Thursday, October 5, 2017

Inspiring! Mumbai Boys Make 4.4 Crores A Year By Selling Vada-Pav To London

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Inspiring! Mumbai Boys Make 4.4 Crores A Year By Selling Vada-Pav To London

Inspiring! Mumbai Boys Make 4.4 Crores A Year By Selling Vada-Pav To London


In 2010, the effects of global downturn began to be observed; London-based Sujay Sohani remembers getting a message from his head, telling him that he had lost his job as food and beverage manager at the five-star hotel. Sohani reached out to his college-mate, Subodh Joshi, for help. A downhearted Sohani told Joshi he didn't even have enough cash for a measly vada pav. This one statement would turn Sohani's fortune around.


After some days Sohani get an idea to start a vada pav chain in London. Now after seven years with their hardwork, three branches and an annual turnover of 5,00,000 pounds (Rs. 4.39 crore approx) later has become a force to compute with on London's street food scene.

Inspiring! Mumbai Boys Make 4.4 Crores A Year By Selling Vada-Pav To London

Sohani and Joshi first met at Bandra's Rizvi College in 1999, where they were studying hotel management. "After completing the course, we decided to pursue a post graduate degree in London. When we finished the course, we got jobs in reputed hotels and were earning well. Everything was fine, until the recession hit us," Joshi says.

While Sohani lost his job at the hotel, Joshi lived in unpredictably "I was seeing restaurants around us close down, and people were being sacked. It was one of the toughest phases of my life," he recalls.

Inspiring! Mumbai Boys Make 4.4 Crores A Year By Selling Vada-Pav To London


They opened a stall for Vada-Pav in Hounslow because it was a good spot, since it is frequented by Southeast Asians.

During one of the visits, the duo chanced upon a Polish ice cream cafe. "The cafe wasn't doing great business, so we approached the Polish owner and asked if he would allow us to put up two tables. In return, we promised to pay him a rent of 400 pounds (R35,000) a month. He was reluctant at first, but later agreed," says Sohani.

In 2010, Joshi and Sohani opened their stall to Londoners. "We first started serving vada pav for 1 pound (R80) and dabeli for 1.50 pounds (R131)," says Sohani. While friends and patrons cheered them on, in the first month, the profits were abysmal. "We realised that to popularise our product, we had to advertise it."

"As burgers were being sold in other shops for nothing less than 5 pounds (R440), we promoted our item as the Indian variant that was available to them for less than half the price at 2 pounds (R175)," Sohani says of their business strategy.

Inspiring! Mumbai Boys Make 4.4 Crores A Year By Selling Vada-Pav To London

The space was no longer sufficient so they found another stall. Meanwhile, owners of a Punjabi restaurant called Big Bite, which was operating in front of their stall, asked them if they'd like to do business with them. "We decided to give a shot, and that's how the Shree Krishna Vada Pav stall turned into a restaurant," Sohani says.

After some time, Joshi quit his job and started working full time at the restaurant. Two years later, they opened their second stall in Harrow, and another one in Pinner, last year. They are took orders for weddings and parties, and included 60 new street food dishes from India on their menu.


Now annual turnover is Rs. 4.40 crore across three branches the Mumbai boys now have no disappointments about the twist their careers took. "Today, Indians, Romanians and Polish staff work at our restaurants. And, to imagine that it all started with bad luck and the vada pav," Sohani said.

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