Dosa Plaza: Prem Ganapathy And His ‘Rags To Riches’ Story
Mumbai: One can achieve anything and everything through hard work, honesty, determination and perserverance. There are many people in this world who are examples of this fact. They worked hard day and night to achieve their dreams, which once seemed unattainable. One such person is Prem Ganapathy who went from being penniless to a billionaire.
Hailing from a small village in Tamil Nadu, Ganapathy always wanted to make it big as a businessman. At 17, he left his village for Mumbai. However, after reaching Mumbai’s Bandra terminus station, he was robbed off his wallet in which he was carrying his lifetime saving of Rs. 200. Luckily, a Tamil passenger noticed Ganapathy and took him to a temple where he requested people to contribute money so that the young boy can buy a ticket back home.
However, Prem Ganapathy had made up his mind and was unwilling to go back home. After much struggle, he got the job of a dish-washer at Mahim Bakery. There he toiled hard to earn Rs. 150 rupees a month. Ganapathy also worked at other restaurants in his free time to earn extra so that he can save it for his future venture.
In 1992, after working hard for two years, Prem Ganapathy started his own business of selling Idli, Dosa and South-Indian breakfast outside Vashi Railway station. For this, he hired a hand-drawn cart for Rs. 150 besides utensils and cooking stove for which he paid an additional Rs 1000 per month.
In no time, the business grew and he kept two other boys to help him out in the business. Customers enjoyed his fare not only for the authentic South Indian taste but for the hygiene and cleanliness which was nowhere to be found at other roadside eateries.
However, the problems of Ganapathy did not end here. His cart was seized by Police on many occasions and he had to pay hefty fines to get them back. In a few years, he saved enough money and turning his roadside stall into a shop by leasing a shop for Rs 5000 per month. He also hired two additional employees.
From his customers who were pre-dominantly college-goers, Ganpathy learnt how to use internet. He utilised the internet to learn various recipes and started experimenting with Dosas. In a while, he started serving Dosa to customers in 26 different styles and soon his eatery had 105 types of Dosas being served to sutomers.
After much struggle, Ganapathy managed to open an outlet named ‘Dosa Plaza’ in the Center One Mall in Vashi through the help of a managerial staff, who was his customer. In no time, his restaurant became an instant hit with food lovers thronging in large numbers to relish the South-Indian delicacies.
Since then, there has been no locking back for Prem Ganapathy. By 2012, Dosa Plaza had 45 branches in 11 states across the country besides 7 overseas outlets in Oman, Dubai and New Zealand. From being a penniless man standing outside Bandra station, Prem Ganapathy is now a business tycoon who owns an empire of Rs. 30 crores. His story shows that nothing is impossible in this world if we are willing to work hard and have faith in our abilities.
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