Harshvardhan Neotia & His Tryst With Food
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Harshvardhan Neotia, Chairman of the Ambuja Neotia Group is bringing Chicago based pizzeria restaurant chain UNO to India. In a conversation with Entrepreneur India, he spoke about his plans to expand business opportunities in food & beverage space and what drives his entrepreneurial fire.
Q) What do you plan to do with UNO in India?
A) We hope to bring UNO brand to many cities in India. We have planned to open up three outlets one in Noida, the second in Calcutta and the third one is in Bangalore. They were all signed up more or less at the same time. The first one will open in Noida, but ultimately we hope that if everything goes as per plan, UNO will be present in most of the major tier one and tier two cities of India.
Q) What aspect of the food business garnered your interest and how do you look at the growth of this brand in the mid-term?
A) Thirty one years ago, when he started off with the business one of my interests was to set up a club in Calcutta and in that club we had a restaurant. The club became famous for its food essentially, and we had a long time interest in food but attention was primarily consumed in the family’s flagship cement business except for that time after pondering for a while I realized I wanted to be involved with hospitality and food business and so had set up several restaurant clubs when the opportunity came.
Q) What drives your entrepreneurial fire?
A) There are various level and layers as an entrepreneur. You are always in a quest of doing something different and doing well. We have tried many things and we have thankfully succeeded and some have also not succeeded, it’s a mixed bag but do not stop trying.
I have been born into a family which is deeply interested in arts like fine art, music, literature and philosophy its all been part of upbringing I have lived in a joint family my father was three brothers and my grandparents, and they all have different interests and I have grown up seeing those different interests and also participated in conversations when I was a child or in activities associated with music and art and literature, so I think those influences have been there in my being and in my projects.
I try to bring those learning so today I am doing business in architecture or food or hospitality, a lot of design sensibility has come from my artistic inclination which I got from family and a lot of other influences that have come in my childhood so it’s a good pleasant coincident that my work and hobby are integrated and similar in that sense its very fulfilling to do what god has given the opportunity to do what to do I just let every day come the way it comes and see how well we can do.
Harshavardhan Neotia is also one of the co-owners of Atletico de Kolkata, which is an Indian Super League football team along with Sourav Ganguly, Sanjeev Goenka, Utsav Parekh and Santosh Shaw.