Kolkata: The Savourites Group, a partnership of four hotel management graduates-turned-entrepreneurs, may soon become India’s first stand alone restaurant chain to make an entry into the stock market through an initial public offering (IPO).
Savourites, which started life in 1998 as a caterer operating out of a garage in south Kolkata’s Jodhpur Park neighbourhood, today owns four eateries in Kolkata and Bangalore, including the popular “6 Ballygunge Place (6BP).”
It has plans to roll out another three in the city of its birth before the festive season in September-October.
S. Ramani, the managing partner of the group, which had a turnover of Rs5.75 crore in fiscal 2007, said, “We hope to raise at least Rs30 crore to fund our expansion into Mumbai and the National Capital Region (NCR). In Mumbai, we have identified locations in Malad and Lokhandwala while in the NCR, we plan to start off in Noida. All this would require money, which we intend to raise through an IPO.”
However, Savourites is still a partnership between Ramani, Subhankar Dhar (in charge of Bangalore operations), Sushanta Sengupta (the corporate chef who is also responsible for overall production) and Aninda Palit, (handles food and beverage, and planning), and would need to first convert itself into a private limited firm before it can offer shares to the public.
Ramani expects this to be over by the Durga Puja festival. “We will definitely be listed by April 2008,” he says.
To raise money, each of the partners will divest 5% of their stake in Savourites, to offer about 20% to the public.
Apart from the Kolkata branch of 6BP, which incidentally is named after its address, there is a 6BP eatery in Bangalore. The southern city also hosts the Group’s other two properties—a north Indian restaurant called Grand Trunk Road and a tea room called Gup Shup.
“In Kolkata, we will shortly open a continental restaurant called Comics and an oriental one called The Wall. We also plan to open a chain of eateries called Mahabhoj serving thali meals on the lines of Saravana Bhavan,” says Ramani, speaking of the popular chain that sells vegetarian south Indian cuisine in place such as New Delhi.