Shankar Subramanian finished engineering like most of his peers but did not want to become one. After completing his graduation, he worked in a travel agency where he learnt about running a business and decided to start one of his own.
However, it was easier said than done as no one in his family had ever run a business. He had to face a lot of hurdles in the initial stages as he had very little help or guidance. Yet, he managed to start Madrasi Biriyani with two of his brothers, and now sells over 250 biriyanis a day.
Shankar's initial plan was to start a food delivery company. But he was not happy with selling food sold by someone else, as he could not vouch for its quality. In his words,
"While distributing food, we have no way to determine the quality of food. And it is also important to have the right kind of people who will deliver food at the right time"
After realising that he wanted to address issues that a food delivery company cannot address, he decided to start a restaurant and build a brand around it. Talking about the reason behind starting Madrasi Biriyani, he said,
"When I decided to start a food business, I could only think of biriyani. Because no one can say no to biriyani."
Shankar grew up in Thirunelveli which is famous for Ruchi's chain of restaurants and halwa. He wanted to build a similar brand for biriyani in Chennai and thus Madrasi Biriyani came into being in 2015.
He founded it along with his two brothers and used invested their own money in the venture. Though the trio faced a lot of problems in the initial days, they sailed through rough waters on their own. Now they get consultancy services from Chai King and Snacks Experts.
In the first few months, Madrasi Biriyani sold 40-50 packets of biriyani in a day and now they sell up to 250 packets.
One of the key problems that Shankar is trying to address is the discrepancy in the cost of food between the ones consumed at a restaurant and delivery orders. He said,
"It is wrong to charge more for packing food. If a customer is eating at the hotel, it makes sense to charge more for the ambience and service provided. But while packing, only the actual cost of the food should be charged."
Shankar has built a team of 20 and all of them are engineers. Hence, with a tagline that says Engineer's Biriyani, Madrasi Biriyani has now branched out in many parts in Chennai.
Read this in Tamil.