Sunday, April 22News That Matters

Success is a result of perfection, hard work and learning from failures.

We all dream of a bright future. Dreaming of a brighter future is good but it’s also important not to think you can create that complete painting today or tomorrow. Vital achievements are rarely accomplished immediately. We’re all bound to encounter resistance in one aspect of life or another, the difference is how accepting one is of their shortcomings. Fight for your dreams. You must know what you want from life. There are people who fought through all the hurdles in their lives and turned their defeat into victories. One such example is Prem Ganapathy who overcame all such barriers in his life and now owns Dosa Plaza which currently has 26 outlets. It has 150 employees and a turnover of 5 crore.

Prem Ganapathy, was stranded at the Bandra station when the person accompanying him left him all alone. Prem had no local acquaintances or knowledge of the language. Out of sympathy, a fellow Tamilian escorted him to a temple and requested worshipers to contribute money for his return ticket to Chennai. Prem denied to go back and chose to work in Mumbai. He started cleaning utensils in a restaurant. He appealed to his owner, to let him become a waiter as he had completed his matriculation. The owner refused, Prem bided his time till a neighborhood Dosa restaurant opened and offered him a role from a dishwasher to a tea boy. Prem became a huge hit with the customers because of his outstanding customer assistance, interactions, and connection. It all brought business of Rs. 1000 every day which was approximately 3 times compared to other tea boys.

So, there came a day when a customer made him an offer. He was planning to start a tea shop in Vashi in Mumbai. He wanted Prem to be his 50 – 50 partner where the owner would invest the money while Prem would run the shop. The shop started doing active business and the owner became greedy. It hurt him to share 50 % of the profit with Prem and he threw Prem out ousting him with an employee. He took a small loan from his uncle and opened his own tea stall with his brother. Sadly, the community objected. He then started a hand cart but that too did not work out. He discovered a spot and set up a south Indian stall. He knew nothing about dosas and idli but learned by observation, trial, and error. The dosa stall was a tremendous hit and thrived during the 5 years from 1992-1997. But why was the tiny dosa stall so successful in spite of competition from ubiquitous eateries prevalent in Mumbai? According to Prem, it was its hygiene, proper sanitation, appearances of the waiters and fresh ingredients which stood out as a difference.

He saved a couple of lakhs of Rupees and instead of going back home he took a significant risk, opened a new shop near Vashi station and named it as Dosa Plaza. His Chinese plaza next to the Dosa Plaza flopped miserably and was shut down in 3 months. Undaunted, Prem learned some lessons from it. He implemented those lessons in making Chinese cuisine in his dosas which worked excellently.
He got passionate and produced a variety of dosas with Chinese style like American Chopsuey, Schezwan Dosa, Paneer chilly, Spring roll dosa etc. The 108 types of Dosas in his menu gets him a lot of publicity. A chance confrontation with a customer who was part of the team setting up a food court in a mall in New Bombay advised him to take a stall at the food court. Prem was ready and willing to develop and expand. His insight was to grow by better offerings and better customer service. He started getting a lot of offers for franchising and now has 26 outlets of Dosa Plaza all over India. He is now entertaining offers from US and Europe also.
So students, what we learn from him is that one should never lose confidence and keep struggling no matter what. The struggle is that what makes you even more mature. Failures are a part of life. Do not let the failures dishearten you, there are examinations and opportunities yet to come. All that you need to do is to stick to your aim. Success can only be achieved if you do not stop moving forward. If you wish to succeed, you must aver to yourself that you will work hard to achieve your goal, with as much brio as you can muster. Success is a continuous journey where you have to maintain your consistency. Work hard and success will be wrapped around your little finger within months.
Best of luck!!

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