Walk into hostel rooms on any IIT campus and you’ll probably find every other aspiring engineer glued to his computer screen, feverishly setting up a website. Prabhkiran Singh is a different story; he is a civil engineering student busy whipping up chilled lassi every evening after class.
The 20-year-old from Punjab who came to IIT-Bombay three years ago, didn’t find a decent lassi joint in the city, and hence would rely on his mother’s recipe every time he craved one. That marked the birth of Khadke Glassi — now a stall set up on a computer trolley, operating after classes at IIT close.
The Rs 10,000-venture now has a fan following of close to 500 on Facebook and apart from IIT students, alumni and faculty, residents of Powai, crowd around this little corner every evening. Though 20-dayold, Khadke Glassi is now profit-making. However, like any new undertaking, it has weathered not just ups and downs, but several wrong starts and break-down of financial plans.
How crazy are Mumbaikars about lassi?Where would the best raw material be available at the cheapest cost? Start small or take off really big? These were some of the questions that Singh and Himanshu Dhiman, the initial two promoters, faced. They bought a heater so that milk could be set to curd in the hostel room. Every evening, the duo would make 15 to 20 glasses of lassi and ask friends to review it. Fifteen days later, in November 2009, they started the stall. It’s not your run-ofthe-mill lassi. Flavours include black currant, strawberry and chocolate. You can have it with or sans ice cream.
Sceptics had an obvious question: “Why did you come to IIT if you wanted to sell lassi?’’ Singh and Dhiman were always interested in the food and beverages industry; both love cooking. “Also, my dad’s venture failed miserably and he wanted his sons to join college and take up a secured job. Hence IIT,’’ added Singh. A few days after this lassi bar started, Dhiman quit; two of Singh’s friends help him. “Initially my friends teased me, saying that all I learnt in life was to make lassi. Now they are proud of me that I got out of the hostel room and started doing something I love.’’
Hemali Chhapia | TNN
Times of India 14th March 2009 Page 7