- Taking a cue from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reference to ‘pakauda stall’ as a business option, a group of students from DDU University have set up ‘Student Lassi Corner’ — in different areas of Gorakhpur.
The unique start-up, the students claim, has not only made them financially independent to pay their fees and meet daily expenses but has given jobs to at least three dozen people in the town.
“It all started in December when one of our friends mooted the idea of setting up a start-up while continuing with studies. Since we all come from middle class families and relieving our families from financial burden was on our mind, we all agreed to it and started looking for ideas,” said Deepak Yadav ‘Manish’, one of the nine members of the team.
Soon the idea took shape and group members pooled in money to launch ‘Student Lassi’ stall at the three-day Gorakhpur Mahotsav in January.
The USP of the stall was the ‘desi’ drink in wide range of flavours such as chocolate, strawberry, butterscotch and roohafza.
While the ‘kulhad’ of refreshing drink was priced as low as Rs 30 to Rs 40, use of no artificial flavour and organic content made the drink all the more saleable.
The response was overwhelming and over 5,000 glasses were sold out in just three days.
Buoyed by the success, the team decided to expand the venture. With the total investment of Rs 3 lakh, parts of which was borrowed, the group started refrigerated carts to sell the beverage across the town.
“Centres were set up at the University gate, Golghar and Betiahata, enabling the team to sell out over 600 to 700 glasses daily with a total monthly sale touching Rs 3 to 4 Rs lakh,” said Manish.
“Apart from good sale from our movable carts, people in large number started ordering our ‘lassi’ through online services such as Zomato. Soon, some eateries in areas like Sahjanwa, Deoria also started placing bulk orders. “Currently, over 30 people are employed with us,” said Manish, who credits the success to good coordination between team members.“We played on strength of each member and the work was divided. While Anurag Maurya and Nitesh Singh, both of BA part 2, were entrusted with the task of online marketing, Nitin Tripathi of BA final year was given the field work,” said Manish, who is the manager.
Vineet Yadav of LLB course volunteered as a chef. Pragesh Mishra, an MA student is a technical advisor, Richa Chaudhary, an MA pass out is team’s mentor, Ambika Kumar, a fine art student makes earthen ‘kulhads’ while Anmol, another fine art student designs posters and logos to be displayed on cart.
With profit touching around Rs 1 lakh a month, the team now plans to start motorised cart to sell lassi in far-flung areas.