Kolkata Presidency University student runs canteen in campus

A first year student of Presidency University has set up a mobile canteen in the campus offering fast food, favourite among the Gen Next.

Kolkata: A first year student of Presidency University has set up a mobile canteen in the campus offering fast food, favourite among the Gen Next.

"Instead of oil-dripping biriyani or regular full- course meal at other canteens, my cart offers quick grabs with which the present generation can instantly connect," Political Science student Raunak Kapoor told PTI.

His cart offers chicken sandwiches, cold coffee, noodles and the like. "We are regularly adding one thing or the other," said the 20-year-old student.

"We have moved into a faster alternative to typical canteens and offering something which is funky for current generation and you can see the response," he said pointing towards a group of students assembling before the mobile van.

The canteen, which started functioning from March 1, is recording Rs 35,000-40,000 sales every day and is open till the evening hours. Before this, Raunak was asked to do it on a trial basis for four days in February by the authorities and it clicked. This is the first time the institution has a canteen run by its own student.

"It is a start-up. I am a student and my fellow students, management, faculty members are my customers. People look for cheaper version of food and more healthy type of meal. I think our canteen meets both parameters," he said.

Vice-Chancellor Anuradha Lohia said, "We had always been supportive to start-ups and did not object when Raunak approached us with the project. We hope such initiatives will inspire more entrepreneurs."

Affirming the support of the management, Raunak said, "They have alloted me this space, in a strategic area of the campus. And they have been very cooperative during trial run."

"I am running the canteen with the help of seven staff during the day and also attending classes. I face no problem. I am doing well in exams and there is no conflict," he said.

One of the patrons, History student Suman Das said, "Raunak is popular among students and polite to customers. His cart offers small grabs priced at Rs 10-20 and his strategy is more business-oriented."

Savouring noodles, English Honours student Debalina Chakraborty said, "Here the menu is similar to the ones we relish at coffee shops and hangout zones but for a cheaper price. Even a month back, we had to venture outside the campus to have Shikanji or other mocktails but not any more."

Raunak, who had 23 entrepreneurship projects in his school, said he now wished to expand the start-up to other institutions.

'Promod-da', owner of another canteen, said, "For regular meals, students visit our place. But I have best wishes for a young student." 

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