After losing all his work in Lockdown, 29yr old MBA graduate open a tea stall for his survival

An image of a man selling tea on a Prayagraj street has gone viral on social media like wildfire. In the image, the 29-year-old Kamlesh resembles any other regular chaiwala, who has no alternative employment. But looks can be deceiving and it holds true for Kamlesh as well.

It was later learnt that Kamlesh has an MBA degree from SR College of Lucknow. He had invested Rs 10 lakh in a networking company in Haryana.

His life came upside down when the company had to shut shop during Covid-induced lockdown. When the pandemic left a huge impact on the lives of almost everyone. The shutdown also left many well-educated people in disarray. The situation has gone from bad to worse due to the pandemic.

Inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘vocal for local’ and Atmanirbhar Bharat call, Kamlesh set up a tea stall in Civil Lines area. “I wanted to convey the message that no work is small, especially when it is a matter of your survival,” he said.

“When pessimism and depression started dominating me, this idea of opening a tea stall with the name ‘MBA Tandoori Chai’ in Civil Lines area clicked me,” said Kamlesh, a native of Diggi village in Chandauli district.

“While lockdown brought unemployment to several youths, there was only two choices youths like me had — either to bow down before adversities or start life afresh with more enthusiasm,” he said, adding that, “Since our Prime Minister wants us to become atmanirbhar, this was the perfect idea.”

Kamlesh did his BCom from Harishchandra PG College of Varanasi, after which, he completed his MBA from SR College of Lucknow. He is now expanding his small business with vigour and has come up with more stalls serving momos and burgers to customers.

After an initial investment of just Rs 8000, Kamlesh today provides employment to six other youths, who assist him in his work.

Asked how his MBA is helping in his business, he politely answers, “Education never goes wasted. What if I am not working in Haryana, the planning and execution has come handy in running this venture.”

He accepted that he has purposely named his stall as MBA Tandoori Chai, not to boast of his degree but to tell the energetic young force of the country that instead of searching for the job, they can start their own business and even a modest start can be fruitful.

Dharam Sikarwar
Writer, historian, and activist Dharam Sikarwar is a very active author The Youth. He writes on national and international issues, environment, politics. He is an avid book reader as well.