Hotline: 1800 102 2007
Search Business Opportunities
people 31 May 2013

"You make more friends than enemies if your stint in industry is just 3-4 years"

What made Chef Arun Batra, Executive Chef, TajSTATS Air Catering, Taj Group, bag the Golden Hat Chef Award is his adaptability, his administrative ability and his managerial skills in taking on new projects.

I passed out in 1980 from Chandigarh. That time I wanted to become an engineer. Since I could not cater to that field, my brother prompted me to join the catering college.

So I joined Taj Group of Hotels and served there for 4 years. I never had love for cooking in the beginning; however as the journey progressed, I found the line very interesting. I was transferred to the Flight catering unit to start up their bakery project. Soon I switched my job from bakery to hot kitchen and, by 1989, I opened up two Taj cake shops – at Hyderabad and Chennai.

Meanwhile, I got an opportunity to train abroad and introduced stuffed centre-filled chocolate in the market. In 2007, I went to Bangalore to setup a new unit of flight catering. Then in 2010, I moved to Delhi to take care of their operations and that is when I joined ICF. The mission of ICF is to encourage young chefs to come forward. It was Chef Arvind Saraswat, Director, Food Production, who took me into that fold and he is the one I look upto.

Today the job of a chef is more inclined towards the management side of things, while cooking makes up just an integral part. I myself have 56 chefs working under me. All the chefs who work under me also contribute in menu design and this is another area which I am proud of. I have around 20 clients from various airlines; we plan the menu, showcase it and they select their menu. So if a chef is not a good manager, then it is very difficult to manage work, develop good chefs under him and make them responsible and accountable just like in other professions.

Cooking is also a profession and a great learning experience and I’m here to learn new things. So I clearly believe in the adage: Learn, Unlearn and Relearn. Even now I make it a point to stay abreast with the latest trends in food business through the net as well as by meeting new chefs because consumer’s tastes are always evolving and their perceptions are always changing.

My strength in administrative skills and my being proactive in managing new projects throughout my career helped me to bag the Golden Chef Award – a great accomplishment for me. When you enter this industry, the first year goes in knowing and learning people, while in the second year you start settling down and making friends. You make more friends than enemies if your stint in industry is for 3 or 4 years. If you stay more, arguments begin. So I consider myself lucky that I have made more friends than enemies in my entire career span.

Right now the air and catering business module is passing through a critical period because everyone is turning to low cost airline and this is the biggest threat to our business existence. To counter the risk, we are diversifying our menus and looking at various avenues of revenue generation where we can bring in synergies like Costa coffee, Starbucks, etc.

I know that as per NRAI, of the total restaurant industry, “70% is still unorganised; this has improved significantly because in 2010, 84% was unorganised”. All I can say is that the customer looks at quality and cost because everyone wants value for money. In my organisation, each and every meal, which is being sent out, is tasted by my team of chefs so that its quality is checked before it reaches the customer.

Though my family is not in this line (my wife is a good cook and also my inspiration), I do have plans to open my restaurant in future. Out of all the cuisines I cook, my favourite cuisine is Indian cuisine (Awadhi cuisine from the city of Lucknow) which basically consists of dry fruits and saffron. 

Related opportunities
  • Casual dine Restaurants
    About: The legacy of Sanjha Chulha dates back to the year..
    Locations looking for expansion Delhi
    Establishment year 1978
    Franchising Launch Date 2017
    Investment size Rs. 10lac - 20lac
    Space required 200
    Franchise Outlets -NA-
    Franchise Type Unit
    Headquater New delhi Delhi
  • Quick Service Restaurants
    About Pita Pit :-Pita Pit is an innovative, rapidly expanding,..
    Locations looking for expansion New Delhi
    Establishment year 1995
    Franchising Launch Date 2016
    Investment size Rs. 30lac - 50lac
    Space required -NA-
    Franchise Outlets -NA-
    Franchise Type Unit, Multiunit
    Headquater New Delhi New Delhi
  • About Our Kidz :-Our Kidz is a growing chain of learning..
    Locations looking for expansion Telangana
    Establishment year 2012
    Franchising Launch Date 2016
    Investment size Rs. 20lac - 30lac
    Space required 2000 - 3900 Sq.ft
    Franchise Outlets -NA-
    Franchise Type Unit, Multiunit
    Headquater Hyderabad Telangana
  • Bars, Pubs & Lounge
    About Rockville:- started nearly five years ago in the bustling Mumbai..
    Locations looking for expansion Maharashtra
    Establishment year 2012
    Franchising Launch Date 2016
    Investment size Rs. 1 Cr. - 2 Cr
    Space required 800 - 2800 Sq.ft
    Franchise Outlets -NA-
    Franchise Type Unit, Multiunit
    Headquater Mumbai City Maharashtra
Insta-Subscribe to
The Franchising World
For hassle free instant subscription, just give your number and email id and our customer care agent will get in touch with you
OR Click here to Subscribe Online
Daily Updates
Submit your email address to receive the latest updates on news & host of opportunities
More Stories