The Indian guy who lost his job and now is earning a fortune by a vada-pav stall!
Subodh Joshi and Sujay Sohani are the friends that proved to the whole world that you can rise from the ashes! The two had studied their undergraduate course in hotel management in Mumbai and then decided to move to London to pursue a better future. They both got a job in a 5-star hotel in London and were doing quite well until, in 2009, the global recession happened!
Sujoy Sohani who was working as a food and beverage manager lost his job with no money! So he asked Subodh Joshi for help. Sujoy used to joke about his penniless state saying he did not even have enough money to buy a vada-pav and that statement was the beginning of everything! Joshi said to NDTV: “After completing the course, we decided to pursue a post-graduate degree in London.”
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“When we finished the course, we got jobs in reputed hotels and were earning well. Everything was fine until the recession hit us.I was seeing restaurants around us close down, and people were being sacked. It was one of the toughest phases of my life.”
So he came up with the idea of a vada-pav stall!
What they both did next was to find a place!
Sohani said: “Hounslow was a good spot since it is frequented by Southeast Asians. We started looking for a stall there. 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.”
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That was of course too much money. For them to get the result they wanted for their business, they distributed free vada pavs to passengers and that actually worked! They started selling more and more slowly and with that great result, they were able to move to a new place, somewhere more spacious on Hounslow High Street. They also changed the name and started presenting it as the Indian burger so that it would sell even bigger.
Sohani said: “We first started serving vada pav for 1 pound (R80) and dabeli for 1.50 pounds (R131). We realized 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).”
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As the business grew bigger and a stall that served only two dishes turned into a restaurant with almost 60 different types of street food from India! “We decided to give a shot, and that's how the Shree Krishna Vada Pav stall turned into a restaurant. Today, Indians, Romanians and Polish staff work at our restaurants. And, to imagine that it all started with bad luck and the vada pav.”
They even have weekend special dishes like poha and sabudana khichdi! Currently, they are catering Indian dishes for weddings and parties everywhere so if you are in London and you want to have a taste of these dishes, make sure to contact them and get to experience the real paradise with Indian dishes!
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