Patel (35) was born in Wentworth, Durban, to a doctor father and a schoolteacher mother. After matriculating in 1999, he left for the USA to pursue his dream of becoming a professional golfer.
“Things didn’t go as planned,” he says, “so I enrolled for a BSc at Florida University, majoring in Finance and Accounting,” he says.
After graduating, he moved to New York, where he worked for Deloitte and then Goldman Sachs in Wall Street in 2007.
While living in the Big Apple, Patel came across an innovative company called Seamless.com, which offered a “virtual canteen” service to corporate businesses.
“We used it to order food when working late or unusual hours,” says Patel. “Years later, after I’d returned to SA, I saw the potential for a similar model to really take off here. OrderIn was founded in 2012 and the first version of the online site went live a year later. We opened our first branch in Cape Town and recently opened a second one in Johannesburg.”
The venture uses a unique way of delivering food. To use it, customers must download its app (available on both iOS and Android). They then simply enter an address or share their location and it displays a list of restaurants in that area where food can be ordered at that time.