I hope you have read my review of ‘My Journey with VadaPav’ which I had posted a couple of days back. After reading it, I was buzzing with questions for Venkatesh Iyer and soon enough I got an opportunity to interview him. Hope you enjoy reading it. 🙂
What inspired you to write a book about your adventures of starting a one of its kind food venture in the country?
My motive behind the book was to inspire various entrepreneurs.
Goli has created many entrepreneurs in the due course of time because of its unique business model already. Today we have more than 300 franchise partners who have made ‘Goli’ an established and stronger brand.
In your book you mentioned how you and Mr Shivdas had to mortgage your assets and even sell your family gold. How did your wives react during these situations?
My wife has been my pillar of support and strength ever since I shared with her my business idea. She also lends her management expertise to the business in a professional capacity. There are many people behind the success of Goli but my wife’s contribution is unquantifiable.
Your book is filled with Bollywood references as well as tidbits of history and quotes from famous books. Tell us which of them have served to be your biggest inspiration?
My personal favourite is by Paulo Coelho “You have a dream..The dream has come in the womb of the universe… it is the responsibility of the universe to fulfill the dream… The universe conspires to help achieve your dreams…”
As a writer who is also a co-founder of a very successful company with multiple obligations, how did you manage to schedule time to work on your book?
As I have mentioned in the book “An entrepreneur has to strike a balance between passion, knowledge and action; following the concept of Bhakti, gyana and karma in traditional mythology”
Writing has always been my interest. I started it with writing blogs and the habit continued and here you are with the result in the form of my book.
To your fellow writers out there, who are struggling to tell their story, what would you like to advise?
Dig in deep and tell your story. Be honest and world will listen to you.
An entrepreneur, a foodie and a writer; you have donned many hats in your lifetime. Which one did you enjoy the most?
Being an entrepreneur was my first and only dream and the rest happened eventually in due course of time. In fact I would say my entrepreneurial attitude gave birth to the foodie and now a writer in me.
Are you a big believer in luck seeing you cite many instances where a little bit of luck was required along with your perseverance to get the work done?
Yes, I believe that luck is the meeting point of opportunities passing by and your alertness to grab it.
What are some of the craziest recipe ideas did you have while coming up with newer variants for Goli Vadapav?
We have some really interesting variants like Masala Vadapav, SabudanaVada and MakaiPalakVadapav. We designed these keeping in mind various tastes of audience across different regions of our country.
What is next for Goli Vadapav? What are some of the ideas that you are experimenting with?
As a fast growing company, we are in an expansion mode. We plan to open 1000 stores Pan India in coming years. We are constantly launching new variants of vadapav in different forms of vada like rolls, curry pao, vadapav and sides. Our aim is to continue launching new products without deviating away from our core product, which is vadapav.
Could you share your success mantra for our readers?
Don’t just startup because your friends are jumping on to the wagon. Deeply research your business idea and the market segment you will be positioning your offering in. A proper analysis of long-term sustainable business model is a must. Once you have answered yourself these basic questions only then one should roll out the business.