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Not every individual is born with successful fortunes. But if you have the will, no mountain is big and you’ll reach the heights. Today we share the inspiring story of a young lad who had plans but God has other plans for him. The name that is familiar in Gujarat state, “MBA Chaiwala”.
Every year lakhs of aspirants appear for CAT, which is one of the most difficult exams if you want to book your seat in a reputed MBA college. The road to success is never too easy. If you want a fat pay package you’ve ought to pursue your MBA from the best Business institutions across India for which you not only have to clear the Common Entrance Test (CAT) exam but ranking matters. So to secure your seat, you’ve to struggle a lot.
Prafull Billore: The Initial Struggle
This story is of a middle-class guy Prafull Billore who was ambitious, hardworking and wanted to pursue his masters from IIM Ahmedabad. To achieve his goal he studied 10 hours a day but couldn’t taste success in clearing the CAT exam. He failed 3 out of the 3 times he appeared for the CAT exam. Although his parents supported him despite repetitive failure but not getting success in every attempt broke him and he was in depression for some time.
During distress, he roamed around the city for comfort and discovered a place in Ahmedabad where it felt like a second home for him. Tagged with failure, depression, he had no clue what to do next. So to sustain life, he started working at McDonald’s. In the initial period, he was a housekeeping staff and soon got promoted to kitchen staff and took orders and served customers.
Although he worked in a well-known brand, he always desired to have his own identity. Starting his own business was always there in the back of his mind. Initially, he planned to start a cafe but that cost a huge sum of INR 15 lakhs. With no cash in hand, he dropped the plan; but to start his own venture was always he thought of.
MBA Chaiwala: The Journey Begins
Starting something of his own Prafull Billore risked his job and started to plan a roadside tea stall business. The early phase in starting roadside business attracted many stigmas that such business was done by lower class or less educated people but this didn’t stop him. The only fear he carried was his parents, especially his father, what would they think regarding such roadside business?
Prafull Billore’s father thought that he might be pursuing an educational course but he wasn’t aware of what was running in Prafull’s mind. Thinking about this, Prafull had many sleepless nights. With lots of courage, he managed to start his first venture as a tea staller nearby McDonald’s. The investment was also not high as he didn’t have to rent a place. With just INR 8K investment, he started a tea business on 25 July 2017. From morning 9 am – 4 pm, he worked at McDonald’s and in the evening 7 pm – 10 pm he used to sell tea.
To acquire customers he knew he had to have something unique. So instead of serving tea in plastic cups, he made use of earthen pots with toast and tissue. He not only entertained customers visiting his stall but also approached the ones sitting in cars. The taste and unique way of serving tea, his communication skills caught many people’s attention and his business started growing.
No hero is called a hero until he fights against villains. With customers growing, MBA Chaiwala was on the radar of nearby tea vendors as they felt jealous about his growing business. As insecurity rose, those vendors formed a group and threw Prafull Billore out of their area.
All was in vain but Prafull was now more confident to find success in his startup. Through some contacts, he reached the hospital owner for renting their space for a tea stall. Prafull setup his tea stall in the hospital for INR 10K rental and once again started his business.
With tea, Prafull started offering snacks and coffee too. His rapport with all the customers was good. He even created a platform for job seekers who mentioned their details on paper which was further picked up by job providers as even they were his regular customers. The candidate that suited the job profile was called up by the job provider. This way he gained more popularity.
The First Restaurant: MBA Chaiwala
Prafull Billore Soon started his own restaurant and named it MBA Chaiwala. Every firm has some inside story in their name and so was in MBA Chaiwala. It is actually not Master of Business Administration but ‘Mr. Billore Ahmedabad Chaiwala’.
Within a few months, he got fame and his business MBA Chaiwala, gathered crores every month. He also used to organize social events outdoors and was active in charity work. Prafull Billore also has his personal website and manages MBA Chaiwala Facebook and Instagram page. He is well-known amongst youngsters and mainly students pursuing MBA at IIM, Ahemdabad.
The Irony of life:
MBA Chaiwala was so famous that IIM Ahmedabad invited Prafull Billore to participate in one of their events and give a speech on how to grow big with passion. The irony was the same IIM Ahmedabad, where he wanted to pursue his MBA studies in the early days but failed, he started his own venture and now was invited to deliver a speech.
Today, Prafull Billore owns a 300 sq ft restaurant named “MBA Chai Wala”, where he has employed 20 people. In the financial year 2019-20, he recorded a turnover of Rs 3 crore. “My dream is to sell tea across the country, and that every Indian drink my tea,” he says.
No business is successful unless you’re dedicated and passionate about the same. Taking risks may be challenging, but a risk never taken is a failure. Build in the courage and start chasing your dreams, not for others but yourself.