Plan to Reality – One Winner's Story
Last year, Anukul Chandhok and Vijay Sundar won the Cornell Hospitality Business Plan Competition with their DC Factory idea. Since that time, Anukul has used his experience from the business plan competition and has started a successful business concept in India.
Here's his story:
I won the BPC for the DC Factory idea, which helped me really understand the role that a business plan plays in starting a business, especially if an entrepreneur is looking for external investment. Also, as a young student, I received a lot of support and encouragement when I spoke to people about taking risks early on in life, which is what I love doing. This encouragement further strengthened my belief of pursuing my entrepreneurial interests right out of college.
I had always wanted to do a fast-casual Indian food concept by building compact stores across India that specialize in delivery just like Dominos in the US as well as have seating for up to 20 guests in the store. When I went back to India, with the help of my parents, we took a small store and modeled it to this concept. The model store helped us understand the changes we needed to make to concept idea work.
While I was in India, my parents were approached by a PE firm because of their successful restaurant business in the National Capital Region of India. My parents knew I was looking for investors and they connected me to them. After seeing my background and passion, the investors wanted to partner me in and invest in the business. The new company was formed in June and I was appointed CEO and also a member on the Board of Directors.
So I now have this fast casual restaurant chain called Kebabri and have 3 stores open. I am returning to India in mid-December and we plan to be a 60 store chain within 5 years spread across 4 major cities of India. I have many other ideas running around in my head, but for the next five years, I am going to focus on Kebabri and making it as successful as possible both nationally and hopefully internationally. I am a true entrepreneur and imagine having multiple businesses over the years, including my original concept, DC Factory, but understand the need to build a solid foundation for one business before starting more. I feel truly blessed to have the education and support both at Cornell and in India that has allowed everything to fit together and looking forward to many years of pursuing 'the next big idea'.