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Your Name: Anuradha Ganesh (Anu)

Business Name: Anu’s Bamboo Hut, a buffet style Indian restaurant

Type of Business: Food & Beverage

Business Location: Mysore, India

Website   www.ashtangayogini.com/AnusBambooHut
Twitter   @anuganesh
Facebook   www.facebook.com/pages/Anus-Cafe
Pinterest   pinterest.com/anugan/pins/

Reason for starting
At the age of 43 I decided that I did not want to continue working in the corporate world. I wanted to start my own business and to be my own boss. This strong feeling was because I had worked for a company for 5 years and made excellent contribution during that time for which I received great appreciation. But for some reason the atmosphere at work changed to be an unhappy one and I gave in my resignation. My boss there said to me “at your age, who will give you a job?” I said to myself – I will give myself a job. And I did so. With my husband’s support (then unemployed) we started a restaurant in a forsaken place as novices not only in the food business, but in business as such.

How do you define success?
When you put in hard work day after day, month after month and year after year, and find that you are still in business, people recommend you, talk well about you, come to you, share their love with you and the fact that you are still in business, then that would mean success. Truly humbling journey.

Biggest Success
a) Completed 8 years on November 28, 2012 b) Being rated No. 1 on TripAdviser c) Chef Vikram Vij of Canada and his group visiting India on a culinary tour, chose Anu’s Bamboo Hut as their Mysore (Karnataka State – India) food experience on November 11, 2012 (Sorry, all three are big for my small business, so had to mention them)

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
This is a seasonal business. We cater mainly to the Yoga students who visit Mysore to practice Ashtanga Yoga, from all over the world. When we started in Nov. 2004 the business would run for 9 months in a year. The Ashtang Yoga Guru,K. Pattabhi Jois (94) passed away in May 2009, his legacy was passed on to his grandson R. Sharath, a young man in his mid thirties or so. The Yoga School remained closed in 2011 for a little over 6 months. This was a very challenging time. We had 2 staff living in our home plus a household to run with no bank balance. To avoid recurrence of such times, we are making efforts to bring in business from tourists visiting Mysore during the lean periods and hope to sustain.

Who is your most important role model?
Mahatma Gandhi and my father. Two honest men. One about whose life I studied in school and the other was always there for me and taught me the power of honesty.

Editor’s Note: The Story Exchange is celebrating its 10th anniversary by launching the annual Women In Science Incentive Prize. Apply now for a chance to receive $5,000 in funding for your climate-related research or startup. Deadline: July 31. 

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