The rising entrepreneurs of Pune
Pune boasts of several young entrepreneurs who have chucked well-paying jobs to start something of their own and have crafted success stories in a short span of time. Kavita Shyam chats with some of them
The tea story
Owner, The Chaai restaurant
Yogesh Chavan, a computer scientist from Lonavala and working in the US, gave up his career at Adobe and gave himself two years to start his dream project — The Chaai restaurant, which became a roaring success.
"I felt there were many cafes across the globe but not many tea places around, so that's what got me going. I was getting into a comfort zone in the US. The idea came to my mind in 2009, and from 2011, I got cracking on it.
I visited 300 cafés in the US. The Chaai is a fine amalgamation of technology and service industry because we have iPad and chaai applications on each of the tables. Each of the items on the menu has its nutrition value, ingredients et al mentioned. We also host concerts and advertisements on the big screen.
The capital investment was Rs 70-80 lakhs and they have recovered Rs 45 lakh within six months.
His advice for upcoming entrepreneurs: "Your work is going to be a large part of your life and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe in immensely."
His future plans are to create The Chaai chains in Mumbai, Aurangabad and the US.
The successful duo
>> Ketan Dossa,
CEO-Corporate Solutions, Masala Dossa Productions (MDP)
Creative Director, MDP
This husband-wife duo is a complete package. While the husband is one of the top corporate trainers of the city and has an event management house besides being an anchor, his wife is a fashion designer, boutique owner-cum-stylist.
Rishika admits that she was always interested in fashion designing but never as a profession. "I took up a career in HR with corporates but realised my true calling was fashion," she says.
Ketan states that he began working in the field of sales, communication and events. "I had a flair for hosting live shows and I decided to establish my own company Masala Dossa Productions, in 2012."
It was established on a small budget put together by the duo from their savings.
Says Ketan, "It is always difficult to bring in business when you are a new company, because it takes a while to establish your credibility."
MD & CEO, Fluxonix Corporation
“Since Junior College, I wanted to do something different and on my own. When I was studying engineering, alongwith technical knowledge we started getting a lot of consulting assignments, which I enjoyed.
In January 2007, I started my own business called Fluxonix Capital Investment: "I started it with Rs 1,10,000 out of which Rs 20,000 was from my saved investment of Rs 90,000 given by my parents."
They have started expanding across India and in countries like the Middle East, USA, and South East Asia.
Making moolah off media
CEO, Media Sphere Communications
From being a photographer and journalist to having a successful media firm in just a few years, Aditya Kuber has come a long way.
"I started my career as a photographer and journalist before moving on to the internet. I decided to become an entrepreneur in 2007 when the corporate life got to me. I wanted to have the freedom to create and build something. It was a huge risk since I gave up a very high paying job to venture out on my own."
His capital investment was nil as he didn't pay himself for six months until the first client paid him.
"In the first six months, I worked out of the office of my mentor who was kind enough to lend me a table to operate out of," he states.
They aim to finish the current financial year with Rs 2 crore in revenue.
Speaking of challenges, he says, "In seven years of running the business, we have seen two recessions. Plus, being a non-funded company, we always depend on our income for growth and operations."
>> Preeti Agarwal,
Owner, Pet Ville
This 29-year-old runs two pet shops which are doing exceedingly well. With a passion for pets, she has set up two stores offering veterinary, grooming service, adoption camps and varied pet products.
She says, "I worked in finance and travelled for five years. I adopted a dog three years ago. Somehow, I never got satisfactory answers on their nutrition and health during my visits to pet shops.
I understood there was a dire need of a complete pet store and decided to open one."
She started Pet Ville with a capital investment of Rs 3 lakh.
"Business is a roller coaster ride, every day is a learning experience. Planning is a must, listen to your heart. It's about taking risks, having a passion and being creative," she sums up.