platform where you can book a chef for your in-home meal prep.
What has been your boldest business move?
There have been quite a few. I would say that the first one would be when it came to hiring team members. When we were first getting started, there wasn’t enough capital to fully support additional team members for the full year. At the time, we needed more employees in order to grow the business and had to figure out along the way how they were going to be compensated fairly. It’s been working out well for us and I am so proud of the committed team we have created, it’s a great working environment.
The other move I made was when I decided to leave my secure job in April 2022 and jump into Easy Platter full-time. I had a strong vision and very high proof of concept for Easy Platter and deciding to pursue it full-time. It was the best thing I’ve ever done.
The third would be having the opportunity to be on Dragons’ Den in October 2022. It gave us the chance to present our brand across North America and really helped us grow as a company.
What are the biggest challenges and biggest opportunities for racialized entrepreneurs in the field of tech in Atlantic Canada?
I feel that having more representation for BIPOC in the field of entrepreneurship could be improved. More opportunities for networking with the right people and talking to fellow founders would allow everyone to rise together. With the help of a strong network, it creates a path for businesses to execute on a national level. There aren’t too many tech founders in Atlantic Canada and that is definitely a challenge I face. It would be great to speak to more people who understand what it’s like to grow a business here in Atlantic Canada.
With the challenges, there are also a lot of opportunities. I have been a part of Propel, Innovacorp or Invest Nova Scotia, Volta, and multiple other networking opportunities. I’ve been in Halifax for over a decade now and haven’t felt any sort of discrimination. The people in Atlantic Canada are great and have been very supportive of me and my business. I feel very fortunate to live and be able to grow my business here.
How can we come together to radically reimagine the ecosystem and disrupt systemic barriers so that racialized businesses – and their communities – can flourish?
I think there is quite a lot we can do. More mentorship, coaching, and advising would benefit start-ups given the nature of the business. Financial support and financial advisory are always great to get businesses following a path to success. Connecting with people who have experience in the same space is always rewarding. Trying to identify those people and making an introduction always leads to great conversation. They don’t necessarily have to be in Atlantic Canada as there are few available people here. If there are opportunities to connect with founders outside of Atlantic Canada or even in the States, I would never turn down the chance to speak with someone who understands the business and sees the struggles. Connecting with other founders really feeds our ecosystem and helps businesses thrive.
What’s your advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
I would say just go for it. If there is something you really believe in, if you think that it would actually solve a problem and provide value for customers, that’s what it’s all about. You also need to have the right support. Being surrounded by the right advisors and people in your corner, there’s potential to be very successful.