In Chandigarh, a popular three-year-old Pizza ATM is up for renewal

The Pizza ATM at Chandigarh’s Sukhna Lake is popular for it’s ready-in-three-minutes pizza. Rohit Shekhar Sharma tells us how he built it, and why he wants to keep it running

February 15, 2024 09:02 pm | Updated February 16, 2024 12:57 pm IST

The machine was installed at the Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh in January 2021

The machine was installed at the Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh in January 2021 | Photo Credit: Amarjot Kaur

Like any foreigner in Paris, Rohit Shekhar Sharma, the founder and CEO at iMatrix Group of Companies, was fascinated with the art and architecture. While attending an exhibition, he chanced upon the pizza-dispensing machine and wondered if he could replicate the idea back home.

The Pizza ATM at Chandigarh’s Sukhna Lake

The Pizza ATM at Chandigarh’s Sukhna Lake | Photo Credit: Amarjot Kaur

“It was some four years ago, before Covid, when I first saw the machine in France and other parts of Europe. Importing it to India meant investing ₹60 lakh, so on coming back to India we started making the machine at the factory of iMatrix World Wide in Mohali,” says Rohit.

The machine, he says, was installed at the Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh in January 2021, after the company got the tender floated by CITCO (Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation Limited), a Chandigarh Administration undertaking. “We are now waiting for the renewal of the tender which is due this year,” he says.

Equipped with a pizza oven, commercial microwave oven and a deep freezer, the LED-body panel machine delivers a pizza in just two-and-a-half to three minutes

Equipped with a pizza oven, commercial microwave oven and a deep freezer, the LED-body panel machine delivers a pizza in just two-and-a-half to three minutes | Photo Credit: Amarjot Kaur

The Pizza ATM is a complete food outlet in itself, which does the job of storing, baking and dispensing pizzas. Equipped with a pizza oven, commercial microwave oven and a deep freezer, the LED-body panel machine delivers a pizza in just two-and-a-half to three minutes, says Rohit.

“The machine’s interface with the user is such that you have to insert a token or scan a bar code. Then seven options of different pizzas in the machine are lit up. A robotic arm gets activated and picks up the stored frozen pizza. The machine can store upto 50 pizzas. It brings it to the oven where the pizza is baked and then serves it to the customer through the service window,” he adds, explaining the functioning of the machine.

Available in medium and large sizes, Pizza ATM offers only vegetarian pizzas

Available in medium and large sizes, Pizza ATM offers only vegetarian pizzas | Photo Credit: Amarjot Kaur

Available in medium and large sizes, Pizza ATM offers only vegetarian pizzas. The options include Margarita, cheese and corn, special Jain pizza, Hawaiian pizza and paneer tikka pizzas, which are available in medium and large sizes.

“We are eyeing franchise models and want to expand in and out of the country too. So, we want uniformity and the ingredients are sourced from different companies, like Del Monte, Veeba, Amul, Britannia and Go Cheese. They are our main suppliers. Making frozen pizzas is a different process and the company’s secret too; we did our training from Paris,” shares Rohit.

The medium-size pizzas are priced between ₹220 and ₹340, while large-size pizzas fall in the range of ₹320 and ₹490. Rohit says, the prices are far less than many international pizza chains. “We are selling nearly 100 pizzas a day,” he adds, stating that the business has been good for the past three years.

The Pizza ATM is beside Sukhna Lake Chandigarh, Sector No.1, Chandigarh. A meal for two costs approximately ₹500.

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