Prem Ganapathy, the owner of ‘Dosa Plaza’ who turned Rs.1000 into a 30 Crore business
Prem Ganapathy was born to a very poor family in Nagalapuram, Tamil Nadu. Due to lack of money Prem had to give up his dream of higher studies. He moved to Chennai and did odd jobs to fetch around Rs. 250 per month. Prem’s way to Mumbai was due to a fake promise made by an acquaintance, who promised him a salary of Rs 1,200 per month in Mumbai. But instead, that person robbed him off, leaving him all alone at Bandra.
Prem didn’t know anyone in the city and could hardly understand the language. Yet, returning was never an option since he was penniless at that moment. So, Prem decided to stay and search a job. And luckily next day itself, Prem got a job of washing dishes in a local bakery at Mahim for a salary of Rs 150 per month. For the next two years he did several odd jobs and saved as much as he could.
His hard work let him start his own food business of Idli and Dosa. In 1992, with a capital of only Rs. 1000, Prem bought utensils, a stove and basic ingredients. He started his first shop on the street opposite the Vashi railway station. Since then, Prem Ganapathy has never looked back. He called his two brothers to join hands in the business. Their philosophy was simple. Unlike other roadside eateries, their main focus was on quality and cleanliness.
Soon Prem’s business started booming and in 1997, he managed to take a small space on lease, by paying Rs 50,000 and named it ‘Prem Sagar Dosa Plaza’. Dosa Plaza was often crowded by the college students; some of whom taught Prem to use internet which in turn helped Prem to get recipes from across the world. Prem began experimenting with dosas. He even introduced 26 innovative dosas. Dosa Plaza had more than 105 dosa varieties by the year 2002. Dosa Plaza started becoming very popular. Prem dreamt of opening his own outlet in a mall. But he could not get one. Finally his luck was in his favor when the management team of Centre One mall had dined at his restaurant and suggested him to set up a Dosa Plaza outlet in the mall. People soon started approaching Prem for franchise of Dosa Plaza, seeing its popularity.
Now Dosa Plaza has 42 outlets in India and 7 outlets outside India (New Zealand, UAE and Oman). Prem Ganapathy hopes to open up many more restaurants both in India and abroad in coming days. The business which Prem Ganapathy started with a seed capital of Rs. 1000 has now grown to be a 30 crore company.
Image Credit: reminderindia