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They Were Humble Beginnings, But Now These 2 Men Are Making Serious Dough As Pizza Entrepreneurs
Nafees Hussain was a magician in a pizzeria in Ahmedabad and earned 4,800 rupees a month. Now he amazes people with the magical levitation of his status – he owns 21 pizzerias across India. Hussain was 19 when he fled his home in Dehradun. He took the name “Rahul Raj” for his magician’s avatar. “In Ahmedabad, I got my first job at US Pizza,” Hussain said. During working hours, he ended up delivering 50-80 shows a day. He added, “People loved my show. I developed personal equations with many clients.”
Over time, management turned to him to invite customers to the outlet when attendance was low. “People were kind enough to respond to my invitation,” Hussain said. “I used to go to the kitchen during breaks and learn how to make pizza. I devoured information about recipes, cooking intricacies and varieties of pizza. ”
The company then created an entertainment department and made Hussain its manager. “In 2009, my salary rose to Rs 50,000 and I trained many employees,” he said. “In 2017, the company was facing challenges. I went to London and studied food business there, focusing particularly on cooking and food varieties, and their best practices. Hussain said he had not worked more than 10 days in any restaurant in London and received no salary. “But I learned a lot and came back to start my own business”, he said. In 2017, Hussain opened his first Uncle John’s Pizza outlet with his brother, Babar. Hussain also partnered with another pizza chain and the collaboration achieved substantial success. However, the process to end this partnership is currently underway. Uncle John’s Pizza now has 21 outlets in Dehra Dun, Delhi NCR, Jaipur, Bengaluru and Ahmedabad. Three are company outlets while the others are franchisees.
“I try different food products in various places and R&D is an important part of our business,” Hussain said. “We will soon be opening outlets in Dubai, Muscat and Bahrain. We also plan to launch a new brand called Uncle Donald Pizzeria which will offer 101 types of pizzas, 11 types of cheeses and 10 types of sauces. Hussain went on to say, “We are also planning to start a large format grocery store spread over 10,000 square feet called World of Uncle Donald. ”
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