Like any other college, we also have a small tea-stall here in Anand outside our college which caters to all our food-calls. The “kitli” is run by a person called Hemant Bhai. Out of curiosity, I asked Hemant Bhai about his tea shop, about the kitli, and here’s how the story goes. His family is basically from Rajasthan. Hemant Bhai had lost his father at a very young age. Because of financial problems, he could not continue his studies. The times were getting difficult and he had to do something about it. He happened to visit his uncle at Vallabh Vidyanagar (Gujarat) and saw the buzz that student community made here. He even observed that there were very few stalls who served “quality” products to the students. He decided to start a small stall through which he could serve beverages and few snacks. But still, the problem was money! On hearing the “business-plan”, Hemant Bhai’s uncle (a taxi driver) showed willingness to lend him some money. Yet, the problem remained the same – where to find space to open the stall? After convincing few locals and farmers, he managed to get a chunk of land. With around Rs 1500 in hands, Hemant Bhai thus began with his “venture”. Initially, in order to understand the customers’ insight, he started small. He focussed on providing just beverages and Poha. He made sure to make “tea” his forte. Today, even though many other “kitlis” have mushroomed up, yet Hemant Bhai’s tea remains special! Now that he’s making profit, he has slowly started selling puff, bread-butter and other snacks.
It is crazy, the kind of lessons you can learn just observing his katli. Food is something which is always going to be in demand, so opening a small cafe or a snack bar during college will give you a first- hand experience about entrepreneurship and help think bigger and better ideas. In order to start something big, you need to start thinking from the “small”. For now, go to the nearest kitli, have a cutting chai, ponder on some of the amazing ideas and you never know you could be next Zuckerberg in the making!Photo Credit – Akshita Patel