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With no formal degree in bakery, Vikesh Shah from Mumbai launched 99pancakes in 2017


Vikesh says that he had no interest in working at a cake shop and took the job only to fulfill his monetary needs. “My father was a diamond merchant and faced huge losses. We struggled to earn two square meals a day. So my mother started taking tuitions, and I worked at the bakery for Rs 700 a month,” he adds. Along with working at the bakery, Vikesh pursued other odd jobs at a traveling agency, perfumes, and pubs.


Today, at the age of 44, Vikesh has established the brand ‘99pancakes’ across cities in India and earns in crores. That’s quite a turnaround!.


“I visited European countries around 2014 and got exposed to pancakes and waffles sold on the streets and mainstream restaurants. The concept of pancakes was fairly new in India, and not many customers had accepted the food. I realized the concept was interesting and could attract a wider range of customers,” he says.


Intrigued by the concept, Vikesh asked the locals about the recipes. “The owners were kind enough to share the recipes and the ingredients that went into making soft and fluffy pancakes. After returning to India, I reached out to chefs in the network who came up with high-quality pancakes,” he says.


Vikesh was skeptical, given the fact that very few knew about the concept. “But if you think about it, presenting an idea to customers before the competition helps to establish a monopoly,” he says, adding, “On many occasions, the products you trust better fail and vice-versa. So I decided to take the risk.”


“The shop recorded a sale of just Rs 500 in the first week. Moreover, the civic body began digging the road in front of the shop affecting the visibility and accessibility. As a result, the shop made minimum or zero sales between April and June,” he explains.


“In the next 15 days, the number of customers started increasing. The desserts became popular instantly, and since, there has been no looking back,” he says.


From that dismal opening, today 99pancakes is sold in 43 outlets in 14 cities of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana and generates a revenue of Rs 7 crore from all.