Many people involved in the hotel business suffered heavily due to the Corona epidemic. But there are some people who have set an example for the people by making a fresh start again. One such inspiring story is that of Pankaj Nerurkar, a resident of Mumbai. Who are running their livelihood, starting food stall in car in their Tata Nano car.
If you ever pass by Ambewadi Chawl on Charni Road in Mumbai, you will see a Tata Nano car parked on the roadside there. This white colored car has a poster named ‘Nano Food’, on which a menu of different tasty dishes is written. When you pass by this car, the aroma of freshly cooked seafood (seafood) will fascinate you. You will be surprised to know that all these dishes are made by Pankaj Nerurkar, a 5-star chef.
Pankaj, a resident of Girgaon, has worked in the hospitality industry for almost two decades. He started his own Malvani cuisine restaurant named Khadpe’s in 2017, after gaining experience as a brand chef at ‘The Irish House’, along with Grand Hyatt and an international cruise. However, the Corona epidemic and the economic crisis caused by the lockdown forced him to close his restaurant. Due to this epidemic and lockdown, he had to abruptly stop the service of both his restaurants in Prabhadevi.
But, the crisis ended his business, not his dreams. The 43-year-old Pankaj then started from zero and started selling Maharashtrian seafood in his Nano vehicle. His income from this business is getting one lakh rupees per month.
Lockdown in happen Heavy loss
He explains, “I put my accumulated capital and my wife, Deepti’s jewels, etc., into opening these restaurants.” Everything was going well so, in 2019 I started a second outlet as well. But we had to shut down our business during the epidemic. ” His business remained closed for several months and this made it difficult for him to pay rent and salary for the place. He says that he had to suffer a lot of damage and various negative thoughts started coming to his mind.
As the lockdown opened, he and his wife began thinking about new ideas of business. He says, “My brother also lost his job. I also had to handle my father and two children. I needed to earn a living to run my family. ” Many customers knew about his business. Therefore, he again started a food-related business.
He started cooking from his home and customers started coming there, taking their orders. He says, “I had a habit of cooking extensively with large appliances. Everything seemed incomplete in the kitchen setup of the house. In addition, customers often had to come through the streets of Chawl to take orders. Due to this, people were not able to know exactly where they had to come to take orders and people also started to have doubts about cleanliness. It was very important for my new business to come in front of more and more people.
In such a situation, Pankaj decided to cook the house and take it in his car, on the main road. He says, “I decided to sell food to customers by car and named it ‘Nano Food’.” I made posters and wrote a menu of recipes on a whiteboard. We started work in September 2020. ”
The customers To good felt Idea
However, his business initially did not do well. He could hardly get five customers during the day. He says, “I was disappointed at not getting the right response and one day I did not put the menu on the car and started thinking of shutting down the business.” But that day, a gentleman stopped in a two-wheeler (two-wheeler) vehicle and asked why not put the menu? When I tried to avoid him, he told me that every day he used to read my menu. ”
This made him realize that even though there are few customers, people are getting to know about his business. He explains, “I realized that our menu was limited and there was a need to increase choices for customers. In the small menu of chicken curry and fish plates, I added Malvani Chicken Curry, Surmai Fry, Pomfret Fry, Colombi Fry, Colombi Casserole, Colombi Masala, Chapati, Bhakri, and Brinjal etc. and then I got a very good response from the customers. As people came to know, they started coming to us. ”
He says that people liked the fact that a man can run a business with a small car, even without money. People appreciated this business model and made it a success.
Breakfast is served here at seven thirty in the morning, lunch at twelve in the afternoon and dinner at seven in the evening. Every day around 150 customers come here.
In this difficult time, apart from his partner, Pankaj also got full support from his college friend, Sri Krishna Gangan. He told, “Pankaj’s dream is my dream and I cannot let it break at any cost. I have seen him working diligently and he has put all his energy into this business. Maintaining the spirit of man is as important as helping financially. ”
His business is doing well but, Pankaj says, he has a long way to go. He says, “I have just been able to raise my family.” Prices of oil, fuel and other raw materials have gone up. People have lost their jobs and the ability to spend has also reduced. Keeping this in mind, by not selling the dishes for Rs 350 at my restaurant price, I am now selling the dishes for Rs 100 and Rs 120. The profit in this is very less, but the food is cheaper for the customers. Compared to vegetarian or other non-vegetarian eating businesses, the cost of making seafood is high. His wife Deepti helps him in running the restaurant. ”
Pankaj says that with increased profits, he can now accept larger orders. Also, he says of setting up business in a permanent place, except Nano Food, “I will never leave this new business model.” Because of this, we have been able to stand on our feet again. ” Also, he says, “I am looking at introducing this business model in the commercial and residential areas of Mumbai as well.”