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Party-planners Turned Restaurateurs Dawn Thomas and Safdhar Adoor started working on building VRO Hospitality in 2018

By S Shanthi

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Dawn Thomas (L) with Safdhar Adoor, co-founders, VRO Hospitality

Dawn Thomas and Safdhar Adoor, both 32 and cofounders of VRO Hospitality, met in college, driven by a mutual fascination for the events and nightlife scene. With a small pool of savings, they took the leap of faith and organized their first party in Bangalore, which turned out to be a resounding success.

"This caught the attention of Sharath who was a well-connected individual in the industry at the time. He approached us with a proposal for a partnership. Together, we founded Rices Obliquity, a startup that later transformed into SteppinOut, a brand in the events industry. In 2018, Dawn, Sharath and I started working on building VRO Hospitality," says Adoor.

VRO Hospitality is today the parent company of restaurant brands like Hangover, Badmaash, Nevermind, Cafe Noir, Tycoons, Los Cavos, Taki Taki, PlanB & Mirage. VRO Hospitality also acquired F&B brands like Cafe Noir, Plan B and One Night in Bangkok amidst the pandemic and also ventured into cloud kitchen brands with Burger & Beyond and Holy Doh.

About the company's performance and milestones in 2023, Thomas says, "We've been on a roll, having opened more than 10 outlets in the past year alone. Achieving our targets as a company was a long time in the making, especially considering the challenges the market faced in the aftermath of the pandemic, which proved to be a significant hurdle for many dine-in restaurant owners. However, we didn't let that slow us down. We went back to the drawing board, strategized, and made some key decisions to acquire well-known brands in the market."

The focus was on breathing new life into them once things settled down. This approach not only allowed us to navigate the market intelligently but also played a crucial role in meeting some of our strategic partners today, he adds.

The company is gearing up to introduce two fresh Mirages, one each in Mumbai and Pune. Additionally, the co-founders have got their eyes set on global expansion, with plans in the works to venture into dynamic markets like London and Dubai.


  • Name and Designation: Safdhar Adoor, cofounder, VRO Hospitality
    • Age: 32
  • Name and Designation: Dawn Thomas, Co Founder VRO Hospitality
    • Age: 32
  • No. of co-founders: 3
  • Number of employees: 1200
  • Year of inception of the company: 2018
S Shanthi

Former Senior Assistant Editor

Shanthi specializes in writing sector-specific trends, interviews and startup profiles. She has worked as a feature writer for over a decade in several print and digital media companies. 


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