If you were born in the 90s, the name Corn Club will conjure up memories of scouting for and hanging out for hours together at cool, relatively cheap hangouts —Corn Club on FC Road being one of them.
|Rahul and Radha Mhaske
Rahul and Radha Mhaske, the powerhouse couple behind this tiny, lively eatery with its cheerful, bright yellowness, are as modest as their business is fledging. 96K, another restaurant they own, serving select Maratha food, too has managed to gain popularity since its launch two years ago.
The Mhaskes’ love for corn took root in an age when sweet corn was yet to trickle into every Indian preparation and gain a permanent footing in multiplexes and street food joints. It all began when they planted corn in their farm in Wagholi. “Corn Club was instrumental in introducing people to sweet corn varieties as fast food,” reveals Radha.
Apart from the popular ‘Cup Corn’, the couple started playing around with different recipes like Corn Biryani and Corn Cheese Balls, which became instant hits. 96K too, was born in their farm where guests would come and were served non-veg thalis with bhakris.
“We wanted to give these traditional meals a glamour factor. It was a risky business, but we were confident,” Radha adds.
The couple insists their business wouldn’t have been half as successful had they not shared the dream. Once they knew they both wanted to do it, mechanical engineer Rahul and interiors graduate Radha did not have to think twice before jumping on the bandwagon.
“Initially, it was just the two of us — we were each other’s helping hands. The divisions were always clear — she looked after the retail, while I handled the marketing and finance.
But even though we work together, we do not have to impose duties on each other. Co-operation comes naturally to us as we have matured together.”
The joint initiative also meant juggling between home and work. Radha elaborates, “Our work involves long hours, so we take turns at spending quality time with our two daughers.
They have become independent due to this routine.” Rahul cannot stop raving about his wife. “Radha handles the masala production. All the recipes in our restaurant are hers and she has personally trained the chefs and even groomed our staff, most of whom were uneducated, to become sophisticated.
Besides, she is a swift multitasker, helping out the kids with their studies whenever her mind’s off work. I can rely on her completely.” Radha on her part says, “Rahul’s confidence, when it comes to dealing with any hurdle —big or small — is very inspiring.”
Reminiscing their journey together, Radha points out, “We wanted to build this enterprise on our own, right from scratch. Today we’re content with the well-to-do business and don’t plan to expand.”
That apart, Radha admits that sharing professional and personal space inevitably leads to work creeping in the household. “But the positive part is that thanks to the partner’s easy availability, issues are sorted out easily,” she smiles. Rahul adds, “There are two sides to running a business together.
There always are minor work-related differences, but partners always support each other. Understanding each other helps take things ahead with ease.” Trust is what Radha dwells on. “The secret is sticking to your own views but also respecting your partner’s ideas.”