Abha Singhal: From Modelling to a Rs 50 Crore Khichdi Express Success Story
Unveiling Abha Singhal’s entrepreneurial journey with Khichdi Express: From a challenging childhood and a stint in modelling to establishing a Rs 50 Crore business, redefining India’s comfort food landscape.
In a world of tech startups and app-driven innovations, it might come as a surprise that one can build a multi-crore business empire centered around a humble dish: khichdi. Abha Singhal's journey from personal hardships to entrepreneurship, leading a company worth Rs 50 crore, stands as a testament to the power of determination, resilience, and innovative thinking.
From Hardships to Ambition
Abha's childhood was marred by challenges. The pain of her parents' divorce when she was just 12 years old meant a life spent in hostels and boarding schools, rather than a warm home. Financial difficulties were omnipresent, pushing Abha to leave home with minimal possessions, living in a friend's rented apartment, surviving on limited means.
However, the adversities didn't define her. Abha’s brilliance in academics earned her a partial scholarship to pursue an MBA in London. In her time abroad, amidst juggling part-time jobs and studies, she stumbled upon a passion for khichdi, an easy-to-cook, nutritious Indian dish. It wasn't just the simplicity of the dish but also its potential for variations that intrigued her.
A Tryst with Modelling
On her return to India, fate had a different plan. An encounter with an ad director opened the doors of the modeling world for Abha. She graced advertisements for prominent brands like Samsung, Cadbury, and Kalyan Jewellers. Yet, after three years in the limelight, Abha felt the ephemerality of a modeling career and yearned for something more sustainable.
The Birth of 'Khichdi Express'
A casual conversation with a close friend rekindled her affection for khichdi. Ignoring skeptics, she took the leap of faith in 2019 and launched "Khichdi Express" in Hyderabad. Starting with a modest investment of Rs 3 lakh and a team of two, her venture soared.
Abha's vision wasn't limited to serving just khichdi. The outlets also delighted customers with pakodas and other local delicacies. The brand's presence on online platforms like Swiggy and Zomato meant that her delicious and innovative khichdi flavors reached a wider audience.
During the challenging COVID-19 pandemic, when the world was in disarray, Khichdi Express came forward as a beacon of hope, distributing free meals to those in need.
A Future, Bigger and Brighter
In just four years, Abha turned her startup into a Rs 50 crore business, with aspirations of doubling it soon. The outlets, now spread across various cities, serve diverse khichdi flavors. Abha's dream? To turn Khichdi Express into a global brand, akin to giants like McDonald's and KFC.