From earning Rs 18 for washing dishes in a canteen in Mumbai to setting up the Sagar Ratna restaurant chain, it has not been an easy journey for Jayaram Banan. The 64-year-old owner of the popular South India restaurant, Jayaram Banan escaped from his home in Udupi (in Karnataka) as he wanted to make it big away from his cruel father. The annual turnover of Sagar Ratna is around Rs 70 crore now. You read that right!
His early life
As per the Weekend Leaders, at the age of 13, Jayaram Banan stole some money from his father’s wallet and ran away from home. When people spotted him crying in a Mumbai-bound bus, they took him to the Hindustan Organic Chemicals (HOC) canteen in Panvel, Navi Mumbai. He got his first job as a dishwasher and was paid Rs 18 a month. Since then, there has been no looking back for the chairman of Jayaram Banan Group.
His turnover and net worth
Jayaram Banan has expanded his restaurant to over 50 outlets across North India. As per reports, he has a Rs 300 crore annual turnover, with over 100 restaurants worldwide. You read that right!
How he got into the food business
While working as a dishwasher at the canteen for about eight years, Jayaram Banan gradually became a waiter and reached the post of manager. He earned Rs 200 a month. During this time, he understood how a South Indian food restaurant works and then he decided to open his first outlet in Mumbai. But soon changed his mind and realised that there were way too many restaurants in the city.
In 1973, he moved to Delhi and got married to his wife Prema. During this time, the government had set up Central Electronics Ltd (CEL) in Ghaziabad. Jayaram Banan managed to bag the contract to set up the canteen at CEL in 1974.
In 1986, he opened his first outlet named Sagar in Delhi’s Defense Colony with the help of his savings and borrowing from friends and relatives. He paid a rent of Rs 3,250 a week. With seating for 40 people, the first day’s sale was Rs 408.
Back then, people loved going to Woodland and Dasprakasa restaurants in Delhi to enjoy South Indian dishes. The self-made entrepreneur saw a chance to take over the Woodland restaurant in 1991. Later, the restaurant’s name was changed to Sagar Ratna.
Currently, Sagar Ratna has several outlets across the globe –Canada, Singapore, and Bangkok.