How demonetisation devoured this Kozhikode biryani startup venture

When PM Narendra Modi made the announcement on November 8, the duo was in talks with a bakery at Eranhipalam here, to scale up the company's operations.

Published: 12th September 2018 06:17 PM  |   Last Updated: 12th September 2018 07:03 PM   |  A+A-

By November-end the founders decided to shutter the firm and resume business after the new Rs 500 denomination notes were issued. (Representational image)

Express News Service

KOZHIKODE: Amid the volley of arguments both in favour of and against the demonetisation announced by the BJP-NDA Government in November 2016, it couldn't have happened at a more inopportune time to two budding businessmen here. Nousheer K, a Gulf returnee, and Mirshad K, a BTech graduate, both in their early thirties - who are cousins - recall how demonetisation shattered their entrepreneurial dreams.

'ChikB', the food startup, launched by the duo barely nine months before the Centre's note ban, was forced to wind up within weeks of it going on stream due to the ensuing cash crunch. Numerous attempts to relaunch the business did not succeed and in April last year, they decided to shut it down permanently. The total loss incurred by the duo was Rs six lakh.

'ChikB' is a startup delivering the lip-smacking 'Kozhikode biryani'. They developed a mobile app to receive orders for the delectable fare priced at Rs 120 apiece. It had a dream start as the company which had just five employees, including the founders, in the beginning, increased the headcount to 10 within four months.

The initial investment was Rs four lakh and the daily revenue ranged between Rs 3,000-Rs 4,000 in the beginning. During October last week, the revenue jumped to around Rs 25,000. By that time they started receiving orders for birthday parties and office get-togethers. Just as things started looking up - the duo also raised Rs two lakh to scale up operations - demonetisation struck them like a bolt of lightning. When PM Narendra Modi made the announcement, the duo was in the midst of a discussion in a bakery at Eranhipalam here, to scale up the company's operations.

"For next few days, there was utter confusion. There were barely any orders. When we spoke to chicken stall owners, the reality unravelled. No one was buying anything. We went through a terrible patch," Mirshad said.

The company could not even generate revenue to meet daily running costs. By November-end the founders decided to shutter the firm and resume business after the new Rs 500 denomination notes were issued. Finally, they resumed operations in December, but the business did not prosper.

"There were hardly any orders and we did not get funds to run the startup. Because people had no money to spend. So, we closed it down again," Mirshad said.

Later, to make both ends meet they parted ways and decided to work under others. While Nousheer joined a private insurance company as insurance advisor, Mirshad started working as the business development manager in another firm.

Stay up to date on all the latest Business news with The New Indian Express App. Download now

Comments(9)

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

  • PNK

    Looks like a cooked up story . Was it not possible to move to digital payments. Anyone ordering on line should be capable of paying too online. Did people stop eating coz of DM ?certainly not. The venture could hv failed coz of cash and cash only transactions . Then how it is online
    2 days ago reply
    • RP

      Not really
      1 day ago reply
  • The Truth Hurts

    Pathetic. Sad businessmen to say the least. Yet another closet startup that bit the dust. They had an app and yet didn’t accept online payments? I guess they should beg pinarayi for foreign relief money.
    2 days ago reply
  • Janardhan

    How pathetic is this story. Are you trying to write a cinema story without even checking facts. Including two people from minority to polarize them to vote for Muslim party
    6 days ago reply
    • vysakh k r

      how pathetic of people like you to think this is a fake news only because it has the name of 2 people from the minority category.
      5 days ago reply
    • vysakh k r

      //Are you trying to write a cinema story without even checking facts// how the hell do you know that these are not facts??? //Including two people from minority to polarize them to vote for Muslim party// oo.. didnt knew Pm Modi banned notes for hindus alone. how idiotic of a statement
      5 days ago reply
    • Mirshad

      I am one among above mentioned persons. You can get all the evidence for above mentioned things if you can come across the city. I have an account book kept with me
      5 days ago reply
  • mats

    Multiply this experience by millions of such businesses tanked due to the De-Mon. A terrible tragedy unleashed on the unsuspecting Indian people to satisfy egotism and cynical political interests.
    6 days ago reply
  • Prasad

    great reporting. we need this kind of facts to come out even if its against the government- BJP Voter
    6 days ago reply