Biplab, a Bachelor In Hospitality Management from Pailan College Of Management & Technology, started his career in August 2011 as a Marketing Executive at The Stadel Hotel in Kolkata. In 2013, he joined Bengal Shrachi Venture’s Red Cherry Hospitality as Senior Sales Executive. In April 2014, he launched Petuk, a restaurant that specialises in Chinese and Tandoor items. He had his fair share of challenges while running the business, yet his meticulous planning and thoughtful execution have helped him succeed and become one of the most successful foodpreneurs in Kolkata. He says, “Our journey has been tough since we started it. We have experienced failures in every step and we have learnt from it and grown.”
In his opinion, everyone fails at some point in their lives, but only those who are brave enough to learn from their failures succeed in life. “Though we failed countless times, we were resilient enough to learn from them, and we make sure that we learn something new every day”, adds the humble entrepreneur.
A FUTURE-ORIENTED ENTREPRENEUR
Biplab is a future-focused entrepreneur who believes in setting the right kind of goals to reach new heights of success. Aside from setting goals, he also discusses the steps to achieve them and accomplish them. He says that future-oriented business planning helps him to be ready to capitalise on chances when they may arise.
While his short-term goal is to perform well consistently, his long-term plan is to establish himself as a pioneer in the hotel industry. He is also hoping to expand his restaurant chain to international markets with the help of investors.
“Currently, the hotel industry is stagnant and facing a lot of hurdles because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. I am nevertheless optimistic that shortly, the level of competition in the market will grow by five times as compared to the pre-pandemic levels.” Biplab is currently chalking out a solid strategy to make his business future ready so that he can adapt and evolve easily and stay ahead of the curve in the face of the new normal.
Biplab is a people-centric leader who takes the initiative to build lasting relationships with his staff in the hope of creating overall success. He works in collaboration with his staff members, cracks jokes with them, and when necessary also gets strict with them.
EMBRACING THE EBBS & FLOWS IN BUSINESS
Biplab’s entrepreneurial journey has been really tough. Having seen a lot of failures, he has gained a lot of experience from them. Not long after he opened his restaurant, a fire engulfed the eatery. Despite his efforts to restore the restaurant, he was short of funds to take care of the operations. Despite this tragedy, he did not give up hope and remained optimistic.
After slowly coping with the downturn, he decided to start afresh without looking back. However, demonetisation in India in 2016 was another major blow to his business. Even though sales were low for four to five months during that period, he didn’t give up and again came out as a winner.
Another bolt from the blue was the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, which had an unpredictable impact on entrepreneurs. After the first lockdown was imposed by the government in 2020, all his staff members left and his restaurant was shut down for months. To let the public know that he is still in business, Biplab decided to run the business on his own. He had another restaurant that was closed for almost six months. He eventually reopened the restaurant with the help of his mother and wife. They ran it for six months before things began to settle down, and his staff started rejoining him.
A catering wing was also started by him in 2018, which was running successfully until March 2020; however, due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown, he started losing confirmed events. Still, he stood his ground and survived the wrath of COVID-19. The secret to his success, he says, is hard work paired with smart work.
His message to young entrepreneurs is to follow their hearts instead of giving up due to risk or failure. Although they may fail in the beginning, they shouldn’t be demoralized or let other people demoralize them. He asserts, “Entrepreneurial journey is always uncertain as there is never any way to predict what the future will bring; thus, it is better to be prepared for it rather than giving up. Therefore, when you fail, keep a strong head and always remember that you did your best, but things didn’t work out.” He continues, “one should learn from one’s failures, figure out what went wrong, close the gap, and then try again as hard as one can to achieve success.”
Biplab credits much of his success to his mother who is a renowned gynaecologist. He takes inspiration from his 75-year old mother Dr. Archana Basu, who works enthusiastically throughout the day without getting exhausted. He says, “She diligently performs all her household chores when she gets home from work. Despite suffering twice from COVID-19, she still works hard and sets an example for others. I believe that if she can work hard at this age, I can work even harder and achieve even greater heights”.
GIVING BACK TO SOCIETY
Biplab is a socially conscious leader who aims to make a positive impact on society. With the broad goal of contributing to the well-being of the community in particular and society in general, he ensures his business practices reflect some form of CSR and environmental responsibility. He believes that CSR plays a much more crucial role during the pandemic when people are struggling to survive. To do his bit for the community, he initiated the No-Spitting campaign to discourage people from spitting in public places. The campaign is his attempt to create awareness among citizens of the dangers of spitting, which can also lead to the spread of infectious diseases, including COVID-19. He asserts, “I believe that it is everyone’s responsibility to keep the city clean. Spitting in public places not only degrades the aesthetics of a city but also spreads several infectious diseases. We should all stop this practice in order to build a Swachh Bharat.”
Biplab received 45 Under 45 (Indian Edition) 2022 Award from WBR CORP UK Ltd. The Bengal Pride Awards organised by Eventbox in association with Brajvandana Foundation, UNICEF and International Chamber of Commerce awarded him the Best Emerging Entrepreneur 2021 Award in the hotel industry for building a successful business amidst the challenges posed by the COVID 19-induced pandemic. He considers these achievements as his career highpoint and hopes to achieve many more milestones in the years to come.