From selling puran poli on a bicycle to being offered seat at Shark Tank: Bhaskar’s Puranpoli Ghar’s story

Jan 12, 2023

By: BI India Bureau

From selling puran poli on a bicycle to being offered seat at Shark Tank: Bhaskar’s Puranpoli Ghar’s story

A Karnataka based founder wants to open restaurants that serve Indian sweet snack puran poli in Maharashtra, with his startup ‘Bhaskar’s Puranpoli Ghar’. Around 25 years ago, one of its founders, Bhaskar KR, worked as a hotel cleaning staff. Today, he has a separate, solo venture making a profit of ₹3.6 crore, as revealed on Shark Tank India Season 2.

Credit: SonyTV

Puranpoli available 365 days, selling 1000 per day

A live and quick service restaurant, Bhaskar’s Puranpoli Ghar (BPG) serves 24 different varieties of puranpolis, free of chemicals, preservatives and essence, throughout the year. It also offers 400 varieties of snacks. They claim to sell 1,000 puran polis daily. It’s made from semolina dough.

Credit: BPG

The founder who started as a hotel cleaning staff

Hailing from a small village in Kundapur in the state of Karnataka, Bhaskar KR shifted to Bengaluru when he was just 12 where he worked as a cleaner or a busboy in a hotel for around five years.

Credit: iStock

From dance instructor to selling paan and pakodas

In 1993, Bhaskar became a dance instructor. For the next eight years, he started multiple ventures, from a paan shop to selling fritters (bhajjiya) and bonda (potato stuffed snack) to shops close by, but none were successful.

Credit: SonyTV

Sold puran poli on bicycle

Bhaskar was only 23 years old when he opened a small shop on a footpath to sell puran polis. For 12 years, he would pack puran polis in small packets, hop on his bicycle to sell them in different shops. What happened next changed Bhaskar’s life.

Credit: BCCL

Sting with a cooking show

Soon, he made it to a cooking show on TV, where he, and his puran polis, courted fame. Consequently, one of his friends gave him the idea to brand his product, focus on the packaging, quality and set up a hygienic store. This was how Bhaskar’s Mane Holige (BMH) was born.

Credit: iStock

The actual crorepati

BMH opened a new store every 8 months. Today, it has 17 stores - including 10 franchises across Karnataka, with sales worth ₹18 crore annually, and a 20 percent profit that amounts to ₹3.6 crore. The franchises provide a 5 percent commission. The same model was replicated for Bhaskar’s Puranpoli Ghar.

Credit: BPG

Starting BPG with two new partners

Bhaskar KR admitted on the show that he had the ambition to scale the business but not the business acumen or the language expertise. Thus he partnered with Vittal Shetty and Saurabh Choudhary to start Bhaskar’s Puranpoli Ghar (BPG) .

Credit: BPG

Starting from Thane, Mumbai

BPG opened Mumbai’s first outlet in Thane in January 2021. In just one year, they expanded into Pune, Kandivali, and Kalyan. Founders Vittal Shetty, Saurabh Choudhary and Bhaskar KR asked for ₹75 lakhs and 1 percent equity. The Thane store, alone, made a sale of ₹1.6 crore and a profit of ₹3.6 lakh in FY22.

Credit: BPG

Becoming an Investor vs starting a franchise

Judge Peyush Bansal said, “I can buy two franchises of your company for that amount (₹75 lakh). My returns will be better. The yearly revenue amount will be ₹4 crore. I'll earn ₹80 lakhs within a year and recover my investment. You should take Lenskart’s franchise, and I’ll take yours.”

Credit: BCCL

The multiple startups of the founders

Both Shetty and Choudhary are partners in another company, Phoenix Advertisement. Shetty also manages 30-35 salon franchises pan-India with two other partners. Bhaskar KR is the sole owner of the original version of BPG, Bhaskar’s Mane Holige, which is spread across Karnataka.

Credit: SonyTV

The startup secured no offer

The judges did not offer any funding to BPG. Judge Vineeta Singh said, “You can scale this business with your own capital, fundamentally you don’t need any investment. Secondly, there are three founders with multiple businesses which is too complicated.”

Credit: SonyTV

‘It's a marketing game for you’

Judge Anupam Mittal said, “You’re playing a marketing game here. Lots of conflicts of interest. For that reason, I am out.” Judge Namita Thapar dropped out stating the business is not scalable because of the wide difference in tastes pan-India. Judge Aman Gupta said founders having multiple businesses could be a distraction from helping BPG grow.

Credit: BCCL

Offered to be judge on Shark Tank

Shaadi dot com’s founder Anupam Mittal lightheartedly offered his own seat, upon learning Bhaskar’s yearly earnings. “You should come and sit here. I should stand there instead.” “He is the real crorepati,” Namita Thapar added.

Credit: SonyTV

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