The Dosa Man

Walking on a busy, crowded street of Madiwala, Bangalore we saw a small shop where there was a huge queue. That was a long queue to eat a dosa.

What made this dosa shop so unique? We went on and spoke to Mr. Bhojraj, the owner of the shop and few people over there. We learnt that quality, cleanliness and simplicity differentiates him, which in fact got the attention and surge in the customer base. We also learnt that it was his family business and his daily turnover was about 40k.

How did he rise from zero to earning lakhs? What were his struggles and early life? What we heard from him left me speechless. He was from a very poor family and it was difficult to afford three times food a day. His mother was working as a labourer, to feed the family. All these difficulties pushed him to come to Bangalore, where he initially started working as waiter in a hotel. Then he started delivering tea. He met a lot of people on his journey, interacted with them, learnt from them.

He had excellent communication skills despite not having a degree. His communication skills and fast learning capabilities made him start his own eatery shop on the footpath. He started his business with his own family members, stayed on the footpath as he could not rent a house. This was a big leap in his career and from then, he did not look back.

His different varieties of chutney at an affordable price and hygiene made him unique.

We went on and asked, what is your future plan? and tried to dig, if he thinks technology can help him grow his business. He told lots of competitors are developing around him and stealing his ideas. He wants to patent his food items. He wishes to open many outlets and franchises in Bangalore with a centralized kitchen to keep his ingredients a secret. He wishes to run his business on a smartphone, managing multiple franchises from a single kitchen. Overall a man, with an entrepreneurial spirit – who rose from a point of nothing to earning few lakhs a month.

Overall a man, with an entrepreneurial spirit – who rose from a point of nothing to earning few lakhs a month.

What can we do to help small businesses thrive?

As technology leaders and app developers of today’s digital first, mobile first world, we believe it’s important to empower people, communities and businesses of all kinds and sizes, with relevant technology led advancements.

Here’s a quick app we’d suggest for street food businesses, like the Dosa Man, to become 3x more efficient:

  • Simple prediction of expected sales today, to avoid food wastage (based on how many people eat on a daily basis).
  • Punch every order, with a simple voice command and see end of day sales and revenue, easily on the app.
  • Make a quick entry of regular customers who’d prefer having a credit, just keep adding due and remind every week to pay. Allow people to pay by PayTM. Parse incoming SMS to detect if there is an incoming payment and update the payment due register accordingly
  • Take orders from customers who will be passing by in the next one hour to eat or take parcel, so you know what sales to expect today (this requires customers to have a link or an app). Push message to the customer telling their parcel is ready to be collected.