By The Pier: Manvi Chaudhary
It’s said that adversity does not build character, it reveals it. When troubles hit Manvi Chaudhary, a Gurgaon-based entrepreneur, she remained unwavering and composed. Imagine a 24-year-old girl venturing into the cut-throat competition of F&B and then finding out that an official ruling had turned the tide against all her business plans. While others would have lost hope, Manvi went back to the drawing board and got cracking. Exactly, a month and four days after the Supreme Court ruling that banned the sale of alcohol within 500 meters of state and national highways, she reopened Pier 38 – Cocktail Bar & Kitchen.
Give us an insight into your career path. How did you start and why did you open Pier 38 - Cocktail Bar & Kitchen?
Pier 38 opened in December 2016. I started Pier 38 to bring experience to Gurgaon, to introduce the city to Arabic food and some really good cocktails.
We live in a patriarchal society wherein all the industries are mainly male dominated. How does it feel to have received the Young Achievers Award at the 6th World Women Leadership Awards?
I feel the industry is and should become gender neutral. It always feels good to be recognised and winning awards is always fun. The young achiever's award was particularly special because it was an international award and I shared the stage with some truly accomplished women.
What has been your greatest professional success to date?
I feel that’s yet to come. However, I feel very satisfied with how I’ve succeeded with people management with regards to my business, whether it's my own team or my customers.
The food and beverage industry is growing manifold, do you think it is performing well for small-business owners as well?
Yes, it's doing really well for small business owners. The delivery sector is doing better than ever, and smaller setups are in full swing now.
You've worked in all areas of the restaurant, from the designing to plating to sales and decor. What insights can you share about the differences and the difficulties?
If you're a business owner, it is very important for you to know what goes around. To know what goes around, you have to get your hands dirty. At the end of the day its, not rocket science, it's just a lot of hard work, dedication and passion. In different areas you deal with different types of people, different kind of physical and mental energy goes into different things, the different skill set is required for different roles. However, if you like what you're doing, it'll be very easy and you'll pick up on stuff very quickly.
What is your secret to retaining the customers? How many ranges of cuisines and alcohols do you provide?
There's no secret. You have to maintain a certain standard in your product and provide an excellent customer experience to retain guests. We offer Indian and Arabic cuisine, along with a multi-cuisine bar bites menu. We do various varieties of alcohol, including special cocktails, wines, beer, whiskey, etc.
Any interesting, helpful advice you would like to give to aspiring newbies who wish to enter and succeed in the restaurant business?
All that shines is not gold. As glamorous as the FnB industry looks, it's really not. You have to slog and work as hard as you would have to for any business. But once you start enjoying what you do, it'll be a piece of cake.
We’re already 6 months in 2019, what are your plans for the rest of the year and how do you wish to scale things up?
These six months have flown like how. The next 6 months we are focused on launching our new food and cocktail menu. The entire team is super excited about this one.