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ENTREPRENEURS OF SXC – SAGAR DARYANI AND BINOD HOMAGAI

A journey that began with two young entrepreneurs from Kolkata and a basket of momos.Wow! Momo has a story to tell.

When Sagar Daryani and Binod Homagai, Age 21, both hailing from middle-class families thought of becoming entrepreneurs, the duo was still pursuing their graduation in B.Com Hons from St. Xavier’s College Kolkata. With an initial amount of Rs. 30,000, Daryani and Homagai started the venture in 2008, even before their college results were out. They knew the value for money and boot-stapped to plough back profits and grow their venture. While Sagar looked afterbrand expansion, marketing and retail operations, Binod focused more on production and quality control. They were later joined by another college friend Shah Miftaur Rahman, who took care of cost control and Finance.

The early days were hard but keeping a track of the money flow was even harder. Believing in the concept of ‘1 rupee saved is 5 rupees earned’, and the lessons they learned while assisting their parents in running the family business during school days, the founders grew the business by strict cost control mechanism. They did it all, while selling shirts & trousers from his (Sagar) father’s shop in the busy Gariahat Market in Kolkata since his 6th grade or learning customer service by helping his (Miftaur) father in his medicine shop the duo managed to save money and expanded their business to 40 restaurants by bootstrapping profits without any external capital or equity funding.

The initial stores were Kiosks inside hypermarkets of Big Bazaar and Spencer’s in Kolkata, which paved a way opening Food outlets in Malls, Tech parks and subsequently restaurants in High Street busy commercial locations.The recent Valuation of Rs.230 Crores, from small kiosks in Kolkata to Country’s largest Chain of Momo Delicacies with more than 125 outlets in 8 cities, they say rest is history!

Not only did the founders ascertained steady growth for their business, but also innovated & invented unique ways of serving Momo delicacies to India. Their Menu caters to 12 different flavors of Momos available in Steamed, Fried & Pan Fried formats largely in white & brown flour variants. They have smartly Innovated & Invented to create Sizzler Momos, MoBurg (Momo Burgers), Tandoori Momos, & a Baked Momo Au’gratin to their credit. To top it all, even their dessert is a ‘Chocolate Momo. This monsoon season, the brand also launched ‘Mango Momos’.

Wow! Momo raised their first round of funding of Rs. 10 crores in 2015 from India Angel Network (IAN) lead by Mr. Sanjeev Bikhchandani (founder of Naukri.com) and Mr. Saurabh Shristava (Padma Shri winner) at a Rs. 100 crore valuation. They doubled their investors’ money in 18 months and provided them a partial exit at an IRR of 50 % in their recently closed subsequent round of equity funding last month at a Rs. 230 Crore valuation. The new investors – Lighthouse Funds, lead by their partner, Mr. Sachin Bhartia have backed the promoters in the current round.

The company currently employs over 1200 staff of which about 40 are specially able or from various NGOs which the company has partnered with. The promoters have a long term vision of opening 5 cancer hospitals fully funded from this venture to assist patients who cannot afford a treatment.

A mission to make Wow! Momo the food of all times & creating a niche market for the Masses. As they say “We want to be India’s version of McDonalds & grow globally”they aim to become one of the World’s fastest growing QSR Chains, thereby creating employment & adding value to the economy & society as a whole.

Wow! Momo has earned many awards & accolades: One of the most prestigious being the National Entrepreneurship Award 2016 from Ministry of Skills Development and Entrepreneurship, Govt of India, which helped them gain good recognition in the business & start up community and also helped them gain investor confidence in raising funds.

The brand continues to focus on increasing and enhancing its customer base and service respectively and has a goal of doing an IPO (Initial Public Offering) by around six to seven years from now with a presence in over 50 cities in India. Next month they will be expanding into Mumbai & Bhubaneshwar as part of their growth plan. The team feels a 1000 Wow! Momo stores PAN India in the near future is a definite possibility.

The Wow! story has just begun.