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Are you? Could you be like them?

This DVD rental company has proved that the only way to succeed is to give film enthusiasts choice...

india Updated: Nov 14, 2008 16:09 IST

This DVD rental company has proved that the only way to succeed is to give film enthusiasts choice.

European in taste and Indian in price: that's the potent combination that made Garcia's Famous Pizza a hit in the city - and one that its founder Ashit Patel, 49, came up with to break into a crowded market in 2004. How did Patel convert his idea into a full-blown business, with 20 outlets in the city? Read about how he chased his dream -and how you can too.

Can getting a blood test done or X-ray taken ever be a pleasant experience? The diagnostic lab chain Metropolis thinks it can be quick and smooth, if not entirely painless. A result of Dr Sushil Shah's vision, the lab is now a byword in Mumbai for reliability and comfort. "I aimed to create a chain of world-class pathology labs," says the 60-year-old Shah. Read here about how one man overcame self-doubt to realise his dream.

Meru Cabs
A year ago, 44-year-old Neeraj Gupta started a round-the-clock taxi service for the city called Meru Cabs, a city where the words 'comfort' and 'commuting' were never uttered in the same breath. Today, the company is getting 1,200 calls a day, many from commuters looking for comfort. Gupta is now planning to enlarge the service's footprint. "I am determined to have 5,000 Meru Cabs plying across the country by December," he says. "When your business plan is well thought-out, nothing can stop you from expanding." Hear, hear.

All that glitters is not gold. That's what Swarg, a retain chain selling gold jewellery weighing just one gram, is cashing in on. Founder Manilal Chheda, 42, the son of a grocer who was running a small dollar store in Nashik, cannily entered the jewellery market with his idea in 2005, when soaring prices had made the yellow metal unaffordable to the middle class. How did Chheda do it? Watch this space.

Raj Travels

Lalit Sheth started Raj Travel World with just Rs 2,200 to his name, no office and no contacts in Mumbai. The 52-year-old reveals the obstacles he overcame and the tactics he employed to get a foothold in the city's already flourishing travel business and then build up a Rs 300-crore company with a loyal customer base of 5,000 tourists a day. Tomorrow: the inside story.

What began in 1947 as a tiny udipi joint in Crawford Market is today part of a chain of 28 restaurants across India serving the Gujarati thali, whose menus change every month. Its driving force, the 53-year-old Kamlesh Barot, is an unassuming family man who combined his mother's age-old recipes with his catering college expertise to create the first indigenous chain of eateries serving authentic Gujarati fare in a luxurious setting.

The Loot
This clothes chain made brands such as Levi's and Adidas affordable even to college students. By mopping up leading clothes retailers' surplus stock and re-selling them, The Loot's founder, Jay Gupta, 33, shrewdly mopped up massive pent-up demand for branded apparel among youngsters. You may not always find exactly what you want, but you will probably want something you find. The question is: how does Gupta make money? We'll tell you.

This diagnostic laboratory caught the zeitgeist by offering a slew of hi-tech, low-cost tests for lifestyle diseases, which are on the rise in our rapidly transforming city. Its founder, A Velumani, the XX-year-old scientist-turned-entrepreneur, harnessed technology and controlled costs to help him offer prices that competitors find difficult to match. With no family fortune or book of contacts, how did he build a huge central laboratory outside Mumbai that services 600 collection centres run by franchisees all over India?

Mahesh Tutorials
Mahesh Tutorials is the first Indian coaching class chain to have attracted foreign investment, when Helix Investments ploughed $12 million into the company last year. There's a reason why. Its founder Mahesh Shetty, 32, runs it like a blue-chip firm, which today has 123 centres, 25,000 students and 500 teachers. But Shetty, who gave up teaching math at another coaching class to chase his dream, began in 1988 with just Rs 10,000 in his pocket. How did he do it?

Take the traditional matka kulfi, the creamy blend of non-industrial ice-cream, and infuse bursts of fresh fruit - that's the combination that makes Mumbaikars flock to Natural's. But that's now. Founder Raghunandan Kamath, 54, recalls how he struggled to get the ice-cream chain going - he didn't have the equipment to make ice-cream the traditional way, so he made the equipment himself. He didn't have money to hire an interior decorator? So he asked his wife to do up the shop. What else did he do to make his business roar? Read about here.

Just Dial
As organic social networks break down in a large city, where do you go for information about the best bhelpuri wala in your neighbourhood or a flower delivery service? Enter Just Dial, a free 24-hour telephone service that receives 1.4 lakh calls every day from 200 cities and towns. One-third of the callers are from Mumbai. How did the service's founder V S S Mani hit upon the idea, convert it into a business and then make money from it?