“Gourmet Coffee and bikes”
The traditional image of a biker has always been that of a hard-riding leather clad loner. It’s not an image one would readily associate with gourmet coffees, iced teas, shakes, and cold coffees but apparently that is what is happening. Nikhil Sood is the young entrepreneur who has created this radical makeover merging his love of the ride and gourmet coffee in “The Moto café”.
Nikhil is an Ex-Software professional, electronics engineer and an avid biker. He describes himself saying “I am among those who dream to take a different path and do something unique, create a mark and hopefully success of my venture will inspire people to set out to unexplored paths.”
His venture “The Moto café” was the venue for the First Ever Official Kawasaki Ninja Test Ride, organized in association with Bajaj Probiking, a feat many would love to emulate.
The Moto Café is definitely an interesting venture and Nikhil satiated our curiosity by telling us how it all works…
How did you come up with the “The Moto Café” concept?
I am passionate about biking and food and wanted to merge the two. This gave birth to the idea of “The Moto Café”. A place – by a biker, for bikers. A place in the real world and not on virtual media or forums. A place where we can hang out , watch Moto GP races , talk about motorcycle touring , make tour plans and exchange route information or take a break after a ride and relax.
Being a biker, I always felt the absence of a place where “we” could hang out without burning a hole in our pockets. Hence , I thought of coming out with a Theme Café at Bavdhan/Chandni Chowk which is close to the Highway and the meeting point for most bikers in Pune. The café opened in the month of April and so far has received a good response.How is the Moto Café a novel take on the coffee shop concept?
The Moto Cafe is a place to hang out for the bikers and automotive enthusiasts. A place where you can spend time , watch Moto GP races ,Formula 1 races , discuss motoring related activities , make tour plans and exchange route information or take a break after a ride and relax .
We offer a wide variety of gourmet coffees, iced teas, shakes, sodas and cold coffees along with ice creams, brownies and desserts. Subs and salads are also available with a wide selection of vegetables and sauces. All the products are available as “take away” as well.
We keep board games, mind teasers and card games along with racing/multiplayer video games on the Playstation 3 for recreation. Motoring related magazines and books are also a part of our collection, available for reading to customers. The café also offers seamless wireless connectivity through free Wi-Fi to keep you connected.
For a party or an informal meeting, group seating is also available for upto 15 people.
Do you cater to just the motor enthusiast or do your services have a wider appeal?
This coffee joint is meant for the general public and the auto enthusiast in particular. We have a dedicated clientele of "bikers" enthusiasts all over the city who have made it a gathering point.
People from all walks of life visit the café. They love the café theme and some people who are relatively uninterested in Biking, seem to start developing a liking it after seeing loads of bikers thronging the place. From young to old, everyone takes a walk around in the café and appreciates it. Seeing people smiling gives me an immense satisfaction about the value of my idea.
What did you wish to accomplish or gain by becoming an entrepreneur?
I wanted a job which would align my tasks and the goals of the organization. I also wanted my efforts to be directly proportional to my income. This coupled along with the exciting and dynamic nature of being an entrepreneur helped me take this decision.
What makes the stresses of entrepreneurship worthwhile for you?
The dynamic and challenging nature of the business and the sense of pride of owning and doing something different.
Where do you see The Moto Café in the next 2 years?
A Brand which is directly associated with Biking and automotive enthusiasts. A brand name for the moto café which is synonymous with quality food & drink and a different experience altogether.
What has been the biggest challenge for The Moto Cafe? Biggest challenge has been to co-ordinate the different teams and people to deliver on time. In the unorganized business sector dealing with people and co-coordinating deliverables is a tough task. To overcome this issue, you need to constantly follow up with everyone and push them to meet the deadlines.
What is your message to people who are going to take up entrepreneurship?
You will face a number of challenges and you should not give up. Failure is not permanent, but giving up will make it. If you believe in your ideas and have the drive to do it, you will be successful one day.
Aside from their entrepreneurial activities Moto café has also been actively promoting biking safety and keeping in mind the number of Indian youths who stunt bike as a hobby it really makes sense. They sponsored a Helmet Safety awareness ride in June with XBHP, and Pune Automotive Racing Association.
Yourstory wishes Nikhil and “ The Moto café” a long smooth ride of entrepreneurship and hopes that their roots spread even further.