Getting into a top Business school in India to pursue the dream career is still a dream for many aspirants. This is an inspiring story of a middle-class Indian Prafull Billore, who wanted to pursue an MBA. To get into top B Schools you have to clear the CAT exam. He failed 3 out of the 3 times he appeared for the CAT exam. On his repetitive failure, he got depressed and quit his CAT preparation, and traveled few cities. After weeks of traveling, he landed in Ahemdabad, he felt like home.
To sustain life, he started working at McDonald’s. After serving for some time, he was promoted to the kitchen staff who would take orders and served customers. During this phase of his life, he gained a lot of experience but he felt like a person having/with no identity. He often wondered, “Why sell burgers for someone else, while I can make and sell on my own”. But the question was why would anyone come to his stall and not go to McDonald’s. He dropped the idea of selling burgers and decided to set up a tea stall, as tea was his staple beverage during his CAT preparation, and India loves chai.
The early phase in starting roadside business attracted many stigmas such as these businesses are done by lower class or less educated people but this didn’t stop him. Prafull Billore’s father thought that he might be pursuing an educational course but he wasn’t aware of what was running in Prafull’s mind. It took 45 days to muster the courage and set up his tea stall.
The first day went bad as there was not even a single customer. The next day, he decided to approach customers with a friendly gesture and conversed with them in English. The taste and unique way of serving tea, his communication skills caught many people’s attention and his business started growing.
His chai business started getting popular, annoyed the roadside vendors, as Prafull’s chai business was bringing down their business. He got threats from local goons and local authorities to shut down the chai stall. He didn’t lose hope and reached a hospital owner for renting a nearby space for a tea stall for 10K rental. He even created a platform for job seekers who mentioned their details on paper which was further picked up by job providers as even they were his regular customers. The candidate that suited the job profile was called up by the job provider. This way he gained more popularity.
Prafull named his business “MBA Chaiwala” which stands for “Mr. Billore Ahemdabad Chaiwala”. Within a few months, he got fame and his business MBA Chaiwala, gathered crores every month. Praful’s most memorable occasion was a Valentine’s Day event. He distributed free chai to singles on Valentine’s Day, which went viral and acquired worldwide recognition.
And look at the irony of life! Now, MBA Chaiwala is invited to IIM’s and Harvard Business school only to deliver a talk on how to pursue a passion and become big. It all started with his failure to seek admission to these very prestigious colleges like IIMS and Harvard.
Today, Prafull Billore owns a 300 sq ft restaurant named “MBA Chai Wala”, where he has employed 20 people. In the financial year 2019-20, he recorded a turnover of Rs 3 crore. “My dream is to sell tea across the country, and that every Indian drink my tea,” he says.