Umang Tewari is running more than five restaurants in Delhi today. Talking to Restaurant India, he shares about his plans to take these restaurants to other markets, including the global diasporas too.
Umang Tewari hails from a family of real estate. After doing his MBA from UK, it was food and music scene that inspired him to venture into the restaurant business. Tewari has also worked with cafes in the UK for Experience and Exposure of the restaurant trends giving birth to a dream that inspired him to open his own restaurants.
How the inspiration has come?
I believe that if you are passionate about building your dream, there is no stopping. Hence, I got this into field with all my hard work and dreams, with the family support; I have been able to create Mark. I opened Oxygen in 2002 that helped Delhi embraced Lively Nightlife culture. Oxygen changed the way of Nightlife in Delhi. It was the most successful club of that time.
What were the initial challenges that you faced in bringing some of the good concepts in India?
I had lot of expectations from myself, and we never compromised on design concepts. We spend good initial months making sure that we crack good design concept and location. I was particular about the location preference and concept. The only challenge was perfect execution which we make sure to attain.
How do you differentiate your restaurant from others in the same forte?
Our Existing brands are plethora of different unique concepts. While OTB is a place that derives an inspiration from Street food across the Globe, Vault Café derives its inspiration from Colonial world. Vault café is a vintage industrial ambiance visualised as a storehouse of British East India Company. The transformative café par lounge bar has been visualised with rustic interiors architecture with colonial influences to bring in the theme of the Colonial era. Vault is hyper thematic with expressive décor, state of art sound and light and a mouth watering F&B overlay to complement that. On the other hand, My New Venture Garam Dharam is surely first of its kind in Delhi. Fun, Quirky, Lively, Innovative & Foodies Paradise inspired from Veteran Actor Dharmendra.
Who do you see as your competitors in the market and why?
We don’t compete with anyone. I have many brands in my own kitty. We keep competing within ourselves. Whole energy goes in making sure that each of our outlets is performing well and is different from each other.
You recently joined hand with actor Dharmendra to open ‘Garam Dharam’. Tell us about the partnership.
I am foodie and I love Indian food. I thought that there is derth of place in Delhi to have good Dhaba food. At the same time contemporary outlets with Moder interiors is what gets accepted widely. I thought to blend both these needs and that was the origin of Garam Dharam. We Met Dharmendra Ji theough one of the friend, and we told them about Dhaba food outlet which we want to open. Dharam Ji being foodie was also inetersted, and showed interest. Then came the idea of Bollywood Dharmendra themed bar. He gave us the inputs in interiors by letting us know his favorite movies, dialogues and more. Dharam Garam, Dhaba Te Theka is place for all those who enjoy simpler elements of Life- Good Food and Good Music.
What is the contribution of Dharmendra in the restaurant? Is he given only his name to operate or does he hold some stake in the company?
Dharmendra Ji was involved in letting us know about his likings which we contributed in decor of the restaurant. He also gave us his pictures to decorate the wall. He has both his personal and profesisonal shares in Garam Dharam.
Tell us about the funding scenario at your end?
We under our company Big fish ventures are raising around 200 crore rupees through venture capital funding. The start-up venture which caters to café dining and hangout segment of the market and runs premium dining lounges like Vault Café, Garam Dharam is mulling to launch new brands like Public connection, Oh My god (OMG), Junkyard, Three Peg Down over next three months. With a host of brands in operation and new launches in the pipeline, Big Fish ventures clock sales of over 50 crore in FY 15-16 and 150 crore in FY 16-17 respectively. Our team will create, build and operate over 40 outlets by FY 17-18 under brands created by us. Each outlet will be known for its prime location, unique concept, world class food quality and unforgettable service experience. Additionally, we plan invest over 200 crores in building our outlets and hope to register a gross sales of over 500 crore by FY 18-19.
Your restaurants are a mix of global cuisine and rustic designs. What are the design elements that you keep in mind while designing each of the outlet?
As a Restaurateur I make sure that each restaurant of mine is different from the other. I feel food and interiors are the only two things that brings customer back, and hence they need innovation. I play on the concepts and that’s how we make sure each outlet has different interiors. Also because our outlets have high re call value, we make sure that there is no repeated design element in either of our outlets.
It was in news that you are also planning to open around 6-7 restaurants in 2015. How many of them are actually operational now?
Yes, the plan was to open around 6-7 restaurants in 2014-2015, and I feel we have been successful in achieving the target. I opened Vault in 2014 end, then Garam Dharam followed by Junkyard and Public connection. So, four are operational already, and the other 4-5 is due for this December.
Tell us something about your expansion plan?
We have OMG, 3 Pegs down, Courtyard and Bandstand. OMG is located in CP as well, Spread over 8000 sq ft, this place is designed around the concept of hell and heaven. 3 pegs down is Microbrewery coming up in Saket. I am also coming up with two more outlets in Aurbindo Marg, Bandstand and The Courtyard, Bandstand is Spread over 4000 sq ft, Its been designed in retro way and will take Music events of the Capital on Next level. Courtyard with the space of 15000 sq ft is again unique food, drink and Music place. Not only this, we are expanding to West Delhi with 2 coming in Rajouri Garden and 1 in Punjabi Bagh. Then, we have eyes set on International market where we plan to start one in Dubai, Canada, China and more. There are plans to open Garam Dharam in Rajouri Garden. Biggest Vault is soon to hit Punjabi Bagh, and then we have plans to open Junkyard in Saket as well. I have already signed two properties in Mumbai as well. I think 2016 will see atleast 10 restaurants coming from my side.
What is your revenue as you hold some of the good restaurants in your bouquet?
We invest 3-4 crores in setting per outlet and our return on investment is atleast 30% per anuual year.