TN engineer quits job to run push cart food business
Twenty-eight-year-old C. Jaisundar, an electronics and communication engineering diploma holder, quit couple of top companies to turn into a food entrepreneur selling Burmese dishes as well as some popular snacks in a push cart in Karur in Tamil Nadu.
"It was a conscious choice and I am not ashamed of my business. No honest labour is to be ashamed of. Many of the top leaders of our country had done more menial work than what I am doing now. And they have risen to the top positions by their hard work," Jaisundar told IANS.
Jaisundar, the only son of a retired school teacher N. Chitra, used to give a tree sapling free of cost to his customers for some time.
"The tree saplings used to cost me a lot. But I used to give it free. Out of the saplings I had given, 63 of them have survived and are growing well," Jaisundar said.
A native of Karur district, Jaisundar first joined telephone company Airtel in Chennai. However, the rent, food expenses and his sensitive nature made him to quit the job to join automotive component major Pricol Ltd in Coimbatore.
Soon after that, he shifted to Tamil Nadu News Print and Papers Ltd (TNPL) as a contract employee.
"The work was fine at TNPL. I worked there between 2012-2018. The last drawn pay was Rs 13,000. A friend of mine would always prod me to do something in the part time. While we were having lunch one day, it struck me as to why not start selling snacks like Karuvur Garam, Thattu Vadai and other popular local snacks," Jaisundar recalled.
According to Jaisundar, his friend Madhu, who ran an eatery, taught him to cook. And now, Jaisundar said he and his mother prepare the dishes at home.
At first, Jaisundar started selling his snacks at Velayuthampalayam near Karur but though the business was good, he had to come to Karur regularly to buy inputs.
"It was then that my friend Gopi allowed me to set up my push cart near his juice stall in Karur. The business started picking up slowly. Customers started giving me tips on fine tuning the dishes which helped me a lot," he said.
At this point of time, Jaisundar thought of adding more food items on his push cart.
"My uncle's friend suggested me to add a couple of Burmese dishes. He had lived in Burma and taught me to make dishes like atho, mohinga, khow suey soup and masala egg," Jaisundar said.
"I decided to offer the Burmese dishes only on three days in a week -Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The reception for the Burmese dishes was fine," he said.
Like other outlets, Jaisundar also offers price discounts on special days.
"Three days prior to the Lok Sabha elections, I offered 50 per cent discount with an appeal to the guests not to accept money for their votes," he said.
When queried about Prime Minister Narendra Modi's comment urging the youth to start their own venture like pakora shops, Jaisundar reiterated that no labour is to be ashamed of.
"I am doing a turnover of about Rs 18,000 per month and I am earning more than what I was earning working in a company," he said.
Now Jaisundar is planning to graduate to a shop but that needs finance.
"Mudra or any other bank loan would be of great help. But bankers here want me to provide an asset as a security, which I don't have," he said. IANS