I was born in the magical allure of the Taj City on 4th April 1999. As time passed, I and my family shifted to the sprawling valley of Dehradun. I was pursuing BSC IT from Graphic Era University. I had always wanted to own a Cafe somewhere in the charisma of impeccable sceneries of the Doon Valley. This thought was always on my mind.
An IT student dreaming of business was something out of the box. Fortunately, I had the best support system. Mukul and Shubham are my friends. Importantly, I had shared my idea with them. Evidently, till date, they have never failed in helping and supporting me. After graduating from Graphic Era University. I had to choose between a 9-5 job or taking the risk to initiate my start-up. But on the other side, my Dad has always dreamt of his child holding a big govt official rank. I chose to follow the business one and turn my ideas and dreams into reality!
I wanted to be somewhere where I didn’t have to report to 10 or more people. For this, I considered discussing things with my friends much more appropriate. They gave me new ideas and opinions of their own. It was my new routine to meet different Cafe owners, knowing their experiences, collecting quotations, and suggestions. Then I finally started searching for a suitable land that will suffice my purpose. But ultimately, my business idea faced financial problems in the initial days.
It is well quoted that, “Where there is a will, there is a way.” And I decided to follow the same mantra. I used to get limited pocket money which was not sufficient to fulfill the purpose of paying the rent of Rs.30,000. My friends and my mother somehow managed and helped me in raising the funds. In the initial days, I and my friends used to check out YouTube videos for the basic recipes of dishes like a burger, cold coffee etc. At times my mom would come hiding from dad to help me in all possible ways.
I was able to arrange a good place but didn’t have good furniture and decor to attract customers and provide them with my best services. Fortunately again I was successful in arranging the money. I had to use my bank savings for all the furniture and interior. And till now my father was unaware and uninformed about all this.
It was 4th April 2018, I and my friends were sitting together. It was my birthday. The best gift I could get on this special day was the perfect name for my cafe. After a long way discussion with my friends. We finalized a name which was, “Highway Detour cafe & restro”. I believe it is not in the work of stars to design our destiny. It is in our hands only. This was the time I became comfortable with sleepless nights, empty stomachs, overthinking, and stress. But you have bad times in order to get good days.
Why would people come to me if I’m going to sell the same thing as others? I wondered. I needed everything to be the best – best view, best food, and best service. The moment you start copying someone is the time you lose your originality. I never wanted to lose mine, hence I always focused on my vision.
Time passed and finally, it was the special day. It was special because my father has worked so hard all his life to provide his family and kids with the best of everything. Also, he has set an example for me of what a true man should be like. I never wanted to be what he had thought for me. Instead, wanted to surprise him with my biggest achievement, which was, “Highway detour cafe & restro.” Indeed, that was an unforgettable moment for him as well as for my family and my friends. I got to see the most beautiful expressions on everyone’s face.
Now I have a good business, satisfied customers, and a life that I had always dreamt of. I have 5 employees working under me (1 chef and 2 helpers). There was nothing I haven’t done myself. I was a cook, cleaner, manager, delivery person, repair guy, and a steward. Everything, just for my crazy dream to come true.
Thomas J. Watson has quoted very well that, “Don’t make friends who are comfortable to be with. Make friends who will force you to lever yourself up.” I am very much thankful to my friends who have my whole heart for my whole life. My Mom, who was always there to help and motivate me to stick to my plans. She has made my habit of constantly working hard and improving, telling me that there’s really no reason why you can not achieve your biggest dreams in life.
Instagram – @cafe.highway.detour
* The views mentioned in the above article are of the writer and not the Winged Club.