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Dhananjay and Vaishnavi Gurjar

Pardon the local foodie term, but the batata vada needs no explanation. However, for the benefit of our non-Marathi speaking audience, batata (potato) vada is a fried potato delicacy in the shape of a ball that is relished not just in Maharashtra but in India A speciality and a known variety of this batata vada is the Baramati Batata Vada.

The incredible journey of the vada from Baramati to Pune in 2008

Mr. and Mrs. Gurjar, both very well educated post graduates, decided to start their own business. The choice was to make a business out of batata vada, using the special recipe they were gifted by Mrs. Gurjar’s mother and aunt. The taste was so special and became so popular, that the Gurjars decided to try their hand at the vada business and rolled out their vada cart in New Sanghvi in Pune in 2008. The cart timings were after office hours, that is from 6 to 11 pm. As foodies and hungry young people started tasting their vadas, the vadas started disappearing from their cart like hot cakes. The recipe was indeed unique; it was no ordinary vada; it had the makings of the best among equals. A vada with handpicked ingredients such as the best-quality oil, chilli powder and of course, potatoes; plus, a benchmark, standardized taste and quick service which won hearts and growling stomachs in one bite. The Baramati Vada had started its incredible journey on the streets of Pune.

The Gurjars had three helping hands but at the rate the vadas were going, they were going to have to scale up and soon. They had the necessary Shop Act Licence, FDA registration in place and a bank account as well. They were notching up a decent profit of 25-30% as well, if you went by the daily figures.


But they had certain challenges.

Their demand was going up and despite beginning the daily preparations at 4am, they were falling short of manpower and time. Managing a day job and this venture, ensured that they had almost no free time for family or socialising. They had practically no support from close family; their son has been in a crèche since 8 years for long hours.  The dynamic duo wanted to scale up despite tough challenges, but were in a dilemma of whether to go for a shop or franchise? They also were keen to brand their product and register the trademark and did not know how to go about it. They knew some processes had to be automated to cater to the rising demand, but again were not sure how to go about the same.

They approached deAsra.

deAsra gave practical, workable solutions to help address all the challenges faced by the Gurjars. Some of them are listed below:

  • Use of machines-like potato peeler /smasher.
  • Reduce manual work where ever possible.
  • Instead of investing in premises, look for rental place.
  • Appoint a person in the radius of 5 km, give him limited number of semi-finished Vada’s see what the response is.
  • Use of centralised kitchen while going for expansion.
  • Go for a token system to ensure no one would enjoy the vadas without paying for the same, which was happening in some cases.
  • Information on patent/trademark was shared.

The Gurjars implemented deAsra advice and went from success to more success. Just see the details below which are the latest from February 2016.

  • Use of machinery as suggested by deAsra has reduced the processing time and labour
  • Production has increased to meet the demand
  • Sales increased by 10%
  • Decision taken to open outlets elsewhere and maintain centralised kitchen.
  • Time saved daily 1-2 hours, is available for family/social work.
  • Steps initiated to obtain trade mark.

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