When Venkatesh Iyer co-founded Goli Vada Pav with Shiva Menon in 2004, he saw a huge opportunity to sell affordable, clean, ethnic fast food to low-income customers in India.

Iyer says that a good Indian street food behind the pill was to include edible fast food. “While this approach is worldly, I wanted to retain like desi flavor. So I named it Goli, a specific bombaiya slang which means ‘to shower or talk about something’. This is the street-culture of Mumbai, in which there is gossip on Vadapav. In addition, the un-fried version of Vada has been called ‘Goli’ since it was rounded. “Some friends recommended that I should be an English name. But brand recognition is important. For example, Nalli saris cannot become Julie series and Murugan idli cannot be called Peter’s idli,” he says. , Vadapav is a specialty of Mumbai and through ‘Goli’ we have connected the soul and taste of the city to all. ”

Vadapav’s customers range from a college-goer to a laborer or wealthy who drives in luxury cars. Venkatesh Iyer explains, “The idea of bringing Vadapav back into a branded product struck me and I wanted it to stand tall between burgers, pizza and fries.” Clever business operations, supply chains, franchise and money were brought into Thela and India’s largest fast food chain was born.


The company opened its first outlet in Kalyan near Mumbai in 2004, but soon ran into problems. Hand-made patties varied in quality and had a short shelf life, and some were preserved. In addition, margins are under pressure due to rising raw material costs.

With an initial investment of Rs 1 crore, he started wall-carrying outlets in Mumbai. Today Goli Vadapav has more than 300 stores in 100 cities and 20 states in India. The wada is made in a centralized factory in Mumbai, from where they are kept in trucks at various locations. “Our Wada is manufactured in hands-free high-technology by the same American companies that make McDonald’s patties. When I sold my imagination and shared my ideas, the corporates were impressed and I chose them as partners.” The result is a healthier, cheaper, and tasty Mali Vada that retains the desi touch and spicy flavor, ”says Lyer.


Today, the Goli sells 70,000 Vada pavas daily, and even the recently opened Kochi outlet has a cash collection of Rs 15,000 per day, claims Venky. “We came to a market where there was no competition; No one sold vada pav in Bangalore, Aurangabad, or Nagpur. So we went to the regions where Vada pava was only heard, but it was not available there. In addition, we are a clean store, integrated backend and fully automated like Americans, ”he says. Venky rationalized this strategy of entering unknown territories by saying that a domino would not sell pizza in Italy or that McDonald’s has moved beyond the US to sell its burgers, as food locally is available everywhere. And there is not much ‘bridge’ in it. ‘value.

Our stores do not exceed 100 sq.feet joints as the concept is to provide fast service. As cities get bigger and life gets busier, people look for graves early and holidays are reserved for food opportunities. Vadapav is a food in itself and can fit into your diet at any time of the day are Available whenever you want you get easy and easy to carry eat ”observes Iyer, who has introduced region-specific flavors to the menu. A generous mix of vadapavas (below Rs 50), vada rolls (below Rs 75) and curry pav (below Rs 100) are offered in Goli stores. “In line with customer given advises, we introduced new flavaor  like Corn and Palak Vada in Bangalore, Samosa Masala Vada in UP, Paneer in Punjab and Sabudana Vada in Maharashtra.”

Venky says all the franchise expansion has happened because people had heard of the pill, eaten it and then wanted to start it in their city. “Some people did eat  in Nagpur and started in Aurangabad; Somebody did eat it in Aurangabad and started in Dhulia etc. So the franchise took us to those cities and we believe in their knowledge of the local market there.

Goli has followed the strategy of being located in high streets and main market places as such places are the most crowded. “Every city has got its own flash point – the center of that city. We first want to see the high streets where people are growing, because Vadapav has to be a part of the culture of the city, it has to be a place where people live day by day – outside their homes, offices and colleges. If I put it in highways or malls, where people go once in 3-4 months, then food habits will not be formed, ” the reason


Today, Goli has a central manufacturing capacity from where vadas are prepared and shipped across the country. Their technology enables vadas to be stored in frozen form and sent every 2 or 3 days to the actual stores, where they are again properly stored. This has made it possible for pill promises to have a shelf life of nine months. “Standardization and technology have helped us create a model that can help everyone, otherwise if a Delhi-based businessman takes our franchise and has to do local sourcing and production, the price will drop in 6 months. – will increase, and a variety of problems may arise. But this is no longer an issue, as the supply is done by the center, ”says Venky.

It is also the view that Goli has helped aggressively grow to have 277 stores in 61 cities, while other Indian food chains such as Saravana Bhavan and Haldiram still have fewer double-digit stores. Venky says that the dependence of other stores on human capital has limited their growth potential,With the product complete, Venky and Shivadas started looking for an alternative to the setup shop. Real estate in Mumbai is expensive and so they consider a novel way to use Aarey milk booths to double as white outlets. Acquired 350 saw milk booths and at one shot, 350 bullets stores were opened. However, political trouble and disagreement between the booth owner and political parties dampened the dream, and all the Goli outlets had to shut down. As a result they also lose the first round of money. “It was a very difficult time, and people felt that the bullet had ended. All our money ran out and then immediately Lehman became brother, so no investor was willing to put his money. But during the crisis, Goli left for Vadapav. Nashik was in store and we grew all over India, ”shared Venky. ”


Goli is a profitable company today and will touch revenue of Rs 45 crore this year. Venky claims that many inquiries are being made from overseas, such as Dubai, UAE and the UK, but he feels there is much to be done in India. “If Subway and McDonald’s can have 8,000–10,000 outlets, then we can have at least 5,000 outlets in India. Even if we setup 1,000 of those shops in the next 5 years, we would have a lot of land. India is a vast land of opportunity, ”he emphasized.

Venky is also excited about the prospect of building a large-scale brand from other Indian foods, if some technology can be built to take care of wastage, sharpness and standardization. “Whatever mass technology needs, and an Idli-Vada series can only happen with technology. If a food business is dependent on cooks, it is not viable. India’s food story has not started yet; We are the leaders in the story of food here. We can have followers and it would be great to have more. There is a huge opportunity in the food space in India.





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