October 09, 2017
When the world was hit by another global financial crisis after 2007, people across the globe faced repurcussions. Many lost their jobs due to the recession that followed, and Sujay Sohani was one of them. But the difficult times he faced then helped him create the vada pav business that's quite the success now.
Sujay Sohani worked as a food and beverage manager at one of London's many five-star hotels, and lost his job in 2009. While suffering without a job, he shared his feelings with his friend, Subodh Joshi. The duo had studied in Mumbai's Rizvi College together, and had kept in touch through the years.
A report in Ananda Bazar Patrika has revealed that the two friends from Mumbai resolved to earn their livelihood by selling their hometown's favourite street food, vada pav, in London. Joshi joined his friend in London, and they started looking for a way to sell Indian street food. Their struggle was quite arduous.
To begin with, as the Huffington Post has revealed, the duo approached a Polish ice-cream parlour owner to rent them enough space for a stall. The parlour owner agreed, but charged a large sum as rent (equivalent to Rs 35,000 per month in 2010). Sohani and Joshi agreed to the terms and started selling two varieties of Mumbai's street food--a quick-fix vada pav, and dabeli.
To popularise their food, the duo distributed free vada pavs to passersby. Business slowly picked up, and they moved to a more spacious location on Hounslow High Street, and opened Shree Krishna Vada Pav on August 15, 2010.
Sohani and Joshi now run two branches of their little Indian restaurant--one in Hounslow, and another in Harrow. From just two dishes on their menu, they have now a huge one, with nearly 60 varieties of street food from Mumbai.
This includes a variety of vada pavs, dabeli, pav bhaji, vada missal, bhelpuri, paani puri, ragda pattice, kachoris and samosa. They even have poha and sabudana khichdi as weekend specials, and cater for all occasions. Shree Krishna Vada Pav now earns them an annual turnover of Pounds 5,00,000 (Rs 4.4 crore).
Seven years of struggle, and this duo from Mumbai has made quite a success of their food business. Their story proves that recession or not, hard work and banking on your origins will always pay off.