Baga restaurateur Prashant Korgaonkar, has business is his DNA going by his success in varied enterprises started at very young age, finds out Joseph Pinto
There is no age limit to people who want to do business. For some individuals business runs in the blood. This is what exactly happened to Prashant Korgaonkar, Baga, who started out early in business, in fact right from school days.
“Usually a kid of that age would be playing and spending their parent’s money but it was not the case with me as I put up a temporary shack that was taken on lease for three months in summer,” says Korgaonkar, recollecting his first venture.
Those were the days of the hippy era when foreigners were the foremost tourists. Korgaonkar’s shack had Goan food that was popular among the tourists. Side by side he also sold lungis to them. This was way back in 1983 when life was easy but there were opportunities in the making to those who were willing to search.
Korgaonkar continued trying his hand at different things. From shack business he moved on to giving two and four wheeler on hire. “The hire business was good as there were very few in that trade and the rent-a-bike scene was not as crowded like the one you see these days,” he says.
Korgaonkar says that he always wanted to innovate and felt passionate over each of his ventures. All his projects are related to tourism being a person born and brought up along the beach belt. He intuitively knew what would take off and reap good profits. After starting shack and moving to vehicles on hire, he got into tours and travels. He set up his own office under the name of Speed Travels and Money Exchange. The enterprise was doing good and picked up due to high cliental of tourists in the beach belt.
His latest venture is a new restaurant Fat Fish started four years back near the Arpora- Calangute bridge. “Each restaurant has its own specialty but the USP of my eatery is the thali system which is a huge hit. Most of the customers prefer the sea food thali although we serve other traditional fare such as beef chilly, pork vindalho, shark sukha, tava fried fish, crab, reshad, tandoor and continental cuisine.”
There are many locals who come for the sea food thali, he adds. “It is in great demand till four in the evening. People want thali and some even fight if it is over,” he says. Korgaonkar’s next plan is to have an open kitchen so that clients can see what is being cooked. “I have a cook who is been working with us for the last 10 years,” he proudly says.
Korgaonkar says that he had diversified into house boat business too. But had to sell out as it did not pick up and money was getting blocked. His latest venture is a jungle resort, ‘Shangrila’ close to the Goa- Karnataka border. It is situated at the Anmod ghats and surrounded by dense forests. Clients have to drive some three kilometers inside the deep forest from the main Goa- Belgaum Highway
The resort is a trip to never forget, he says. After the hustle and bustle way of city life it is jsut the place to relax with friends and family. The resort has lot of adventure sports like horse and elephant rides, a boat ride in the creek which flows from the hill area, flying fox rope, jungle trekking, etc. In the evening there is a bonfire and barbeque. The climate in the resort is always cool in the summer and a treat in the rains.
“My future plan is to have more restaurants speciallyon the highways. I have just bought a place and it will be designed for outdoor wedding. My main aim is to have something unique and something different,” he says. According to him, Goans need to work hard as there is lot of money in the state but residents do not want to venture into anything new. He adds that, Goans need to capitalize on the opportunity and carry out business as outsiders are minting money in the local tourist trade. “Unfortunately most Goans only want to relax and leave the hard work in business to others,” is his opinion.