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Having shot to fame after the recent launch of his train-themed restaurant IMLY in New Delhi, Vivek Bhargava, 27, Director and Co-Founder of Yuvi Hospitality Pvt. Ltd. is one of the emerging young entrepreneurs in the food and hospitality sector. His penchant knowledge of business and curiosity to expand the food industry is giving new dimensions to the F&B business. Vivek talks about his foray into the hospitality industry and his future plans.
Entering the Industry
After graduating from ITM University, I was certain of getting into the corporate business world. I worked with some of the best corporate houses including Sopra Group and Tricore Solutions. I worked with Google as a Database Administrator in their Chrome wing for over a year.
Having gained enough understanding of how the industry performs and what it demands, my entrepreneurial bend of mind wanted me to start something of my own.
Over the course of a few years, I started various startup firms like ‘FrislerInfotech Pvt Ltd’ (a digital media, advertising and marketing agency which is into profile branding for celebrities), ‘Excuse Me Doctor’ (EHR for doctors which is in beta testing), ‘Promon’ (provides deals and coupons for restaurants and other local businesses and it is backed by Jarwis India Pvt Ltd) and ‘Sabko Shiksha Sabko Gyan’ which is a non-profitable organisation based out of Indore and internally helps many non-profit organisations. But this was just the beginning.
Tech to Hospitality
I have often been questioned about my ‘Bachelors in Technology’ degree and the contrasting work in the ‘Hospitality’ industry. I always had an unexplainable love for food. Hence, while the technology-built of mind helped me with the understanding of the functioning of various sectors of the industry, the gastronomic inclination and a curiosity to try out something new brought me to the hospitality sector.
This was when I launched my first concept restaurant ‘Lights Camera Action’ in New Delhi which has been loved by diners and critics alike. More recently, the launch of ‘Imly’, a train-themed restaurant has been able to grab eyeballs and huge footfalls.
Yuvi Hospitality and Upcoming Ventures
We started Yuvi Hospitality Pvt. Ltd. in June 2015 with a paid- capital of Rs. 10 Crore. In less than a year’s time, the company has been able to create a distinctive space for itself in the F&B segment.
Raising funds for a new start-up in India is a Herculean task. Investors won’t just invest in your company because you ask for it. They would run a good scan of your team, the work profile, experience and the possible good returns for their investment. We were lucky that recently we were able to raise a humongous funding of Rs 100 Crore for our upcoming ventures.
A German-USA war themed restaurant 'Molecule' is to be launched very soon and our pan-India expansion is to follow immediately after that. Also, there are plans for expansion of the very successful ‘Imly’ restaurant.
I have also partnered with four other hospitality companies as a Director to open premium single brand food concepts such as ‘Uncensored’ and ‘Ab ki Bar’ in the coming six months.
I owe my success to the goodwill that I have been able to get from people who I have worked with previously. These are people who know my working style, appreciate it and are ready to help me take risks. I think this is the basis for any new venture or initiative to work out well. The complete corporate sector works on the basis of this relationship building.