Sunday, May 04, 2008

I mean business

I have since long had this business plan. Last night I was reading Naren's groundbreaking business plans which started giving me ideas, and in no time I was climbing up the shelves and dusting off this old DPR volume. I've also posted the gist on his comment space. But that doesn't make it his intellectual property now, does it? Feel free to steal, only after paying me my finder's fees, a paltry fifty grands (greenbacks, silly),plus taxes.

Let me, at the outset, clarify that I do not hail from the illustrated state of Bihar. But I've lived in the vicinity long enough to have tasted, on many occasions, a Bihari delicacy called litti-chokha. Recipe here.

Pic source :
I'm sure the downmarket version one may also notice as street food in many big city ghettoes of India infested by Raj Thackerey's favorite cousins. Do note that it makes for an uber-healthy, wholesome vegetarian meal. It can also be made completely cholesterol-free by making the ghee(clarified butter) dip optional.(won't taste the same, of course)

So, here's my business plan :

Product : Microwavable designer litti-chokha

Product description : Spicy baked doughballs in dip(ghee optional) with assorted veggie mishmash

Suggested Brand name : Choklittoes

USP : Wholesome nutrition of wheat grain cereals, gram and assorted vegetables in designer ready-to-eat packaging.

Designer logo : A piece of sal leaf laminated into the wrapper ( OK OK so I borrowed that one)

Target customer : 1. Health and style conscious professional who needs to make a statement with the workaday lunch he eats, preferably in the company of peers.
2. Sucker.

Retail Price : $ 19.95 for a pack of two doughballs with mishmash and dip(ghee optional : packs containing ghee dip will cost $24.95).

Manufacturing : Sourced from Bhojpuri designer litti company of Chhapra, Bihar@ $19.95 per 100-pack carton

Quality Policy : Will tell the Bhojpuri fellows....forget it, they invented quality, right?

Apart from the obvious profitability of the proposition, it will also generate a good deal of employment locally, and hopefully ease some irritation off the Mumbaikar's mind. I'm sure the scheme will find instant support from Nitish Kumar and Laluji.

There's one small catch. Unlike in Guangzhou, China, they do not have an existing facility for every manufacturing need at Chhapra. A small investment of $10000 will be needed to help the chaps set up their packaging unit. Which will pay itself back in a matter of weeks, of course.

Since you people seem to hobnob with a number of VCs, would you consider selling the plan to one of them, for a handsome 2% of the profits?


narendra shenoy said...

actually, it's not a bad idea. I've never eaten this, but the recipe sounds great. Loved the concept of the ghee dip, though it might face the veto from the missus.

Partho said...

Oh it's the ultimate square meal in today's green world, make no mistake. These balls are packed with gram liberally mixed with whole pods of garlic and black peppercorns, among other spices. They can be anywhere between 1 1/2" to 3" in diameter. In elite circles of Chhapra, I'm told, they melt ghee in a pot, poke holes into the balls and send them skinny-dipping. Lesser folks are known to only pour ghee over it. The chokha, or kind of a bharta for you, will have roasted eggplants and tomatoes, boiled potatoes, onions, garlic, cilantro and again, spices. Baking is done ideally on a slow dungcake( goitha) fire. Be prepared for steam coming out of your ears and nostrils, for, in the region, these are one of those HOT foods. Yes, they frequently talk about hot foods and cold foods in Bihar, but that's another story.
Obviously the concoction will need a lot of toning down to do if it has to find a niche in the western markets. We might have to consult the master chef from The Maurya, Patna. There goes another 5% of profits.