Vasudev Adiga, whose parents started the legendary Brahmins’ Coffee Bar in Chamarajpet, wants to take the Adiga’s chain beyond Bangalore, take it beyond the South, and take it to the highways—and standardise South Indian vegetarian food like other fast food joints.
Saritha Rai throws light on his delectable plans in the Indian Express:
“For generations, instinct and experience have guided the cooks who prepare the dosa batter and sambar mix. But a determined Adiga wants his brand in India’s metros by 2018. He wants the Adiga’s sign to beckon travellers on major highways, though McDonald’s and KFC have already preceded him there.
“So, conquering his twin fears of losing control and of outsiders meddling in his business, Adiga has brought in venture capital (Infosys co-founder N.S. Raghavan’s VC firm New Silk Route has invested in the chain.)
“South India’s idli-vada-dosa restaurants have remained largely standalone or single-city brands. Their owners’ ambitions have been thwarted by the challenges of standardising recipes and sourcing ingredients. For example, the dosa batter, a ground mixture of dal and rice, depends on such variables as the quality of water, grinding time and fermenting time, besides the quality of the dal and rice….
“But all that cannot see him through the risks of expanding countrywide, acknowledges Adiga. He is hiring a chief operating officer to take charge of the expansion. The chain is corporatising on many others levels. Like the multinationals, all sourcing will be centralised, except for perishables like vegetables and milk.
“The back-end will be automated by bringing in industrial-style machines to chop vegetables and wash dishes. Just like the MNC chains, which get outside agencies to dice the potatoes just so, Adiga’s too wants to “outsource” such tasks.”
File photograph: The BJP’s Ananth Kumar dives into a plate of idli-sambaar in Basavanagudi while campaigning in the 2009 elections (Karnataka Photo News)
Read the full story: Sambar, extra tangy please