Can you imagine that a man who had to spend four days on the footpath without food,is now serving mouth watering dishes to the people of Bhopal! Meet Dolraj Gaire-the founder of Sagar Gaire chain of fast foot outlets in the capital.
Born and brought up in Nepal in a poor farmer family,he migrated to India when he was about eleven years old.He dropped out of school as studies was not his cup of tea.He struggled and worked at a couple of odd jobs in Azadpur subzi mandi Delhi,until he landed at Oswal Agro.
Destiny brought him to Bhopal in 1980,where he had some friends and relatives who assured him of better opportunities here.Cooking was his hobby, which he honed during his stint with MP Tourism,where he keenly observed the functioning of big hotels and their cookhouses.
He was earning a paltry sum of Rs 8000 per month along with his wife way back in 2003 and staying in a dingy shanty.He had big dreams of starting his own business ,but shortage of money was a big challenge.Finally he dared to tread the unbeaten path.He broke all shackles,and came on the road on a cycle ,donning a white apron and a funny looking chef’s long white hat inscribed “cycle soup wala”He carried a steel insulated container filled with soup on the carrier ,and a packet of disposable glasses on the handle.His friends and relatives made fun of him of his venture and ridiculed him.Unfazed by such criticism he carried on the mission of popularizing the soup culture in Bhopal,by selling soup at Rs 5 a cup ,for which one has to dole out Rs 50 in a posh hotels.Gradually Dolraj added four varieties of soup ,tomato ,mixed veg,almond and mushroom.These were moderately priced between Rs 5 and Rs 15 a cup.
Initially he would move from place to place on his cycle,but finally he settled at the 10 number market,where he gained popularity.His evening business used to fetch him about Rs 300-400 daily.After 2-3 months he added sandwich and biryani to his menu.Within 2 years he rented a small shop at 10 no market ,which he ultimately purchased for Rs 15 lakhs in 2008,with the help of his friends and a bank loan.This was the birth of “Sagar Gaire fast food”Incidentally Sagar Gaire is the son of Dolraj who is studying engineering and plans to do MBA thereafter.
With his dedication ,hard work and innovation to make new dishes to suit the palate of the people,there was no looking back.
Sagar Gaire is fast becoming a brand,with three outlets in the capital,which fetch him about two and a half lakhs a month.There are forty five workers in all the three outlets who are paid salaries ranging between Rs 3000 to Rs 12000 a month.He takes pride in the fact that he personally trains and guides them ,and about a dozen of his workers have already set up their own businesses.
Dolraj remembers with gratitude the help ,inspiration, and guidance he got from Shri Sudeep Singh IAS,and Ms Tulika of State Bank of India,without which he would not have tasted the fruits of success.
About two years back ,he helped one of his close friends to establish from a scratch,but he betrayed him.He doesn’t nurture a grudge as he says,”if you succeed in betraying someone,never think that he was a fool,rather he trusted you more than you deserved”,the message is loud and clear.
Dolraj believes in God more than himself.His message to newcomers in any business is”put in your best with dedication,and hard work there is no shortcut to success!
(The above success story has been written by Maj Pradeep Khare ,after interviewing Shri Dolraj Gaire)