Parkar’s Biryani House – An Inspirational Journey of Akshay

I read on Facebook about Parkar’s Biryani House and Akshay Parkar’s rising, falling, and re-rising from being a 5 Star chef – earning 1,500 rupees per month as a stipend during an internship and working for one year, to working at an international cruise ship – earning 70,000 rupees per month for 7 years at abroad and then opening a roadside makeshift biryani shop (all due to pandemic/COVID-19) at Dadar, Mumbai.

(Tourism was one of the first to be hit by the pandemic (COVID-19) which made many jobless and many dead)

With the help of Google Maps, I reached the lane next to Cotton King (left-hand side) near Shiv Sena Bhavan in Dadar (West), Mumbai.

After walking approx. 10-15 meters inside the lane, I enquire about a shop (on the right-hand side) – Parkar’s Biryani House.

I was told – it’s a makeshift shop next to Shivam Vada Pav (25 years old) – will open at 1 pm. I have to wait.

The current time was 12:30 noon. At least 20-25 customers are already in the queue waiting for the makeshift shop to open.

Around 12:50 pm, I saw a person placing a folding table.

I question him – is this Parkar’s Biryani House?

He said – Yes.

I enquired about Akshay Parkar and wish to meet him.

The person requested to wait for a few minutes.

At 1 pm I saw the arrival of a female and a guy covering head and face (due to the pandemic). They placed an aluminum pot on top of the folding table and one pot nearby. Then they started serving hot biryani to customers in a silver foil Container with a lid.

It’s a takeaway service. And The cost is displayed on a pamphlet:

Chicken Biryani Full/Half 140/70, Egg Biryani 130/65, and Veg. Biryani 120/60.

The aroma of the rice, spices along with pieces of chicken were making my mouth watering.

After a few minutes, another young guy with a face mask and head cover arrived and started customer service himself.

He was Akshay Parkar – a left-handed guy serving biryani to customers with a delicacy.

I remember his face – watching him in a YouTube video/s.

I waited for one hour to talk to him – I do not want to disturb him and his team during business hours.

2 pm – The time and all finished. Though there were still customers in the queue.

Akshay and his team said sorry to people in the queue and requested them to come early in the evening hours.

Now, it was time to talk to Akshay – The owner of Parkar’s Biryani House.

My name is Akshay Pravin Parkar and I am 29 years old.

I have done 3 years of apprenticeship and one year job at TajSATS near the international airport in Mumbai.

Then, I joined an international cruise and worked there for 7 years.

I came back to India in June.

I was in the Philippines during the pandemic. The company was giving 50% salary since the pandemic (from March onwards). And in June – The contract was ended. We were sent back to India by the company via a charter flight.

After coming back to India I applied for jobs as a chef at 3/5 Star hotels but failed. Due to the pandemic, there was no recruitment.

I had savings during the pandemic. The company had also sent goodwill ($150). I thought I will survive for 6 months but our financial condition deteriorated due to my parent’s illness. The money saved was spent and I had left only with 10,000 rupees.

I am the only child and the sole breadwinner. I was somewhat depressed, unable to decide – what to do next.

Then one day – my mother suggested to start from scratch once again.

She said – who knows, you will go much far than what were you in the past.

The said suggestion was motivational.

As I was good at making biryani, I thought of starting a biryani stall nearby my home next to my neighbor’s shop.

In the month of September, I started with 5,000 rupees, making chicken/egg/veg. biryani is almost the same as 5 Star hotels and selling at a makeshift shop. I utmost try to maintain 5 Star quality no matter if it is sold on the roadside stall.

Whatever I am today is because of learned cooking skills from my mother, maternal grandmother, and 3 years of apprenticeship at TajSTATS.

Earlier, the sale at the stall was very less. Pramod Acharekar – a dear friend put up a post on a Facebook page called ‘Being Malwani’. The post went viral and nowadays the sale is good.

My day starts at 6 – 6:30 am.

I start serving biryani to customers at 1 pm and then at 7:30 in the evening till 9 pm.

Harshada and Shubham – two friends, helped me immensely in my biryani business.

We use basmati rice and for fresh chicken – I myself go to the butcher. My wish is to open my own restaurant to sell all types of biryani such as Chicken Biryani, Egg Biryani, Vegetable Biryani, Hyderabadi Biryani, Lucknowi/Awadhi Biryani, and Afghani Biryani. I also know how to prepare Tikka Kebab.

Today, I made 10 kg of biryani in the afternoon and within one hour it was sold though today is Saturday.

Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday, I prepare 14 kg of biryani in the afternoon and 14 kg in the evening hours.

Currently, there is a takeaway only. Home delivery we have yet to start via Swiggy/Zomato – confirmation is yet to come.

We undertake all events & party orders and also prepare Mutton Biryani on order per kg.

Our Contact Numbers: 0-98693 61451 / 90826 21436

The message is: Don’t be depressed in life or during the pandemic. Keep patience. Do hard-work. Believe in you and your skills. Success will happen.

Thanks, Akshay for sharing this inspirational journey and the wonderful message – said I.

I will visit again very soon to take away hot, delicious, aromatic 5 Star biryani from chef Akshay Pravin Parkar.

I hope your journey will motivate many and people visiting Dadar will surely visit your stall to taste/have 5 Star biryani for self/family/friends. Wishing you and your team, lots of love & luck for the coming 2021. May you soon have your own restaurant. Thanks again.