Arokya Mandro is not just a first generation graduate from fishermen community but also has a Masters in Computer Network Security from London. His journey of reaching that point and giving up all that to start selling fishes online is that of hard work and perseverance at the face of adversity.
Arokya was born in Thangachimadam near Rameshwaram where he completed his schooling. Having lost his father in an accident when he was a toddler, it was his brothers who went fishing and brought him up.
He studied B.S.C Computer Science in Loyola college Chennai, just because that is something unfamiliar to his family. However, it was not easy being the only person in the class who did not understand English and he was often ridiculed for that. He took it up as a challenge and mastered the language by learning four words in a day. Though scoring good marks helped him get a scholarship, that alone was not enough to pay his fee. Hence, he sold fish during the weekend to nearby areas and used the money to pay his college fee.
Arokya then went on to do a Post Graduation from London and worked there for a year before coming back to Chennai. With the aim of putting his education to use, he started ‘Be Secure’, a firm that aimed at providing protection to offices and households with CCTV and fire alarms.
Though all was fine with his startup, he was not happy with what he was doing. So he decided to start with something that was familiar to him through which he could also bring in a difference. That is when he decided to start selling fishes online.
Most people in the middle and upper middle class families do not buy fish because cleaning it is a strenuous process. As a result, they end up eating in hotels that turns out to be unhygienic or not good for health. To address this issue, he started Meenkadai (that means fish shop), that cleans and duly packages the fish and delivers it to the customers.
All one has to do is order one day in advance and any fish, crab or prawn bought from place it is famous for will be delivered at their doorstep on the next day. He ensures that all the fish that is bought is being sold within 24 hours so there is no need of storing or processing it.
Arokya looks forward to the day when he can distribute to all of Chennai within one hour of receiving an order and that is the day he wants to get married.
Within the next year, he is expanding Meenkadai to cities including Hyderabad, Bangalore and Cochin and planning to launch an mobile app too.
Read this in Tamil.