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Friday, Dec 13, 2019

Turning a new leaf in paan business

Unique venture: Mass communication postgraduate youth runs family paan cafe in Lucknow.

lucknow Updated: Mar 14, 2019 11:47 IST
Rajeev Mullick
Rajeev Mullick
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
The café has been running successfully with a net profit of Rs 20,000-Rs 30,000 per month.
The café has been running successfully with a net profit of Rs 20,000-Rs 30,000 per month.(HT Photo)

This postgraduate’s business leaves a nice, betel (leaf) taste in the mouth.

Meet Pushkar Pratap Singh who runs a full-fledged shop — a family paan café in the Ashiana locality of Lucknow.

“I want to do something unique in business where I can implement all that I have learnt in the past five years,” says Singh, who completed his masters in mass communications from Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University, Lucknow.

“There are several shops in Hazratganj selling quality paan, but none in Ashiana. If a person living in Aashiana wants to have paan, he or she has to go far. After surveying famous paan shops, I realized there were not enough varieties of meetha (sweet) paan in Lucknow,” he says.

Pushkar says he found women did not go to paan shops as there was hardly any vendor selling tobacco-free meetha (sweet) paan. That is why Pushkar, 30, opened the Tambulam paan café on October 2 last year and the then acting vice- chancellor of Ambedkar University NMP Verma inaugurated it.

He says the café has been running successfully and he earns a net profit of Rs 20,000-Rs 30,000 per month.

He also makes it clear that he feels no embarrassment in selling paan, nor did he face any resistance from his family members.

He says, “I have two employees, one for interacting with customers and their queries, and the other for catering to the demand for varieties of meetha paan.”

Pushkar claims his shop has 75 varieties of paan, which is a rarity in Lucknow. His first priority is hygiene and taste, he adds. “In our family parlour, the paan leaf is selected from market under my watchful eye and washed twice. Every ingredient and quality is controlled personally by me after tasting and passing through every step for making meetha paan,” says Pushkar.

“Paan is packed in tamper-proof packing, so that its taste remains the same. We don’t use plastic,” he adds.

His shop has a menu card for people of every age group, including women, children, the elderly and the youth.

One can have gold paan, pachak paan, fresh fruit paan, honey paan and sugar free paan at the shop, he says. The cost of paan ranges between Rs 10 and Rs 1,200.

“We are also delivering meetha paan online with the help of various platforms like swiggy and zomato,” he says, adding the business is profitable and easy to handle.