Meeting Shrikrushna, one can’t help but be surprised by the varied skills he possesses. It has been these skills, coupled with an open mind, a passion to learn and the will to work hard, that has seen him through several turns in life. The son of a farmer from Solapur, he did an ITI course in refrigeration soon after his high school, worked in a cycle shop, followed by a stint as manager at a petrol pump before settling down to work in an air-conditioning plant in Solapur. Twelve years later he left his job and along with a partner, started a PVC pipes manufacturing business. Subsequently, he also set up a business supplying construction material. What is commendable is that he learnt the ropes of these diverse businesses while on the job.
However, the trading business involved a lot of travelling which eventually became very taxing. He also realized that several others like him missed out on healthy home cooked food because of their hectic schedule. One day, Shrikrushna decided that he had the perfect solution to his problem – now he could do away with travelling as well as provide good nutritious meals to common working people like himself! Shrikrushna had finally found his calling!
A culinary journey begins.
In 2009, he set up Kulkarni Bhojanalay in Pune’s Karvenagar area, to serve lunch and dinner. He used his own savings as capital and procured a small space on rent, and bought the required furniture and kitchen equipment. As was his habit, Shrikrushna Kulkarni worked along with his workers, chopping vegetables and learning recipes. Within a month, his mess had already started looking up as students and working people like small businessmen, salesmen and medical representatives became regular customers. Encouraged by this success he started two restaurants in Narhe, another suburb of Pune. Unfortunately, things did not go well for him with this venture – he faced huge losses and had to close down these set ups.
Handholding with deAsra
Failure however, couldn’t dampen Shrikrushna Kulkarni’s indomitable spirit. In 2016, he started another diner named Kulkarni Bhojan Bhavan, in the heart of the city. This time, his bankers advised him to meet with deAsra. His meeting with the deAsra team turned out to be very fruitful. The deAsra team swung into action and helped him with preparation of a project report, submission of documents for his loan and as well as facilitation of the loan proposal. Shrikrushna was very pleased with the timely and comprehensive advice given to him by deAsra.
Today he is completely immersed in his business. He still chops vegetables and cooks with help from his staff. He is well aware of the labour problem in this business and hence believes in working in the kitchen personally so that labour turnover does not affect the daily functioning of his business.
In the near future he plans to have a centralized kitchen and a few more outlets around Pune. He also aims to develop the Kulkarni brand. For all these future endeavours, Shrikrushna Kulkarni is very clear that deAsra will be his go to place for all the help and advice he will require.
Hunger to learn new things and an unabashed readiness to toil has given Shrikrushna Kulkarni the taste of success. This unassuming man, with his passion to start and succeed in his own business, is surely an inspiration to youth who would like to start their own business some day.