Praful Billore from a small village in Madhya Pradesh who is well known as ‘MBA chaiwala’ (Mr Billore Ahmedabad chaiwala) is one of the youngest and best India’s chai seller with a turnover of crores.
Praful Billore – The MBA Chaiwala
Four years ago when he was a 20-year student who graduated with his Bachelor degree and desired to pursue his higher studies in India’s prestigious college but unfortunately, he did not get acquire a seat.
Praful Billore – The MBA Chaiwala started with various business concepts while he was studying B.com and began earning Rs 25,000 for a month as an Amway seller.
“When I didn’t score well in CAT after giving it my all, I was devastated. Frustrated, I decided to take a hiatus & travel. But my parents wanted me to get a degree & weren’t okay with me just taking off. So at 20, I used up my savings from internships & left,” he said to Humans of Bombay.
He moved to Ahmedabad after being disappointed by not getting a seat and enrolled in a local college to pursue an MBA.
From selling one cup of tea to earning crores
He started a small business by setting up a small tea stall on the roadside three months after moving to Ahmedabad. And the shop was named “MBA chaiwala” (Mr Billore Ahmedabad).
“I travelled a lot, but upon reaching Ahmedabad, I decided to stay. I got a part-time job at a restaurant to sustain myself. I knew my parents wouldn’t take it well. And I was right–they were furious. They wanted me to get a degree.
So, I enrolled in a local MBA college. I was studying & working; honestly, I was learning more as a cashier than as an MBA student. I even wanted to start my own business, but I didn’t have the funds. Then, one day, while having chai, I spoke to the chaiwala. Afterwards, I knew I should open my own tapri. I immediately bought a patila, a lighter & a chalni!” he added.
The first day he was able to sell only 1 cup of tea and the next day was went on well “with chai, I served up conversations about relationships & politics,” he said.
He wanted to be creative and tried various themes with his business by selling tea at political rallies by naming the stall by the parties’ names who are conducting the programmes, and by FY 2019-20, the sales earnings had hit 3 crores.
Creative ideas of the young chaiwala
The business model of Praful gained media attention and he was invited to speak at IIM Ahmedabad university to the students about his successful ongoing business. This is one of the colleges he dreamt of studying in.
He was soon able to earn Rs.15,000 a month and decided to give his all efforts to it. Hence he dropped out of the MBA course that he was pursuing from a local college.
He began his own business, dreamed and accomplished a new goal and today he tells his story on different platforms to get others to begin to look for new things in their lives unless you can achieve what they intended.
His parents were not happy with his chai business and said that he was bringing ‘shame’ to the family. But, he didn’t want to give up and tried to stay away from all negative comments and distanced himself from everyone.
He started organising open mics and book drives at his shop. And one of his creative themes of ‘free chai to singles’ went viral which was organised on Valentine’s Day. That is when he started getting recognition.
Today, he has various franchises all over India and he is being invited to IIMs for speeches.
“People often ask me, ‘Why chai?’ & I say, ‘Why not?!’ It’s the country’s favourite drink. And honestly, there’s nothing that a conversation over a kadak cup of chai can’t fix!”, he said.
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