Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. Apart from running a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosting the Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, he has also successfully empowered several Indian women to become self-sufficient armed with their culinary skills.
In an interview with Entrepreneur India, Chef Sanjeev, who he is also the author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards, spoke about how he juggles between being an extra-ordinary chef and an entrepreneur.
Discovering his Passion
I don’t over intellectualize things, so I just do things that come to me and at times the motivation is different. So back then, the motivation was to do something different which nobody in circle was doing. So I just went ahead and ventured into this, he said.
Sanjeev, who had unveiled his first restaurant in 2001, said that his parents always encouraged him to pursue what he loved.
“There was obviously a lot of resistance from other people like friends, relatives, neighbours. They all were like what’s wrong? A good student like you can do much better, then why should you pursue this. But my parents were very clear and asked me to pursue to what I liked,” he said.
The first WOW Moment
When you are creating something you always get excited when you create something new every time. The mass recognition happened when television started. The first two dishes that I made caught the attention of everyone. That’s something that really stood out. One of the dishes people remember even today was “palak kofta” and we serve it today at all our restaurants even today.
When did the business man come out of the shell
When you are working also it’s a business, it’s just that the ownership of the business may not be yours. No matter who is working it will still remain a business. For me it’s not about who I am working for. I have always created things for myself and for the business, I have never changed that thing about myself. Even now I am working for someone. Now I am working for my shareholders and employees, he adds.
Staying ahead of emerging trends
With changing times, the food choices people make today have changed. It’s important for chefpreneurs like Sanjeev to keep tabs on the changing trends of the industry. Luckily, with Chef Sanjeev he has always stayed ahead of trends.
I have been ahead of the curve, so it’s not that I have to follow, I lead!" he says
When olive oil came into India, I would have brought that the country. Similarly in the case of health foods, I would have talked about it. So it’s not about following the trends but I am leading. I don’t have to adjust because when the leader is walking that leader does not know the way, but he knows how to lead. Others simply follow. So it’s December now, I already know what message to give out in early 2017, he says.
Chef Sanjeev started a website back in 1996, when even the biggest news publication in India did not have one and then went on to launch his own Youtube channel.
How to Go Global
According to Chef Sanjeev, to take your business across the globe one must understand different markets, be relevant there and one must also have the guts to capture those markets.
Chef Sanjeev was the key note speaker at Restaurant India Show conducted by Franchise India in Bangalore on 18th December.