By Dimithri Wijesinghe
Ishara Engineers and Lorry Body Builders (Pvt.) Ltd. in Pitakotte has introduced a brand new low-cost food truck body for those who are looking to get into their own food-inspired start-up. The budget vehicle is ideal for food businesses that are looking to get their business off the ground or even for those who have been in the industry for some time and are looking to expand, and perhaps reach a different market.
Ishara Engineers and Lorry Body Builders (Pvt.) Ltd., the company that is manufacturing the product, is a second generation company with over 35 years of experience in the field of truck body manufacturing with a range of time-tested, quality products.
Speaking with Ishara Engineers and Lorry Body Builders (Pvt.) Ltd Managing Director and mechanical engineer Ishara Manamendra with regard to the novel initiative, she said: “Even though these kind of food trucks are popular in other regions of the world, they have been introduced in Sri Lanka for the first time by our company.”
She also spoke of their company’s motivation behind producing the product in such a way that it is affordable to those who are just now dipping their toes into the world of self-employment and entrepreneurship. She elaborated on the company’s innovation which was intended to inspire such persons who have decided to take matters into their own hands and test their luck at carrying out and starting their own business. “Shifting our businesses to a mobile sphere has become more important than ever, therefore, we have introduced a range of products to suit our customers’ budgets,” she said.
With the effects of the pandemic, there have been many who were laid off suddenly without a steady income and unable to support either themselves or their families. Covid-19 has drastically affected many and while some have been lucky enough to either acquire loans to sustain themselves or return to their jobs, there are a majority of those who are left to fend for themselves, and this initiative is poised to be a helping hand in the right direction.
About the lorry in question, Manamendra provided the specifications of what they offer: “We provide height-extendable food trucks and size-expandable food trucks using hydraulics and food trailers built to solid engineering standards,” adding: “Apart from standard lorry bodies, we build half beds, flat beds, and vehicle carriers as well.”
Speaking about the truck being used as a food truck, Manamendra said that eating street food from a truck is a different kind of experience which includes not only the food that is being prepared but also indulgence in the experience, with all your senses heightened while having the food. That is the ambience and the different nature that street food offers overall, and as a result, she stated that they have designed the kitchen in these trucks with that customer experience in mind.
“A truck can occupy a minimum of two persons to operate the truck which is fully fledged to include high-pressure stoves and grills, a prepping area, fresh water tanks, waste water tanks, kitchen canopies, generators, solar power, refrigerators, CCTV cameras, necessary plumbing, etc.,” she said. Moreover, she added that they are able to customise designs within the space desired by the customer, while ensuring high safety standards.
Manamendra also shared that she believes it’s a great victory for them to be able to introduce these food trucks in a timely manner. “During this time, when it is mostly needed, Sri Lanka can take pride in the fact that (the trucks are) designed and fabricated in our country by our own technical staff,” she said.