Very few find the valor to leave behind a secure well-paid profession in the quest for their passion. And, if passion is food, then it should be the real one. Karthik quit his well-paying mechanical engineering job at a good company to serve Biryani. Yes, you read it right. To serve Biryani! He is a dreamer of food when a lot of others don’t even dream and the others dream of landing in a job at IT firms. Karthik is now the proud owner of Biryani 2 Home (B2H) in Bengaluru. I had a chance to talk to this dreamer and below are a few excerpts.
Who is Karthik? Where is he from?
I am a Mechanical Engineer who worked in a fortune 500 Automotive MNC, OEM. I am basically from Tamil Nadu, living in Bengaluru now. It’s been more than 6 years. I love Bengaluru for the diverse population, food, and everything here.
How did the love for food develop?
I guess my love for food started when I was still in the womb of my mother. I was born in Rajapalayam, Madhuri. I had to go to Chennai for my engineering studies and Chennai is famous for Veechu Parota, Chicken Salna, and Idli. I have eaten the same in large amounts. After a while, I shifted to Andhra Pradesh and you can imagine the food there and how my love for food developed even more. And, from there started my love for Biryani. The land of Biryani, do I call it? I have eaten the Hyderabadi Biryani almost every day for 6 years. What a blissful life I had!
Then came the more blissful part of my life, I shifted to Bengaluru. I got placed in a world-class automotive company. I lived in Whitefield and now I again started eating Biryani every day because in and around Whitefiled there are many Hyderabadi Biryani restaurants. I then got a chance to move to South Bangalore where I explored Bengaluru’s authentic Nati style food Donne biryani. I spent most of my salary on food, so now you can imagine my love for food. I also used to blog about food.
What were the challenges you faced when you decided to become an entrepreneur?
While I was working in an MNC, I had bought a fried chicken franchise. Only after that did the plan of starting a new business get into my head. The obvious challenges were Initial capital, Lack of guidance, Lack of experience, and managing a full-time job while trying to build a business.
What is the difference between being a food reviewer and a food entrepreneur?
Being a food reviewer was easy because I could enjoy the food and then get back to work. But, being a foodpreneur is completely different and challenging as it involves managing capital, workforce, sourcing, inventory, operations, preparation of food, sales, and marketing. It is a very exciting journey though.
How did B2H Start?
Me being a foodie, someday somewhere I had to start my foodpreneur journey. Hence I started by buying the franchise outlet of an American fast-food chain. After gaining the experience of a year in the industry, I wanted to build something from scratch. So, I chose the Biryani way. The whole country loves biryani and especially Bengaluru. Hence, started Biryani 2 Home (B2H), a brand that makes the best Hyderabadi Biryani and delivers the same, super fresh to the customers. I started with only Chicken Biryani and now it has Char Grilled Mughlai Kebabs and different types of Hyderabadi Biryani.
You decide to quit your well-paid job for staring a food business, what were the challenges, and what made you feel positive about it?
Convincing my family to start my own business after quitting a well-paid job was the biggest challenge. Because you never know, if you will succeed. The insecurity is always there. What made me positive is the response I received from food lovers. Immense love was showered by them towards my brand. That is what made B2H open its second outlet despite the lockdown and the market slowdown. Yes, B2H is two outlets old now.
How is the business post COVID?
Business is positive as we have built a good customer base and trust from the beginning. Especially online orders have always been positive. Several bachelors from PGs ordered from us during the lockdown and they spread a word.
What are the plans for B2H?
B2H will be expanding across Bengaluru. I also plan to expand Pan India in the first half of 2021 and will aim to expand globally post that.
Is your online delivery service better than Dine in for now?
Yes, it is better and it is very safe as well considering the current situation. While staying safe at home, contactless delivery will arrive at the doorstep. Isn’t it amazing?
His restaurant is so famous amongst the Hyderabadi Biryani lovers that people would stay in queues to get their turn before COVID 19, and now during the pandemic, the sales are so good that he doesn’t get to eat the biryani himself.