Kerala Couple Finds True Calling in Food Delivery Startup, Now Employs Several Locals in Business
Ranitha has 7 women workers who help her in the kitchen and all of them are homemakers. (Photo: Gokulson Food Unit/facebook)
Ranitha worked at a milk society production unit in Kochi as a secretary while her husband was a foreman at a tyre company and the couple was far off from any culinary projects as they can ever be back then. But the chance order by the kids group made Ranitha realise her talent lay elsewhere.
- Last Updated: December 29, 2020, 10:03 IST
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Success stories like those of Kochi's Ranitha Shabu are what instills faith in innovation and hard work.
This food entrepreneur's journey started back in 2005 when she was asked to make around a 100 idils and sambar and chutney for a group of kids going away for picnic but Shabu was always enthused about cooking and the seeds of her business venture were sowed back when she started experimenting with recipes for her then young son Gokul. Catering to his palette, Shabu honed a lot of her culinary skills including dishes such as light palappams and mouth-watering kozhukattas.
Ranitha worked at a milk society production unit in Kochi as a secretary while her husband was a foreman at a tyre company and the couple was far off from any culinary projects as they can ever be back then. But the chance order by the kids group made Ranitha realise her talent lay elsewhere. She made 100 idlis, sambar curry and coconut chutney for free but was praised for the food. This made her resolve a bit stronger about earning from this talent of hers, reported the Better India.
The couple discussed about this and Ranitha soon started 'Gokulson Food and Processing Unit'. The couple discussed the details of the business as her husband took over the delivery of the food made by her. The business soon flourished and Ranitha very soon got an order of 1,000 idlis within a month from a hotel.
After the initial success of the idlis, the couple soon branched out to include other delicacies including idiyappam, vattayappam, chakkayada, chakka vattayappam, kozhukatta, palappam, neyyappam and unniyappam.
As the business expanded, the couple juggled both their jobs efficiently. Ranitha made the food before going to work after which the couple took to distributing them before their regular jobs.
Their son Gokul, also pitched in as he helped the couple pack the food and even now helps them in distributing it to various canteens and shops and many of his friends too.
As their orders kept increasing, the couple got so busy with the food business they had to quit their regular jobs. The couple also had to find alternative ways to cook more food in a short span of time as their orders started to pile up. After asking in vain in many places, Shabu himself designed a machine that could cook 450 palappams in an hour with just one person. He also went on to built an idiyappam machine, a special cooker—which can make 750 dishes in just one hour—to steam vattayappam, chakka vattayappam and kozhukatta.
The couple has taken a few loans and other financial aid for their venture such as the Pradhan Mantri Yojana, Women’s Industries Programme and Entrepreneurs Support Scheme of Thrissur district industries centre.
Their son Gokul, who is now an MBA graduate told The Better India that before the pandemic struck, they used to earn Rs 1 lkah but the lockdown reduced their monthly earnings to Rs 60,000. He hopes the business will go back to the way it was soon now that the situation is improving.
Ranitha has 7 women workers who help her in the kitchen and all of them are homemakers. She is also hoping to expand more and add more women workers to her team. Ranitha was recently feted as part of ‘Prakruthi’ -- a confluence of women achievers.