I am not an MBA but everyone knows me as MBA Chaiwala. My name is Prafull Billore and I started my career by selling tea roadside.
I am a very ambitious person and wanted to pursue MBA. After giving many tries in CAT, GMAT; I did not get admission in top colleges. So I was depressed and traveled around India and landed in Ahmedabad.
My parents had many hopes from me but I was clueless what I wanted to do next. So I joined McDonalds and worked as a kitchen staff who would take orders, make burgers and serve the customers.
All this time I kept thinking of starting my own café but the minimum investment needed was 15,00,000. I did not have any money to invest so I finally decided to start a tea stall but did not have the courage as roadside tea stall is considered as uneducated labor class work. Also the thought that, how would I answer to my parents questions and face their anger as to why I am not pursuing MBA. Instead running a chai ka thela.
Honestly, It took me 45 days to gather the courage to set up a tea stall.
As my tea stall was getting popular the nearby tea stall owners in the area got jealous of my popularity and brutally threw me out of the vicinity.
But this did not stop me; shortly I rented out a space for my tea stall and was back in business with enthusiasm. The name MBA stands for Mr Billore Ahmedabad Chaiwala.
I reinvented the approach of selling tea to my customers. Including selling tea at political parties, naming tea after their projects to making a corner in my shop for jobseekers to leave their name, number and qualification. The job providers would often come for having tea and pick numbers of suitable candidates.
People have been judgmental with harsh comments. Some of them even mocked saying ‘Now educated MBA’s are also selling tea’, but once you succeed everything falls in place on its own.
I believe my courage and vision has helped me grow my business and earn whooping crores every month. I have been invited to IIM’s and Harvard Business School to share my success story and motivate others.
None of this happens without hard work so never underestimate the Power of consistency and desire. I am not successful because I am lucky; I am successful because I built it.
Interviewed and written by Raavya Sarda