If taken positively, every struggle contains the seed of growth and opportunity. The struggle is when you refuse to give up and keep taking consistent actions amidst odds and hurdles, regardless of failures and disappointments.
Patricia Narayan proudly held the ‘FICCI Woman Entrepreneur of the Year’ award but this success didn’t come easily to her, she too had her fair share of rain before the rainbow could shine on.
The year 1977, 17-year-old Patricia Thomas, eldest of 3 siblings was studying at Queen Mary’s when she met Narayan, a Brahmin boy, whom she married the same year against the wish of her Christian family.
Pandora Box opened for her post-marriage, within years her father disowned her, her Prince Charming turned out to be an abusive drug addict, with no financial support and two children to care for, her marriage stood shattered in front of her eyes.
“I knew I should either succumb to the burden or fight; I decided to fight my lonely battle.” she says
Nowhere to go Patricia turned to her passion for cooking, took a 100 rupee from her mother and started making pickles, jam, jelly and squashes.
June 21, 1982, with 2 disable employees started her own mobile cart at Marina beach. Her cart sold cutlets, samosas, fresh juice, coffee and tea. The first-day sale was only a coffee for 50 paise.
“The Marina is my business school, it is my MBA,” says Patricia.
Following day she sold eatables worth Rs. 600-700. Working hard at Marina cart from 1982 to 2003, the maximum she made was Rs 25,000 a day.
Next she took up catering at the Slum Clearance Board, it boasted her income by 20,000. Year 2004, on the verge to start a restaurant business of her own along with son Praveen, she suffered another emotional trauma. Patricia’s daughter who got married a month back and her son-in-law died in a road accident.
This devastated Patricia and her son started their first restaurant ‘Sandeepha’ in memory of Patricia’s late daughter.
Ever since Sandeepha has 14 outlets across Chennai. Patricia grew from 50 paise a day to an average of Rs. 2 lakh daily.
On the day of demise of her daughter, the ambulance denied carrying dead bodies and her daughter was brought back in the boot of a car. She now provides for an ambulance service at the same spot to help others.
3 decades of hard work, 14 outlets, 200 employees and a daily income of 2 lakh, Patricia has proved no hurdle can ever stop a determined soul.
She is an Inspiration to many of us !!!
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