Co-founder & MD, The Chocolate Room (India) Private Limited
Mr. Vikas Panjabi, was always going to be an Entrepreneur. Even at primary schools the signs were there, “He use to organize garage sales to raise money for appeals”. He was good at selling from childhood days. It does not run in the family.
As a child, I have always enjoyed coming up with new ideas, but it can be a curse. Most places I go a restaurant, shop, airport whatever my head’s busy thinking of ways to improve things.
I set up my first venture at 16. “I was ahead of the game,” “I was buying old mobile phones and selling them to recyclers. I wasn’t making vast amounts but it was a profitable business model. Loads of businesses are doing it now. Perhaps I should have stuck at it…”
At University I considered a career in IT, but was never totally committed. “I ended up reading ancient history at uni, which I enjoyed, but I knew I wanted to run my own business.
In 2007, I moved back to India from Australia to be with my family and came with a concept of The Chocolate Room. It was a unique concept because no one knew in particular what a hot chocolate was all about everyone used to consider hot chocolate as another bournvita or drinking chocolate blended with milk and served as a hot chocolate. And across India there was a coffee culture spread across. So when I thought of getting The Chocolate Room to India I got all the negative vibes as no one was expecting a chocolate café to do business in India as everyone thought that café means a coffee place, but going against all odds and listening to what my heart said I launched the chocolate room in 2007 October in Ahmedabad and launched an era to create a new chocolate culture in India, And to our liking the chocolate room somehow hit a chord with the customers and our confidence boosted and after one year we started our franchising operations across Pan India and in 10 years we have set up 375 cafes across India ranging from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and 20 more would be coming.