Aditya Sawant graduated from Les Roches in 2013 with a BBA in International Hotel Management and a specialization in Hotel Design and Project Management.
It’s an unusual choice for a self-confessed hard-core non-vegetarian, to start a vegetarian restaurant. But Aditya Sawant is an entrepreneur and a fan of global cuisine, found a niche in the food market and created a concept to fit: global vegetarian cuisine aimed at India’s young.
Vedge ( V+Edge) is the result of a lot of careful research, planning, development and execution, as well as a lot of passion.
“My passion for food started from watching food TV shows and then experimenting those recipes in my kitchen, since then my passion has been growing everyday. There is a lot of exploration & creativity that can be done with food. Sky is the limit with food. I wanted to explore / discover various types of cuisine from around the globe. My aspiration is to wow every customer with delicious eating experience at a great value.”
With Vedge, Aditya is looking to make vegetarian food interesting, and create a chain of premium-cuisine vegetarian restaurants. Vegetarian food suffers from the impression of being a bit boring in India. So Vedge will combine Western, East-Asian, Indian flavors in its offerings.
Switzerland even features
“The cheese & tomato fondue, I used to always enjoy in Switzerland at Petit Paradis in Bluche. We are looking at introducing a monthly festival at Vedge. One of the cuisines will be a Swiss favorite. So we’ll be taking a bit of Les Roches to Mumbai.”
“Always whilst expanding, we’ll keep in mind traditions and ethnicities. Some people like traditional cuisine, others like modern and international. And we’ll keep in mind the need to stay premium.”
Whilst Subway, Domino, McDonalds abound across India, Aditya doesn’t really see them as competitors. Not least because of the price point (Vedge is looking at an average customer purchase rate of 500 rupees, about 8.5 USD), but because Vedge offers a holistic dining experience, rather than a means to consume fat, sugar and salt.
I want to wow every customer with a delicious eating experience: great ambience, great service, attractive food presentation, great taste, all at a great value. I completely believe in value for meal principle. We want to deliver quality-dining experiences tailored to delight our guests
“You have to understand the economy, when you start a business like this. People’s spending power has reduced a lot. We wanted Vedge to be not too low-cost, but not too expensive either, as we are looking to target mid-range and gain volume business by doing so.”
Whilst he has a mentor in his godfather, owner of a chain of 500 restaurants in Mumbai, he credits the faculty of Les Roches for being a big influence in his life in helping him develop the research and networking as skills that are critical to his entrepreneurial adventure.
“The faculty bring the most out of the students. I came to Les Roches, because I had an entrepreneurship dream to do something on my own. They gave me confidence.”
Like all business-minded entrepreneurs, Aditya is not sitting on his laurels.
“We opened last week for the consumers. It won’t stop there. We are looking to explore / expand it as a chain of premium restaurants and scale it up all over India (Pan-India), in cities that are well known for offering vegetarian cuisine, such as Gujarat, Bangalore, Delhi and other well-known metro cities in India.”
So watch this space. If he’s got the passion, skill and determination to launch a restaurant just 1 year after graduation, maybe we can expect to see Vedge on our own doorstep in 10…