Gaurav Jain , Pallavi Gupta, Founders, Mast Kalandar

Saturday August 22, 2009,

4 min Read

MBA’s and Engineers are hardly known for their culinary skills but our faith in their taste buds and entrepreneurial skills is not unfounded. Gourmands and food lovers may now begin to rejoice, Gaurav Jain, and Pallavi Gupta are the chosen harbingers of the complete North Indian Vegetarian experience. Yourstory caught up with the Young Entrepreneurs and found out what’s cooking at Mast Kalandar…                                            

“Mast Kalandar is casual dine in format restaurant that serves North Indian Vegetarian food, in a cheerful bright ambience at a price point that is sub Rs. 100/- per meal. We have foods from all the north Indian states like UP / Delhi / Rajasthan / Punjab etc and the food is rich in taste and low on spices and oil.

We have many customers who dine with us almost each day as the food is close to the staple diet and free of colors, additives and preservatives. It is cooked fresh each day and nothing is deep-frozen. Hence it is light not only on the pocket but also on the tummy.”

With so many plus points to eating at Mast Kalandar and their impressive menu, it is safe to say many have been justly smitten. They report on their growing status saying

”We have an immense fan following. We would have served to almost all the lovers of our kind of food on a regular basis. We have immense loyalty among our customers and we treat them as our extended family.”

The reasons why people go to eat at Mast Kalandar and why you should definitely dine there are simple and wholesome. “Differentiator is good, healthy and hygienic food, which is closed to the staple food and free from all additives at a comfortable price point in a respectable ambiance.” 

“The business model is a simple restaurant business model and the costs associated are very similar. However, due to the scalability factor, there are some cost advantages that we get and we pass on to the customers.”

They are adding about 2 outlets this year for each month but we doubt that can keep up with the demand of our collective bellies. Gaurav Jain and Pallavi Gupta believe the entrepreneurial route is the way to go. They say “It tends to channelize the energies in the right direction. In a 9 to 5 job the energy is cubicled much like your physical self. It is a great sense of achievement to do something that you are passionate about.”

It is not their first effort at making a business work- “We looked at some businesses like Kiosking that did not work for us in the format that we had thought. We are doing it again in a different light. There are many challenges – real estate, staffing and recruitment, quality and standardization and above all keeping every body’s morale very high to not to compromise on anything.” 

The money saved from their careers of around 5 years financed their undertaking, along with a dash of help from friends and family. All their goodwill and faith has turned into growth averaging 100% YOY and they currently employ a workforce of 80.

From one Mast Kalandar to the next the food has the same distinct qualities of being succulent and nutritious. Standardization across outlets and scalability, supplemented by customer acceptance and demand, are their pride and joy. Fame and renown have thus found their doorsteps. “We have been covered on many TV channels and Magazines both Indian and International. We have been voted amongst the best vegetarian place in Times of India food guide for several years now. The “Gourmet” program on National Geo covered us in the best restaurants in the world for serving Fine Fast Food.”

The duo are in love with the “Freedom and Passion” of entrepreneurship and plan for 25 branches across 3 cities by 2010 – “with a truly honest customer promise of fresh, healthy and hygienic food.”

 Their approach to entrepreneurship reflects not only in their food but also in their advice to rookies. They advise us saying “Take the jump and stick to the basics – common sense pays.”

They proved their advice to be true and solid by putting it into practice. Yourstory is sure that Gaurav Jain and Pallavi Gupta will be putting “Mast Kalandar” on all our food maps and cooking up a storm every time.

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