Two engineers of Malkangiri who discovered entrepreneurship while searching for jobs during the ongoing pandemic came up with ‘Engineer’s Thela.’
Sumit Samal and Priyam Bebarta both engineers by profession started a food truck that sells biryani. The duo had long ago pursued a BTech course outside Odisha. After applying for jobs they were waiting for the offers when the pandemic hit.
As they ran out of money, the duo returned to their hometown where they got an unused broken hand cart thrown near their house to kick start their venture.
After repairing and remodeling the cart, they laced it with tribal decorations and attractive lights.
“Engineer’s Thela” is the name of the cart. They placed the cart on the roadside near the Collector’s office and sold delicious food in the evening.
They pooled in an initial investment of Rs 50,000 from their savings and hired two cooks and a room was taken on rent to run the daily operations.
The initial idea was to serve dishes that are equal to home-cooked meals. A plate of chicken biryani goes out for Rs 120, while half a plate costs Rs 70.
The task of buying the raw materials from the market is personally undertaken by the two of them.
Today Engineer’s Thela is selling over 100 plates of biryani a day apart from side orders of their sizzling chicken tikka.
“Many thought we are selling some innovative engineering products. But when they came to the cart, they were pleasantly surprised by the aroma of our special chicken and mutton biriyani and chicken tikka,” Pritam told in an interview.
“We are earning a profit of around Rs 4,000 per day and really happy with the response our cart is getting. People who cannot afford to go to restaurants are coming to our thela,” said Sumit who is also working as a Civil contractor in the day.
Currently, the cart is running on a delivery system due to the surge in COVID-19 cases.