Taking Wingshttps://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/web/taking-wings-14/

Taking Wings

"Idlys with Rock n Roll" defines Cafe Idly in short. It's a concept cafe in Bangalore serving traditional South Indian food with a 'Classic Rock' touch.

Dinesh Bhaktinathan,

Rajesh Bhaktinathan

Café Idly

My Gameplan

“Idlys with Rock n Roll” defines Cafe Idly in short. It’s a concept cafe in Bangalore serving traditional South Indian food with a ‘Classic Rock’ touch. Ever tried biting into steaming hot,butter-soft idlys dipped in spicy coconut chutney,to the sound of rock numbers by G’n’R and Hendrix? It’s just part of the ‘smart food for smart people’ philosophy at Cafe Idly.

We had a limited budget,so a regular restaurant or a burger joint wasn’t a viable option for us. But that did not limit our creativity. In order to beat the competition,we had to stand out from the crowd. That is how the idea of combining traditional South Indian fast food with Rock music was born. We thought it has never been done before,and would definitely suit the Bangalore audience,which is considered to be the rock capital of India.

We plan to expand the café and have a bigger sit-down restaurant,so that we can also host live bands. We’ve already got several requests,but the café is a bit small to do anything now. We want Café Idly to eventually be a cultural hub for budding musicians and artists.

The best advice I got…

“Being consistent is more important than being the best”.

Also,this is not an advice,but one of my favourite quotes from one of the most influential Entrepreneurs – Steve Jobs:

“For the past 33 years,I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life,would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row,I know I need to change something . . . almost everything – all external expectations,all pride,all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death,leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.”

The defining moment…

An idea isn’t great until the market says it is. So when we got our first news article in The Times of India within two months of starting our ops,was one of the defining moments not only for our entire team but also our critics.

What keeps me awake at night…

Challenges would be: finding the right people; cost effective marketing; and smart product-pricing keeping in mind the ever-increasing inflation

I thought I would give up…

The response has been much better than expected for such a concept. So we have been busy thinking about scaling up and other related issues,rather than giving up.

My word of advice for others…


* Don’t start a business with the primary goal of making money,commit yourselves to selling value to your customers. Money will be the by-product of that transaction.

* Start small,dream BIG.