Four years ago, an 18-year-old Bengaluru boy Sanjith Konda House came to Australia to do his Bachelors in Business Studies at La Trobe University, Bundoora Campus, in Melbourne.
He washed dishes in the university canteen, worked night shifts at petrol pumps, got elected to positions in the student’s council that offered him stipends, and finally dropped out of college to start ‘Dropout Chaiwala,’ a chai outlet in Melbourne with his savings.
He started his first outlet in Elizabeth Street from a 50 sq. m. space last December with an investment of AUD 2 lakh (Rs 1.11 crore). Within a year he has set up two more outlets, including a chai truck, and has generated revenue of AUD 1 million (Rs 5.57 crore) with 40 employees.
So how did an 18-year-old muster the courage to start a business in a foreign country where he had come to do his graduation? Sanjith shares his story.
since his pre-teen years, Sanjith’s parents encouraged him to do many things that children his age would not be allowed to do in India.
Ranjith’s father is a mechanical engineer who has been working for a Saudi Arabian oil company based in Riyadh for the last 30 years. He is holding a senior position in the company now and earning well. His mother is a housewife.
In the initial years, his father used to be home for 3-4 days every month, but the frequency of his trips reduced after 2010 when he received a promotion in his job.
Sanjith decided to drop out of college in the fifth semester and start his own business. His father didn’t support him initially but finally gave him his go-ahead, though his mother was a bit disappointed with his decision.
Sanjith then discussed his plan to start a chai outlet with a friend, Asar Ahmed Syed, who was based in Melbourne.
“Right now I am on a summer break till February, but I do attend classes as they are just 10 hours every week.”
And his two cents to aspiring entrepreneurs: “I am not that great to give advice… But one thing is certain, we must find the courage to do what we want to do and take a leap of faith.