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Kabir Jeet Singh worked part-time at a burger joint while studying in the UK. Free burgers at the end of his shift were one of the perks of the job.
But soon Singh grew tired of the free burgers as they didn’t tickle his taste buds and started experimenting with new flavours. “I began infusing Indian flavours into the burger patties. My creations became an instant hit with my colleagues and they started calling me Burger Singh,” he says.
Singh returned to India in 2012, joined a beverage company, and started planning on setting up his burger business. In the year leading up to the launch of his first burger joint, he rented an apartment solely to focus on his gastronomic experiments. “I was trying out hundreds of combinations and the situation was so out of control that I had to rent an apartment just to continue carrying out the testing,” says 36-year-old Singh.
In his quest to deliver flavourful burgers with desi twists, he was soon joined by his friend Nitin Rana. “Such was our focus that we spent most of our time living with heaps of burger patties and spices, instead of our families,” says Singh.
Finally, in November 2014, the duo launched Burger Singh. There’s been no looking back. The Gurgaon-headquartered startup has fast expanded into a chain of quick service restaurants (QSR) with 25 outlets—20 in Delhi NCR, one each in Dehradun, Pune and Nagpur and two in the UK. The startup’s specialities include Pao Bhaji and Channa burgers for vegetarians, while versions of Udta Punjab, United States Punjab have found favour with both vegetarians and non-vegetarians.
Started with an investment of Rs 1 crore, put in by the founders, their families and friends, the startup has raised Rs 7.5 crore in two rounds—October 2015 and December 2016—from a clutch of investors. Funding has helped build its tech platform and fuel the startup’s growth.
Singh says developing the technology to manage the company’s supply chain, and efficient communication among vendors, employees, and customers were some of Burger Singh’s early challenges. “After a few failed attempts at customising the available technology, we built a proprietary tech platform to overcome our tech issues. This tech has also become one of our biggest differentiators today,” says Singh. Getting the right value for commercial real estate and acquiring talent are the the current challenges of Burger Singh,awarded the Most admired Food Services Chain 2017 in QSR category by India Retail Forum and Best Emerging QSR Chain 2017 by the Indian Restaurant Congress.
The startup, which has a staff strength of over 370, generated Rs 9 crore in revenue in 2017-18 and is confident of trebling its top line in 2018-19. “We are expecting a three-fold growth and seek to increase Burger Singh’s outlet count to 38 by the end of this financial year. The idea is to do to the burger space what Domino’s did to the pizza market,” says Singh. The company has signed a franchise deal to set up 18 outlets in the next three years in the UK—two have already been opened in London. “The Indian taste enriches every cuisine and thus our vision is to conquer the world of QSR with our Indianised burgers,” says Singh.
Source: Economic Times (https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/wealth/earn/gurgaon-based-startup-burger-singh-specialises-in-burgers-with-desi-flavours/articleshow/66004798.cms)