BTech student Tapsi Upadhyay has redefined traditional street food with her start-up BTech Pani Puri Wali, which employs four women. Upadhyay’s kiosk, located at the Tilak Nagar metro station in West Delhi, serves the all-time favorite mouth freshener – paani puri, which is crunchy, tart, sweet, and savory. But there’s a unique twist to her story. Tapsi, a third-year student of computer science engineering at the Institute of Information Technology and Management in Janakpuri, is not the usual hawker one would expect behind a street-side business.
Her approach to this traditional business is modern, with a focus on hygiene and health. Tapsi uses an air fryer to prepare the puris, ensuring that they are healthy and hygienic. “We prioritize hygiene and take great care to maintain cleanliness during the preparation process,” Tapsi says with a smile.
The startup aims to offer healthy options prepared in hygienic conditions at affordable prices. “Serving Health” is the tagline of her business, and her items can be ordered on various food delivery apps. She also plans to introduce other items popular with street food lovers. Tapsi hopes to offer franchises of BTech Pani Puri Wali and empower girls.
Despite her busy schedule, Tapsi manages to balance her academics and business, attending classes from 10 am to 2 pm and operating the kiosk from 4 pm onwards. Her employees fill in whenever she is unable to go out. Shailendra Garg and Meena Devi, two of her regular customers, are proud of Tapsi. “Tapsi proves not only that taste is absolutely essential if Delhiites are to be won over but also that they have to be convinced about hygiene,” says Devi.