HYDERABAD: The newly-formed National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) chapter of Hyderabad is going full throttle about its efforts to make food an efficient love affair in not just the city, but the world over. The head of the Hyderabad chapter, chef Shankar Krishnamurthy, speaks to CE about the mission that lies ahead.
“We’re a huge team — we have a management committee, a secretary, joint secretary and 19-odd people with various other responsibilities. Broadly, we also have a team to look at marketing, legal assistance, CSR, etc. — all working to move the industry in one direction, of putting our cuisine on the global food map,” he says. He credits Shaaz Mahmood, the former managing committee member of the NRAI, for bringing together a team of like-minded individuals who are passionate about Hyderabad and its food.
Speaking about what the team hopes to work towards, he says, “Our long-term goal is two-pronged: it’s issue-based assisting for individuals and groups, and bringing a fragmented industry under one umbrella. You see, the business is heavily people-oriented, yet many lost their jobs and business had to shut shop. That’s when we thought that leaders in the industry have to come together, become the voice of industry, discuss issues and work towards solutions. We hope to make their jobs more secure.”
He trusts that with the NRAI having a national footprint, a solid team that handles and handholds him, he hopes to have one-on-one sittings with the government on various issues, like the recent drug racket and more.
Speaking about his personal vision, Shankar says, “A lot of people have been getting into this line of business. There have been budding entrepreneurs, but they came in without proper homework, got into the pitfalls and were unable to sustain. We realise that quality staff, good raw material, places, etc., are some of the most common issues faced by people here. I hope to be of whatever help I can to such potential businesses.”
Helping with creating a subcommittee for vendors recognised by the NRAI under each category, licences for beer and wine, getting into a dialogue with the government to create a win-win situation for both sides are some of the other things on his list.
On a concluding note, Shankar says his team is optimistic about 2022, despite January starting on a ‘dismal’ note. “By the end of February, we hope to achieve some sort of semblance, sustenance is the goal,” he signs off.