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Marketing

Plan of a
Local
Dhabba
MM Assignment No 3

By Faisal Ahmad Jafri and


Syed Sohaib Hassan

Noor Khan is running a local dhaba since the late 90s in Karachi. Initially he
was based in Sohrab Goth but now he is aspiring to grow his business from a
chai ka dhabba to a mediocre pakwan house centre. We shall be presenting
the marketing plan for this local dhabba as he his life story and the way he
takes on things.

From labor to savor


Hailing from the Peshawar Valley, Noor Khan came to the city of lights in late90s with aspirations of making it big in the big city where opportunities
would arise more often than his valley could have offered. Having little
money and no education, the then well built Khan started off as a laborer
where he would carry heavy bricks and construction material on his bare
back from one place to the other, earning enough to feed his own self.
Knowing that wasnt enough, he started saving, and as he puts it, Do ki jaga
hum aik roti khata, aur paisa bachata tells the rest.
Within a years time, he had enough to quit his tiresome work and rent out a
small cabin in the Sohrab Goth vicinity from where he started off Tea Stall
where Dhabbay ki Doodh Patti was almost an instant hit, due to the
taste, and the price of only Rs. 5/-. He recalls, I didnt expect the
shopkeepers to like what I made to the extent that the whole commercial
lane started ordering doodh patti at regular intervals throughout the day.

The five rupee game Paanch rupiyya, paanch rupiyya


Once came the marriage, the young Noor Khan knew he had to either
expand or find another business opportunity, and quick. With the money that
he started to earn while running the business, he thought of making a small
Tandoor oven and sell Nans and Chapattis on the side during lunch
timings. He elaborates that the idea got to him for two main reasons; one
being his dire need of income growth, and the other was his observation. He
observed that the demand of his tea was well up throughout the business

day, but went to a bottom low during the lunch hours. He realized this as an
opportunity to diversify and decided to open up a tandoor.

Transition from Dhoodh Patti to Tandoor Bhatti


When inquired about the costing and how he estimated how much to spend,
he said I didnt have to think much about the funding, as my earlier job of
laboring, had taught me a thing or two about masonry which eliminated the
cost of hiring any laborer, and he only had to pay for the clay, and a few
cement bags to make a leveled platform to sit on and bake the Nans and
Chapattis.
Inquiring him about how he managed to extend as a cabin might not have
fulfilled the capacity of incorporating a whole tandoor, he said, Sahab
Karachi main koi kuch nahi puchta, bus sub chalta hai, kabhi kabhi police
aajati thee, which hinted that the extension was basically an enchroament
on the pavement primarily used by the pedestrians.
Now, Mr. Khan had two major offerings for his consumers, attracting mainly
the shopkeepers in the vicinity with his doodh patti being the source of his
recognition and popularity through word of mouth, and other now being his
freshly cooked nans and chappatis for lunch.
With a small rent still in place for the cabin from where he started to operate,
he was earning enough to keep his inventory and fuel supply costs within his
budget. He said that he was happy with the thriving business, which had
allowed him to hire two people for his assistance, one was a kid who used to
go from shop to shop taking orders and bills from the shop keepers, and the
other for daily Tandoor operations during the lunch time, and the rest of the
time taking care of the tea demand pre and post lunch period.
During all this conversation, we observed that we had not discussed how he
obtains all his raw products, so we asked him, Khan sahib tum yeh
cheezain kahan say latay ho? Noor emphatically replied, Jodia Bazaar aur

Empress Market say! He told that he has identified specific wholesale


dealers from whom he buys tea and sugar on a monthly basis based on his
predictions as per weather conditions and environment. For vegetables, as
well, he has own calculations based upon his analysis. At times, he follows
what his loyal women housewife customers want to. He has also an
understanding with a dairy farm guy hailing from his village who is
responsible to provide him the daily bulk of milk

Life is not always the same


By then, Mr. Khan was handling the orders and cash counter and the rest was
being done by the manpower he employed. With healthy returns of around
20-25k/-, no payment of taxes and minimal utility bill payment as the meter
was shared with the neighboring shops, Mr. Khan was doing well. But the
security situation in the area got during the mid-2000s started to deteriorate
massively and thats when he decided to shift. Extortion demands from
political parties also hit his business at times and he has to accede to their
requests. He has been lucky so far that hes had the first mover advantage in
his market so his reputation is well established and does not face a direct
threat from anyone.

Better location; more revenue accumulation


His current location being on the Main University Road in the Gulistan-e-Johar
area was a prime choice to continue what he was good at. Considering the
location, it was an immediate question of how much did the place cost him
and why he chose this current location, he brought forward some interesting
facts. He told us that this current shop was previously owned by one of his
relatives and he used to run a paint distribution shop. With his family back in
Peshawar and of family concerns, his relative had to leave the city and so the
shop was offered to him on a nominal price. That added advantage of
obtaining it from someone he knew and that too on a par market price let

him save money to develop the space into his Dhaba. With prior
experience of running the exact business elsewhere, he knew that the
location was of prime importance. Being in the main shopping and grocery
lane, his Dhaba again was in the midst of the commercial hub of the area
which allowed him to penetrate into the large consumer market.
But here there were others before him and his famous Doodh Patti couldnt
really gather the already known and captured market by others. And so he
decided to diversify and increase his product width by establishing a whole
Pakwan Center, which offered the usual Doodh Patti, Nans and Chapattis
and a small range of various meals ranging from Daal, Sabzi, Aalu Anda,
Aalu Qeema, and Chicken Salan. For this he had to put in his savings and
revamp the shop. Along with his 2 man work team, he built two Tandoor
ovens side by side, and bought a 2 stove oven for preparation of lunch. For
the purpose of preparing meals, he hired another employee who had been
working elsewhere and had prior experience in preparation of meals. Noor
Khan recalls that at that moment he wasnt too sure whether his investment
would pay off and yield healthy returns which he enjoyed earlier at his
previous location. He was all in but had that hope that it all would materialize
soon; and with a smile he concluded that Aap k saamnay hain ab. Sub
jaantay hain aur baar baar atay hain.
Now, most of the shopkeepers started to order lunch from his shop and then
post lunch tea started to become a norm. Noor Khan was now an integral
part of that commercial chain and his Noor Pakwan was yielding revenues.
Also, his tandoor captured the nearby residential market where his chapattis
and Nans satisfying the need of rotis when required. With a larger market at
his disposal, and same electricity arrangement with the neighboring shops,
Noor Khan was able to save money and buy supplies for his lunch pakwans.
When asked, why didnt he let go of the Doodh Patti, as his offerings were
more inclined towards the pakwan, he smiled and replied, Doodh Patti na

hoti, to Noor Khan na hoti..aur khanay k baad kia piye ga aadmi? indicating
that both are a complementary bundling which if ignored would hamper his
daily sales.

Dreams and Strategies Mission NOT impossible


Noor Khan now aims big. He feels that if his simple pakwan shop succeds in
returning him good revenues, he will expand his operations and would turn
into a proper pakwan house which shall be ready to make food for weddings
and other events. Considering the perseverance and to-do attitude of Noor,
this doesnt seem impossible.

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