Scrambled, fried, poached, boiled – everybody loves to eat eggs in someway or the other. Pune based Entrepreneurs Sahil Khan, Varad Deshpande, Vinod Shastri and Makarand Kulkarni are at the service of the Eggitarians!Swati Maheshwari caught up with Varad & Sahil to find out more about their venture, Yolkshire, exclusively for YouStory.in
Please tell YourStory.in’s readers about your company.
Yolkshire is an egg specialty restaurant that goes slightly beyond that description and
offers healthy, hygienic and tasty food at reasonable prices. It was an idea cherished for
over 12 years by Vinod Shastri, the well-known entrepreneurship educator. While the original concept was that of an eggitarian joint, since many eggitarians don’t prefer eating at the road-side unhygienic stalls, the concept morphed into an egg-specialty restaurant when our market study showed that many people like having their eggs with sausages and salami and that eggitarians may not mind cold cuts like salami and sausages being served from the same kitchen.
What are your market differentiators? Can you explain Yolkshire’s business model?
We are Pune’s first egg specialty restaurant amongst the few across India. There are no surprises in the business model. It is as simple as creating a valuable offering as a combination of healthy, hygienic and tasty product, adding a dash of courteous service to it and delivering it in a comfortable ambiance at a reasonable price.
How do you plan to scale up the business?
We plan to open a few more company owned outlets to begin with in the next one year
and then start giving out franchisees. That said, we do already have a few serious enquiries especially from Mumbai, Gurgaon and surprisingly, Aurangabad.
Why did you choose to be an entrepreneur rather than stick to a regular 9 to 5 job?
Varad: Being an entrepreneur gives you the luxury of doing something on your own, and most importantly, doing something the way you want it to happen.
Sahil: Well, I am fulfilling my dream from high school of being a restaurateur. And well, I already had started working on a couple of other projects earlier. So I was getting used to the idea of being on my own.
What has been the biggest challenge for you so far, and how did you overcome it?
It took us over a year to finalize the location, so that was definitely a huge hurdle to begin with. Once started, getting & retaining cooks has been the biggest challenge. We have responded to this by training our housekeeping staff into cooking.
What is the biggest mistake you made as a Restaurant Entrepreneur?
We are still a young company and one with no background in the restaurant business. We make mistakes, apologize, learn and move on. Thankfully, we haven’t had any thing that can be labeled ‘the biggest mistake’.
Where did you find the seed capital for your company?
Apart from bringing in some initial capital ourselves, we’ve taken a loan under the
CGTSME scheme from Bank of India.
What has been the growth trajectory of Yolkshire? How many employees and
branches do you have now?
The present outlet kicked-off on 8th June, 2010. The weekly sales after 6 months were
5 times of what we started with, so it’s quite a satisfactory growth. Though we have not yet added another branch, there have been any number of requests from various locations, which can be found on our Facebook Profile.
What has been the biggest achievement in the growth of your organization?
There are in fact two big achievements. We have succeeded in taking the egg beyond breakfast table and establish it as an all-meal food. We have succeeded in attracting all classes of customers. Though we started with the youth in mind, we have ended-up having families and middle-age people also as our regular customers.
What drives you to stay buckled on the roller coaster ride of entrepreneurship?
The very fact that it is a roller coaster ride! We love what we do. That and the excitement
of seeing our baby grow day by day. To be more specific, the customers who keep
coming back are the ones who keep giving us the reason and the strength to go on.
What do you think is the key challenge for an (Indian)Entrepreneur?
Bureaucracy and corruption do seem a hindrance to most people we know. But the
ecosystem is certainly improving. Govt. funding schemes like CGTSME, more number
of VCs and Angel Investors in the market today, networking communities that bring the existing and aspiring entrepreneurs together, it’s slowly getting in to place.
Do visit http://yolkshire.com
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