Whatever you do, be different! That was the advice my mother gave me and I can’t think of a better advice for an entrepreneur. “If you are different, you’ll standout” -Anita Roddick
Entrepreneur brings lives of 23 women achievers between its cover to celebrate womanhood.
Imagine being an 18-year-old married girl, a marriage that has failed, and two children to provide food apart from trying to come out of the emotional trauma. The situation can easily trigger people with highest of life spirits towards embracing death.
Chennai-based Narayan, choosing life, exemplifies not only the survival of the fittest but the survival of the bravest. This was year 1978. Today, she is 58. Narayan puts her best foot forward and from her home started making jams, pickles and squash to stay alive and fend for her children. Situation bettered after four years when she managed to set up a kiosk at the famous Marina beach to sell cutlets, samosas, bhajjis, juice, coffee and tea. “My first and only sale on first day at Marina beach was a 50 paisa cup of coffee,” smiles Narayan.
People loved her kiosk snacks and gradually Narayan started getting catering requests. She, hence forth, took to institutional catering. “People came for small orders at my kiosk. This gave me a confidence to expand and start catering at a large scale,” she recalls. But it was tough for her to be accepted in the market as that was particularly male dominated during the time.
Later, besides running the catering business, Narayan, joined restaurant chain Sangeetha Hotels’ as director for one of their restaurants in Chennai. In between, her son Praveen quit his job to launch a restaurant, Sandeepha in 2005, after Narayan’s daughter Prateepha died in a road accident.
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