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Leaving Behind Secure Business Of Father He Jumped Into Restaurant Business & Won

No matter how comfortable you are, or how much you are earning; it is not worth it if you do not like your work. Something similar happened when Navaj Sharief, an MBA from Bangalore University, joined his father’s steel business in 1997. The business wasn’t doing as good as they wanted it to. As he put more time and effort into it, Sharief realized he did not want to do it. He wanted to try out something new, something that would excite him too.

Being a lover of Biryani, Sharief had this gut feeling that he wanted to do something around it. One day, while gorging on his ammi’s home-cooked biryani, he thought that biryani is widely consumed in India, but a presenting it as a hygienic meal was what he had in his mind. Hence, he came up with the idea of ‘Biryani in a Box’. He went ahead with this concept and made Ammi’s Biryani happen.

The Urdu name got skeptic views from family and friends initially. But again, believing in his instincts, he went ahead with the name. “We are going with this name. It has a good vibe to it and I’m sure people would accept it,” Sharief said. Meanwhile, many more outlets had started coming up. Putting a foot down, he decided to move ahead with a franchisee model and SAIF partners approached Ammi’s at the right time in late 2011 and finally the ideals matched.

This is how Sharief, the founder, was able to raise Rs 40 crore for his food chain. Now, the man owns 13 outlets across Bangalore. One might think that after the funding, Ammi’s will expand across India but there are no such immediate plans, said Sharif. “We want to consolidate in Bangalore first.” Expanding across the country and building a national brand is definitely on the cards but it is a good time away.

Navaj’s journey was far from easy as it has been a long and a tough one. When it came to delivery, there were challenges like ensuring the warmth of the biryani, maintaining the moisture, and all of these were taken care of quite early.

All his outlet are decently sized with an approximate size of 500 sq ft and have a small dining area but the core competency with Ammi’s lies with the deliveries. Putting the ratio roughly at 2:1, Navaj believes deliveries is what drives Ammi’s Biryani and wants to keep it that way.

We tend to feel powerless if we do not have a degree supporting our dreams. Navaj could have expanded the already established business of his father and live a comfortable life. But he chose to build a venture out of something he had no experience in. All it took him to taste success was his guts.

Tag a friend who wants to open their own restaurant and boost their spirits.

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