Venture: Malaka Spice, Pune
Promoters: Praful & Cheeru Chandawarkar
This case study is devoted to the spirit of enterprise which drives people to take the road less travelled. It is about finding yourself, zeroing in on what you truly want and going after it with conviction. The lessons and learning are outlined in bold. Happy reading…
Life holds some interesting opportunities; your journey could be dotted with a number of U-turns. The question is would you take that turn?
What happens when a banker is bitten by the food bug? He turns restaurateur…at least that is what Praful Chandawarkar did.
Forays in to uncharted territory call for guts and gumption. Doing something that’s entirely new is all about the willingness to experiment and at times to fail…
A former banker, Praful and his wife Cheeru, executive chef at the restaurant gave Pune its first restaurant serving authentic South East Asian cuisine when Malaka Spiceopened its doors to Puneities in 1997.
An eye for detail and quest for quality will take you to the top…
Located at Lane No. 5, opp. Oxford Properties, Koregaon Park, Pune, their elaborate menu gives patrons the opportunity to sample delicious fare from Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma and Indonesia. At Malaka Spice dining is an experience in more ways than one as the Chandawarkar’s believe that a good meal is complete only when it satisfies the senses of taste, aroma, texture and color and that is exactly what they serve at the restaurant.
Be the Maverick; don’t go with the crowd…
Praful and Cheeru have revolutionized the concept of food and dining by marrying art and cuisine at Malaka Spice. They provide budding contemporary artists in the city with the opportunity to exhibit their works. Caricaturist Prashant Sinha will do a caricature while patrons enjoy the food. They also have a merchandise store where one can pick up Malaka Spice Souvenirs, hand crafted by their artisans.
Malaka Spice is divided into 3 sections:
Art Malaka, an art gallery where one can find incredible bargains in art. Art Malaka has featured over 200 artists over the last 14 years.
2) Malaka Classic, dedicated to the roadside cafe that Malaka Spice started out as this is an al fresco dining opportunity. Its popularity can be gauged from the number of South Mumbai foodies who specially drive down to Pune on weekends to dine at Malaka Classic. Celebrities from the arena of sports, media and movies are a common sight here.
3) Street Malaka.
Opposites attract so marry extremes to make your mark and work hard while you do it…
The unique selling proposition of Malaka Spice is authentic Thai cuisine and apart from their forays in to promotion of art and Pratapgad Warriors (Cricket-MPL Team), Prafaul has also established another popular restaurant called Post 91 in Koregaon Park.
Known for its excellent food, good ambience, a live band playing and the very popular quiz “Booze and Brains” by Mark Rego, the restaurant draws people from all walks of like. The Karaoke night,Mojo Festival, Boxing Day and Christmas lunch are some festive promotions and events organized by them.
The personal touch counts…
The husband-wife duo of Praful and Cheeru is at the helm of affairs at the restaurant. Ms. Cheeru Chandawarkar is the Executive Chef in this hotel. Praful, a former banker and self-confessed foodie was intrigued by the prospect of bringing Thai cuisine to Pune. He has a rich experience of seventeen years in business and is a very fun loving person.
He is also an astute businessman who does not compromise on discipline and is quite a strict leader. He seeks the opinion of many people before doing anything and gives time to all his employees. He is known to be a kind hearted and generous person who shares a specific part of the sales with all his employees. Praful and his wife Cheeru have been the driving force behind establishment of this venture.
Customer satisfaction is important…
They have a system wherein they ask customers to give written feedback about every aspect of their venture.
The use of SMS advertising, websites and Facebook promotions are some tech savvy ventures undertaken by them. They plan to take the franchisee route to expansion across Pune and pan India in times to come.
Highlight the plusses don’t dwell on the minuses…
Not the type of people who dwell on problems, they prefer to highlight their achievements: over fourteen years of service to the eclectic Pune crowd and compliments for their food and service.
Earlier the setup of the restaurant was such that only 70-80 people could be seated, but it has now expanded to seat 250 people at a time. Easels and Grills, their venture which is a promotion of live painting (on every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of every month) is a noteworthy feature.
Mr.Praful Chandawarkar believes in hard work and his advice for future Entrepreneurs is “Work hard, it is the key to success”.
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