Before the protagonist’s story unfolds , please answer one question honestly : How many times have each one of you thought of quitting your respective job, to start something of your own ?
Irrespective of how lucrative or how bad our job is , we all want to be our own Boss .Every time we get scolded by our bosses and / or are being awarded a poor CR , the very first thought that comes to our mind is “Enough ! It’s time to start my own business “. In fact , even many successful people , working with companies with really big names, keep this idea of switching to being an entrepreneur from being an employee, floating in their head.
Unfortunately ,for one reason or other , most of us working people are unable to convert this dream of our’s into reality . As a matter of fact , I too have seriously pondered over this idea of quitting the job and starting a business at least 3-4 times in last 2 years or so but haven’t been able to take the step further. There are a number of factors involved .For some , financial issues or existing investments prove to be a road block while others are just not mentally prepared to come out of their comfort zone and take this risk .
But one guy ,who happens to be a very good friend & my junior from the College, has actually dared to realize his dream by overcoming all sort of anxieties & hiccups .
I found his journey really inspiring and worth sharing as ,who knows, it might help someone else (including myself) too to actually walk the talk with reference to entrepreneurship.
Meet Mr. Abhijeet Kamal Kishore !
Abhijeet is just 31 years of age but has already donned a number of hats – He has been an enthusiastic civil engineer , has tried his hand in core sector as well as in teaching Construction Management,has done Masters and has even been the care taker of family owned school for sometime before finally deciding to put aside all this paraphernalia and enter into the field of entrepreneurship on his own, with his Flag Ship project : The District Cafe & Restro , Noida , Uttar Pradesh , India.
Since there can’t be anything better than hearing from horse’s mouth , so here’s a brief of Abhijeet’s story , in his very own words :
THE DISTRICT CAFÉ & RESTRO
The Story Behind
The love for food drives one to different places. Some love exploring the ambiance while others are carried away by their taste buds. Being a food lover, it was always a dream to have a place of my own, where I can experiment with both food and ambiance. And this very zeal motivated me to start my first venture called THE DISTRICT CAFÉ AND RESTRO.
How it all started
I am a civil engineer by profession with a bachelors from NIT Kurukshetra and a masters from Concordia University, Canada. After working for core industry for 2 good years, I decided to join academics. But the dream of having my own thing was still fresh inside. Engineering academics had been facing recession since last 3 years and last year it got worse and that was the point I decided to take a break, make a plan and execute it. They always say, “You will definitely succeed if your passion becomes your profession”. So there was no second choice but opening a restaurant.
The Design Process
After quitting job, I took 4 months break and explored restaurants and cafes in Chandigarh, Delhi NCR, Jaipur and Udaipur which helped me in understanding different tastes and cuisines around India.
The next step was to decide on cuisines. Since I wanted a place where people from all age groups can enjoy, I brought in North Indian, Continental and Chinese cuisines. We serve delicious butter chicken and equally good lasagna.
Then came the major concern, deciding on the theme and interiors. After visiting a lot of outlets in CP and Hauz Khas, I made the final decision of getting a vibrant and colorful theme for the outlet. And as said by a wise man, “you don’t save money in material; you save by designing it efficiently.” And thus it took me an entire month of roaming in NCR and finding the best and economical stuff for my outlet.
Challenges and Advice to others
According to a study, 80% of the restaurants shut down within one year of their launch. The main reason for this is availability of funds. One has to plan and keep funds ready for at least a period of 6 months. The second reason is ineffective promotions. My advice to others is, make a plan, divide your potential customers accordingly such as Students, corporate, families, other professionals etc and then start your promotions. Third but the most important reason is maintaining the same level of quality and atmosphere in your outlet. You can attract a customer by promotions for the first time, but to convert your customer into a repeat customer, one has to maintain the same levels of taste, ambiance and hospitality.
A word for Abhijeet :
Bravo Abhijeet ! Kudos and Congratulations to you for following your heart and taking a bold decision ,for not many can muster this much of courage.I hope your story triggers many others .Wish you very best of luck for your Venture.
I hope you enjoyed this inspiring story ! Would love to hear your feedback in the comments below !!
Namaste & take care till my next post !
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