A PASSIONATE COOK, AN ASPIRING ENTREPRENEUR-- are just some of the words that describe Prem Ganpathy. Prem belonged to a poor family that resided in Nagalapuram in Tamil Naidu’s Tuticorin district.
Owing to the fact that Prem came from a poor family, he had to quit his studies to support his family financially. He abandoned his dream of continuing for higher studies and decided to make a living. He came to Mumbai for this purpose with an acquaintance who promised to get him a decent job with a salary of Rs 1200 each month. However, the person disappeared from Bandra Station after taking Rs. 200 from Prem and never came back.
Prem was now in tears. He was left penniless and had no place to take shelter. Neither did he know anyone in the big city nor did he know the local language. Nonetheless, he decided to stay-put and try his luck. He did several odd jobs to feed himself. He washed dishes in a bakery for a meagre Rs.150 and served as a cook in a small restaurant. In the year 1992, he managed to save some money and rented out a hand cart, bought some utensils and a stove. Then he purchased some basic ingredients and started his own food (Idli and Dosa) business which he sold on the streets of Vashi station.
In the year 1997, he opened “Prem Sagar Dosa Plaza” by paying a monthly rent of 5000. He also hired two people to help him. His small business began to flourish and very soon Prem was earning a profit of Rs 20,000 per month. The restaurant was appreciated and specially liked by college students. Eventually Prem shared good relations with them. In return, these college students encouraged him to make a variety of other dosas for which they even showed him recipes on internet that were used around the world. Prem took it in his stride and began experimenting on his existing recipes. He soon included 20 different dosa items on his menu list. Lo and behold! It became a big hit. By 2005, Prem introduced 105 more dosa items which helped him draw more customers.
This became unstoppable and today Prem’s Dosa Plaza has become a renowned name across Indian cities and even abroad. Their net worth is estimated to stand a whopping Rs 30 Crores with 45 outlets in India 10 others scattered in New Zealand, Dubai and Middle East.