Mangaluru, Feb 06, 2018: A story of Shilpa, a single mother who overcame her marital hurdles to setup ’Halli Mane Rotties’, a mobile fast-food joint that exclusively caters North-Karnataka’s delicacies at Mannagudde in Mangaluru.
The 34-year-old homemaker-turned-entrepreneur’s story of grit and determination had impressed a number of people, including Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra.
On Feb 5, Monday, Anand Mahindra kept his promise to Shilpa. The keys to a brand-new Bolero Maxi Truck Plus were handed over to the Halli Mane Rotties owner by RC Rodrigues, the CEO of Karnataka Agencies, a Mahindra car dealership. This will now allow Shilpa to start the second outlet of her popular food truck.
Shilpa says that she is yet to come to terms with her good fortune. "Frankly, despite the assurance I was a little apprehensive if at all I will receive the truck or not. However about 12-days ago, Karnataka Agencies, the local dealership of Mahindra, visited our home, verified my credentials, explained the modalities and confirmed to hand over the mini-truck," Shilpa says.
The single mother – who dropped out of school after Class 10 – received several enquiries, congratulatory messages and witnessed increased patronage at Halli Mane Rotties. "Local corporators from other wards have visited the food joint and assured to provide space to run the second venture. We have told them that as soon as we are able to hire extra help we will consider relocation," Shilpa notes.
She has also turned down at least one exclusive corporate tie-up offered to her food joint. She says, "A firm wanted us to cater solely to their staff, but then we feared that we will disappoint our local patrons, who have helped us in our journey so far. That’s why we declined for exclusive tie-up, though it meant regular flow of income. We told them we would like to operate independently and open for all."
A native of Hassan, Shilpa, who had considered herself to be an experimental cook, set up her food venture in 2015. Using the Rs 1 lakh that she had saved up for her son’s education, Shilpa bought a Mahindra Bolero pick-up truck and then set-up her standalone food joint. The response to her food truck was overwhelming, with customers flocking from across Dakshina Kannada to savour her North Karnataka fare.
Modestly calling her venture, “an accidental success”, Shilpa points out that nearly 80% of Halli Mane Rotties’ patrons are from Dakshina Kannada.
As reported by TNM earlier, Shilpa had planned to start her second outlet in February that her brother will handle.
Shilpa and her younger brother Chiranjeevi say they are now looking to raise funds of approximately Rs 2 lakh for road tax, registration and modification of the new vehicle. "My brother says he wishes to stay in the same location as he has gained familiarity with the people. In due course of time, I will look for relocation and setup a new food joint," Shilpa says.