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  • Writer's pictureGreat Companies

Sanjay Khanna, Founder at Wah Parantha

Great Companies: How did you get your idea or concept for the business?

Sanjay Khanna: It’s all driven by Passion. I have always had interest in the hospitality sector, but when I graduated in Hospitality & Tourism Management back in 1999, the industry wasn’t offering many careers that resonated with what I wanted. The IT sector looked very lucrative & I changed course. But having spent over 20+ years in IT, working at various levels & functions, the job only felt like a grind that wasn’t fuelling my true-life passion & was neither nourishing my purpose. I took a bold step to leave & do what I genuinely loved & enjoyed.

Finalizing the concept was not very difficult. Over my 12 years in Bangalore, I always felt a dearth of quality and flavoursome north Indian food, especially the staple food like Parathas. While there were many places serving Parathas, they were either roadside eateries or expensive fine dining restaurants. Lack of mid-segment options meant you were either paying too much for too less or you were dependent on unhygienic road side options which again lacked the true North Indian Flavours. Evaluating the current market and people’s demand, we came up with the very idea of a Paratha Concept Restaurant – Wah Parantha. With the right time, the right people to encourage & guide, Wah Parantha was born

Great Companies: What are the various Services provided by Wah Parantha

Sanjay Khanna: We currently operate out of a single kitchen and resto-cafe in Bangalore, offering Dine-In, Take-Away & Delivery options. Customers can place orders via our online portal or via food aggregators Swiggy & Zomato

In terms of menu options, Wah Parantha offers a wide range of vegetarian & non-vegetarian options – A mix of Parathas, Sides & Mains. Our Traditional Stuffed Paratha range includes Aloo, Pyaaz, Gobhi, Muli, Paneer, Mix Veg, Sattu, Chicken Keema & Anda Parathas. Our best sellers are our Fusion Parathas. In fact, ours is the only Paratha restaurant in Bangalore offering a huge variety of Fusion Parathas – Veg Pizza Paratha, Cheese Burst Paratha, Spinach Corn n Cheese Paratha, Chicken Tikka Cheese Paratha, Mexican Quesadilla Paratha, Hawaiian Paratha & many more.

We are the first & only restaurant to introduce Parathas as desserts. We offer a vast range of Sweet Speciality Parathas – Cheeni Sugar Paratha, Gur Jaggery filled Paratha, Gulkand Rose Paratha, Shahi Royal Dry-Fruit Paratha, Nutella Paratha & Choco-Chips Paratha are some of our sweet Paratha offerings.

We cater to 3 different segments.

1) For the young professional, we provide a north India Cafe kind of experience to come and feel at home and have good food at ease.

2) We offer homely food subscription plans which have more balanced diet for their everyday food alternative.

3) For the families around to have a good viable, tasty party order for their cheat days.

We are serving all of them with our parathas, chaats, and grills options for both vegetarian and non-vegetarian clientele.

Great Companies: What makes Wah Parantha different from hundreds of other restaurants

Sanjay Khanna: We have a few direct competitors in Paratha segment as this is a large segment and is currently being established the way Pizza was 10 years back. However, what differentiates us from the rest is our great taste, menu innovations, homeliness & quality.

True to our tag line “Fresh Parathas bursting with flavours”, All our parathas are prepared in Whole Wheat Flour, are freshly rolled & prepared using the freshest ingredients, adding to the healthiness, flavours & crispiness of the final product.

Few of our differentiators:

  • Great Taste: All our products are prepared fresh using finest premium ingredients. Our secret blend of spices add to the flavours & promise great taste in every bite.

  • Whole Wheat Parathas: All our Parathas are made with special whole wheat chakki flour, with crushed outer layer of wheat Bran, which is extremely rich in fibre. We do not use maida flour, adding to the healthiness of our Parathas.

  • Menu Innovations: Our offerings across the pizza paratha, chicken tikka paratha, Mexican Quesadilla Paratha, Hawaiian Paratha are very well appreciated along with the homely ones like the Aloo parathas. The veg Pizza paratha is hugely popular amongst the kids providing a healthy alternative to the White Flour based Pizzas. Also, our sides are immensely popular. Our Delhi Style Chole Bhature are an equal big hit as our parathas.

  • Pricing: We are a value for money provider & our pricing is strongly targeting the mid segment market. Our parathas start from Rs.59 – Rs. 199 and appeal to a mass market.

  • Our customers love us & we have a high repeat ratio. Customer reviews and comments are testimony to us being the best Paratha brand.

“Tried almost the important and popular paranthas here, including the new Shahi. Revived in me memories of the homely dhaba paranthas prepared n served fresh in the hill stations of the north. Apart from being hygienic, its also customer friendly, good hospitality, and easy on the pocket. One can guess the specific stuffing with closed eyes, that’s the generous amount of stuffing in each parantha! True to it's name.....the experience leaves you saying " Wah Parantha!” – Priya Kartik

“If you are a big fan of parathas then this place is a must visit! Soft, fat parathas lovingly filled with a generous amount of filling is the main USP of the place. Clean interiors is another plus. It's the first time I got to see and taste fresh coriander in a restaurant paratha, and that too at such reasonable rates. Love the place and will definitely eat more from there- Kankana Basak:

“Absolutely awesome food. Love the surroundings and the decor. Most importantly love the book collections. I can spend hours in this place” - Niranjana Balasundaram

“The place has awesome stuffed parathas, pav bhaji and grill items. I've tried different parathas from here several times. Prices are competitive and worth” – Pratik Kumar.

“The best place to have mouth watering parathas at a very reasonable price. The quantity of the food is quite filling and satisfying.

Must Try:

1. Spinach corn paratha: It has cheese, it melts in my mouth and I'm done 😂.

2. Gur paratha. They use organic gur for the paratha. It has a very grainy texture and I can never have enough of it. Always order it whenever I want to have something sweet.

3. Recently they suggested me to have their Modinagar Shikanji, which was surprisingly refreshing. Keep up the great work” – Mohit Anand

Great Companies: What are the struggles and challenges you face?

Sanjay Khanna: Life as a restaurateur, especially the first many months, is extremely difficult. There are high highs and low lows. There are times when you question yourself why you are taking this route and if it’s ever going to become successful & then there are days when you are over rejoiced with positive customer reviews & feedbacks.

Coming from a professional service background, I let go of my comfortable high paying job at a reputed IT MNC to experiment with this concept, which was my calling. In terms of challenges, the biggest challenge and opportunity has been the lockdown. While it has been a huge challenge for the entire industry and for us at the start-up phase, it also provided us with an opportunity to experiment and serve the people. Our Meal Subscription Plans during Covid were extremely popular as we provided healthy homely food options catering to a wide spectrum of people -Apartment residents, Covid front-line workers, Healthcare professionals, Patients and many more.

As much as people would like to think the restaurant industry is glamorous, it is more than anything a hardworking business. While, opening a restaurant is easy, keeping it going is hard. The job requires long, long hours, sacrificing personal time and relationships in order to be prepared to serve the masses at their leisure. Staffing issues, Attrition, Consistency in Customer Experience & Quality, all throw a new challenge every day. There have been times when both me & my wife had to be in the kitchen preparing food & helping the team ensure continuity of ops. We had to be always on with a smile & warmth that formed a part of the ambience & hospitality, irrespective of the challenges we were into. Looking back, I really feel proud of the experiment, efforts and the opportunity to serve the people during their most difficult phase.

Great Companies: How do you plan to grow in the future? What does 5 years down the line look like for Wah Parantha?

Sanjay Khanna: With Wah Parantha, we plan to build a mid-segment premium brand around Parathas, like the way “Wow! Momo” did with Momos. We strongly believe that if Momos can be uplifted to build a company of that size then the potential with Parathas is much bigger, as Parathas have a much wider appeal across India. Paratha is to India what pizza is to Italy and its popularity can be seen in various households across India. Be it breakfast, lunch or dinner, parathas are a favourite of many.

Our first outlet is already profitable & we are looking to go deeper into Bangalore. With the use of Technology, we have been able to reduce wastage, improve consistency & improve stock keeping, helping boost our bottom line. We target to open 2-3 stores by the end of the current fiscal year in Bangalore, post which look at expanding to Delhi-NCR & Mumbai.

We have also launched our second Brand “Tastior” a few months back. The initiative is led by my wife Chhavi Khanna. It is a Homely Gourmet Meal service focused around pocket friendly, homely & healthy meals. With its range of comfort food meals made with homely recipes and taste, Tastior is slowly strengthening its position in this segment.

We further plan to launch 2 more brands over the next 6-12 months. New brands will be focused around Indian food concepts like Biryani, Tikkas & Chaats. With multi-brand online restaurants operating in hub and spoke model, Wah Parantha plans to strengthen its position & emerge as India’s biggest restaurant companies focussed on Indian Comfort Food. The segment is growing at a CAGR of 30% and projected to be a US$ 12 Billion market by 2025. The potential size of this segment has grown multi-fold in post-COVID era, as people are expected to order-in more often than they would have done in pre-COVID times. Wah Parantha plans to capitalise on this expanded market opportunity and build a large-scale venture.

Great Companies: If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?

Sanjay Khanna: Dogged perseverance and experimentation will help people actually do better at areas they are good at. Follow your passion. Remember, it’s perfectly acceptable to disappoint others than to disappoint yourself. So, take your life in your own hands because you’re behind the steering wheel and you know what’s best for you.

A successful entrepreneur is a passionate entrepreneur


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