How a 12th class failure Choreographer, turned his panipuri stall into a chain of restaurants
Rohan Rajesh Bhalerao started a panipuri stall at Ashoka Marg and had no idea this would turn up to be the starting of something incredible. He opened his first outlet which turned into a restaurant chain “Shrimat” in less than a year. He did something people could only think of in their wildest dreams.
A choreographer by profession since 2008, he started his dance class in 2011. He was a part of various celebrity events at that time, which gave him great fame but very little money. The need for better income made him start commercial events in schools such as annual functions. With a huge team of 150+ and a large-scale setup, the event management business was in its full boom in 2015-17. The turnover of this business was in lakhs and Rohan thought that his life has been settled now. But God had some other plans. When the first wave of covid19 struck India by March 2020, every event planned got canceled due to lockdown and this whole business setup collapsed.
Rohan, along with rest of the India was forced to stay indoors due to strict lockdown all over India. With an extreme extrovert personality and habit of constant socialization, he struggled a lot. Rohan knew life cannot stop here and he needs to move on but had no idea where to start. At one fine 3 am, his attention grabbed on to something while looking out for some new ideas. Panipuri is the heart and soul of Indian fast food, and people largely craved it. Hence, Rohan decided to start his panipuri stall but what he was planning for wasn’t that easy.
Even when people started getting used to the new normal after lockdown, there was a constant fear of catching the virus due to improper sanitation. Panipuri usually involves dipping puri in the sweet and sour flavored water by hand, and everyone hesitated if it would still be safe to do so. As it is said, necessity is the mother of invention. Rohan thought of driving a new and hygienic method of eating panipuri at his stall. He designed a self-serving panipuri machine at home. After constant trials of machines and experiments on different panipuri flavors, his first panipuri stall was a huge success.
Famous Misal for your Breakfast
It didn’t take long when his first outlet was opened at Ashoka Marg which started grabbing customers. His ideas of serving panipuri with fusion like cheese burst and chocolate for kids received huge popularity. Rohan got this firm registered and got the trademark and this marked the beginning of a great journey. Chaat is the specialty at his restaurant, along with pav bhaji, chole bhature, missal thali, and of course panipuri. He received a response beyond expectations in a very short period with the help of social media and advertisements. People from other cities started visiting which was proved when one of his videos got 3.4M+ views while Nashik’s population is just 2.4M.
The events took a steep turn just after 1 month in March 2021. This incredible journey from cart to the hotel came back to 0 when the second wave of covid19 struck India and there came a second lockdown. Staff was restricted and many had to be sent away as it wasn’t possible to keep the whole lot. But this time, Rohan had a strong will to fight against all odds as he continued to look out for better opportunities. This event turned out to be a comma and not a full stop in his story. He soon joined hands with others and opened the second outlet in September at Mahatama Nagar, Meri Masrum in October and is planning for more in the future. On asked about his mantra for success, Rohan proudly states- “Never be afraid of failure, good intentions, consistency, and hard work would take you to unexpected heights”.