When her husband’s business began to fail, Lalita Patil from Thane turned her love for cooking into Gharachi Athvan, wherein she sells delicious homemade Indian food to students and working professionals living away from home.
Lalita Patil always wanted to do something to earn the respect of a working woman. As a graduate of physics, she first tried to give tuition and then sell medicines at a pharmacy. But she knew that only starting her own business will give her satisfaction. So in 2016, she invested Rs 2,000 in purchasing tiffin boxes, and another Rs 500 to distribute leaflets for advertising. With this, she began a home tiffin business.
To the question, ‘why cooking’, she says that cooking always has been her passion and she always got an appreciation for her cooking skills. Also, they needed an alternate source of income at this point because her husband’s cooking gas business had started to decline. Lalita procured a food business licence and named her tiffin services Gharachi Athavan, or ‘memories of home’, to offer simple homemade food. Everything was going well for a year.
But Lalita felt that she still was not getting the respect of an entrepreneur since she worked within the four walls of her house. Lalita says that she knew that to earn respect, she would have to scale the business outside the four walls of her house. But she had no capital to invest. One day in 2019, she came across an advertisement for Britannia Marie Gold’s My Start-Up contest. The ad said that it would offer support to women on entrepreneurial journeys. It also offered Rs 10 lakh each to ten winners. She jumped up on this opportunity, entered the contest and won.
She received 7 lakhs in hand, after tax deduction. With 6 lakhs she started her restaurant near Thane station. Since then, there has been no looking back for Lalita. Today, her business clocks an annual revenue close to Rs 1 crore. She earns a business of at least Rs 6-7 lakh per month. And her husband now quit his work to support her. She also now has 10 employees who work full time.
Gharachi Athavan’s menu includes vegetarian and non-vegetarian thalis that come with roti, vegetables, dal and a sweet dish for dessert. Lalita also offers dal khichdi and stand-alone food items for which the cost ranges from Rs 90 to Rs 180.
Credits: The Better India
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