Once upon a time, in the faraway
there lived two brothers named Haldi and Ram. They played studied and grew up
together to be fine young men. Though they were great friends and laughed and
played together, they had a fundamental difference in their attitude towards
work. land of India
Says Haldi “ Brother Ram, let us build a food joint where we will have an excellent process for preparing and serving food. Our process will be our USP”.
Says Ram: “ Process will not help us in growth. We will need skilled and dedicated people who will innovate and create delicacies leading to customer delight “
They hemmed and they hawed.
They argued and they fought.
They argued and they fought.
They cribbed and they screamed.
When the wise old man, their father, saw them sitting and sulking, he said “ Sons! during my hey days, I toiled hard and saved from my meager income. Here is Rs 1000 for each of you. Go out in the world and create wealth based on your ideas . But …. , one condition … , at the end of a year, the one who is unsuccessful in making profit will have to do whatever I tell him to do “
Haldi and Ram’s eyes shone with excitement ! Both of them touched their father’s feet and set out with dreams in their eyes and hope in their hearts.
The process oriented Haldi first chalked out a plan , budgeted the investments and in a month’s time , a cute little joint named “Haldis” was built. Ram went to an expensive designer and he too erected a sweet little joint and called it “Rams”.
Ram hired the best chefs who were specialists in preparing delicious food. They were constantly doing research and tried and tested different concoctions, herbs and ingredients. The chefs would challenge each other and try to prove they were the best amongst equals. The chefs wanted Ram to get them the best spices, the best material and the best cooking platforms. They would be extremely upset if these things were unavailable and would threaten to leave Rams. But the chefs were animated and excited about always working on new things and ideas. Ram was happy to see the progress. He was confident that his vision would help him achieve his goals.
Haldi , in the meantime, was busy chalking out the best processes. He hired some chefs who he knew and negotiated with them on their salary. He asked the senior chef to write the recipes which would be served at Haldi so that there would be standardization. He meticulously planned the process flow. The customers would come in a queue and place the order and pay for it. Once the payment is received, the customer would take the copy of the receipt to the counter. The receipts would have different color coding to differentiate between different food groups. The counters would have labeling mentioned clearly on them to avoid confusion. The counters would be divided such that as soon as the receipt is handed to the chef, they would immediately prepare the food without wasting time. This done, he was all set to win his customer’s hearts.
One fine morning, Haldi called out “ Ahoy ! Come one , come all to Haldis ! Eat and enjoy to your hearts content! You will get the best food here in reasonable prices !”
Ram called out “Friends, Indians and Countrymen! Come and taste
finest delicacies at Rams ! You will not be able to forget the exotic taste and
flavor! “ India
And people came to Haldis
And people came to Rams.
Days weeks and some months passed by …..
Rams customers were delighted with range of offerings. But they were unhappy with the high prices and the turnaround time of the orders placed. They were irritated and sometimes stunned about the inconsistency and unpredictability of the food served to them. The dishes were exotic and they loved the taste, but when they came back for the second or third time and ordered for it, a very different preparation would be served. When the customers complained, the chef was called and he explained in detail about the intricate procedure why the serving had not turned out to be as per the customer’s expectation! The dedicated and talented chefs would argue with Ram for not providing enough information!
Haldis customers were ecstatic about the service. and they were very happy with the price. Everything seemed to be like clockwork. They did not waste time in placing orders and neither did they have to wait long for the food to be served. But alas! The food was bland and tasteless. The toppings and accessories were neither innovative nor interesting!
And days, weeks and eleven months passed by…..
Both Haldi and Ram were crest fallen! They had incurred huge losses!
Both of them went to the wise old man, their father, and stood before him with shame and despair on their faces. Their father listened and then placed Haldi and Rams hands on each other and said “Sons! Go and establish Haldirams! Take the last Rs 2000 which I had kept aside for this day, and I know that this time you will succeed !”
Tears rolled down the brothers cheeks. They embraced each other and with renewed vigor they set out with dreams in their eyes and hope in their hearts.
Rams’ expert chefs documented their exotic, intricate and unique recipes and trained Haldis chefs. Haldis‘ workers ensured that Rams’ personnel followed the process of food preparation so that there is predictability. Some of the expert chefs were designated to do constant research so that the menu may be revised periodically to make it innovative, in tune with the changing needs of the customer and at the same time is profitable to Haldirams.
And lo and behold !
Customers started pouring in. they praised the taste of the food and were extremely satisfied about the value for money. They were excited about the different choices which were offered by Haldirams and they wanted to come back again and again! The chefs and the staff were happy and within a year the brothers inaugurated several other outlets of Haldirams.
And the wise old man smiled! And Haldi and Ram lived happily ever after….
Did they? Yes, they did but they were constantly improving the quality of food and service. Even to this day, their great-great-great-great –great- grandsons are on the path of continuous improvement. They constantly seek feedback from their customers and act on it.
The last time I visited Haldirams I noticed that the receipt had been perforated so that the customer is not inconvenienced in having to tear them unevenly to be presented to different counters. And the wooded counter dividers had been replaced with glass so that there is complete transparency and the customers can verify the hygiene.
Author's comments: Though the story is fictitious, Haldirams does exist. It is a very popular and profitable food joint . with several outlets in
And all the processes mentioned above including hygiene are an integral part of
Haldirams. I am sure all of us can draw
the simile between Haldirams and software development ? No? Then please contact
me :-) ....... India