They mean business: The new faces of India Inc
Enterprise in India has as many reasons as faces. Some take to it as an unquestioning continuance of the family business, others to strike out on their own; some explore new ideas, while others revive old ones; some preserve tradition in the face of odds, others take on the challenges of novelty. But what binds them all is the passion for ownership
Image by : Prasad Gori for Forbes India
Near Kirti College in Dadar is a tiny shop whose renown cuts across class in Mumbai. Tucked into the wall is Ashok Thakur’s vada pav shop, where customers are willing to wait even for an hour to get their favourite snack. Thakur, one of four brothers from a middle-class family, set up the shop in 1978 when his attempts at joining the navy did not work out; his stint as a newspaper vendor was not successful either. Today, Thakur has earned loyal customers who flock to his shop daily for his tasty vada pavs and chura pavs (made from the crispy fried drippings of the vada batter). The filling for the vadas is made in his house, where eight to 10 people are employed; six people man the shop at any time, working in shifts. Thakur’s biggest problem is his inability to expand operations, as he feels customers are being made to wait for too long. Bulk orders come in at any time—stand there for a couple of hours and at least two to three orders of 75 to 150 vada pavs come in—and make the wait even longer. And if running this burgeoning operation from a cubby hole was not problematic enough, imagine having 41 ingredients in a single chutney!