Building an empire...
It all started from London. But kudos to young entrepreneur Joravar Singh Sachdev’s management, technical and professional know-how that made a western, state-of-the-art concept a reality in India. Themed on London Street, White Summer Hospitality was established in 2007 by three directors, Davinder Sachdev, Mony Sachdev and Joravar Sachdev, who endeavoured to usher in an entirely new concept in India for the foodies and fun lovers. The trio first set about realising their dream by opening a cafeteria called 11 East Street Café in Pune, but so successful was their attempt at appeasing
consumers with something out of the ordinary that the company grew from one brand to six within a span of a year and a half.
“The USP of our restaurant helped it become one of the most favourite hangout destinations among tourists visiting Pune. Our five outlets that followed 11 East Street Café are Sheetal Arch, a pure vegetarian restaurant; Red Bus — The Bakery Lounge, Crazy Balls, Pune’s first authentic sports bar; Bougainvillea, a house event venue and Sheetal Banquets, a catering division,” said Joravar. “We are also the exclusive food suppliers of Costa Coffee, Barista and Java Green of Reliance,” he added.
The fact that the company caters to over 1,000 people every day explicitly states how dynamic the scope of the organisation is. But thanks also to the directors, who believe not in stagnation but in steering the concept towards incessant growth. “We want to continue to cater to our present customers and are on a drive to add more clientele to our profile. Plans are also underway to venture into resorts and hotels. From an experience in the restaurant business to launching brands that will cater to mid markets, we aim to serve diverse segments of the society,” Joravar explained.
What differentiates the company from other similar enterprises in the fray is its knack for providing a unique experience to guests of all ages, an experience every guest can relate to. Every brand zeroes in on a specific target market, but White Summer Hospitality delivers to a wide range and on a daily basis.
When asked how they plan to scale-up the business Joravar said without a crinkle on his temple, “With the revenue generated from the existing business models. We are looking to becoming even more professional, and launch more brands with specific product services. Say for instance, a separate brand to promote desserts, another to offer donuts and similar others.”
Interestingly, Joravar had never planned this way of life, it is, as he says, something he grew up living. “The only decision I ever made was to become an entrepreneur because the 9-5 job is just beyond me. But even this decision wasn’t conscious. One day, I just read somewhere that ‘The biggest risk in life is not to take one’. That got so deeply imprinted on my mind that it became indelible. I knew I would be an entrepreneur and abide by my decision till the very end.”
The thrill of facing something new everyday is like an adrenaline rush for Joravar, which he believes, helps him overcome the challenges his entrepreneurial venture invariably lures, the biggest being, proving himself adept in an industry which is too big and too complicated. He was, in fact, discouraged from taking such a step by friends and peers, but Joravar stood undeterred. “When people came to my restaurant, loved it, and started talking about it over social discussions, is when I realised I have surpassed one of the greatest hurdles lying ahead of me,” he said with exaltation in his voice.
As for the biggest mistake, it was when Joravar underestimated the extent to which his competitors could pull him down in the race to win people’s heart, where he was the only one new.
Equally contributing were the other two directors, who duly put in a part of the seed capital for the venture and successfully managed a staff of 150. The other chunk, a whopping Rs1.5 crore, was taken as loan from a bank. Today, the company’s turnover stands at an arresting Rs6 crore a year.
Undoubtedly, the company’s most outstanding achievement is to be able to launch five additional brands within a very short timeline. The enterprise has also been recognised by various newspapers like DNA, Pune Times, Indian Express, Loksatta and Sakaal Express and magazines like Femina and Timeout. But the most rewarding was the coverage it received by MTv for its show ‘Eat Out’. “We were the first restaurant their covered. Cyrus Barocha anchored the episode, showcasing our restaurant and its delicacies and interviewing me and some guests,” said Joravar adding that a forthcoming Rajkumar Santoshi film, ‘Ajab Prem Ki Gajab Kahani’ starring Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif also has a considerable amount of the dance sequence shot in the restaurant.
Joravar and his co-directors have set their goals for 2010. They aim to make the company the biggest food and beverage company for individuals as well as corporates in Pune, and gradually increase its horizons to other cities.
Tips for budding entrepreneurs — Be a dreamer, endure, be patient and keep fighting.