THE SOCIAL STARTUP MIRCHI AND MIME IS A PATH BREAKER
24th, October 2017 - Social enterprise
Ever dreamt of supporting the economy of the country? Ever dreamt of doing something for the differently abled? Blend both of them and add good food to that, it forms Mirchi and Mime.
Prashant Issar and Anuj Shah are the reason for the beginning of this business in the year 2015 with few of their friends as investors. They both are graduates from Henley Business School and founders of Squaremeal foods private limited. Hospitality industry is not new for Mr.Issar as he has been here for over 20 years. Anuj shah came on board for this project. Even a flying bird can inspire the genius, and Signs, a Toronto based restaurant with a similar concept is what inspired them to start Mirchi and Mime.
Mirchi and Mime (M and M) of Mumbai has a staff of 40 people, with 27 of them being people with hearing and speech impairment. You will be left speechless looking at the effort that they put into their work. They are not disabled but differently abled. When people who are perfectly alright complain about their lives, the staff of M and M is creating ripples in the society with their enthusiasm to work.
Actions speak louder than words; here at M and M, it is just the actions that speak. They have a sign language and they don’t hesitate to call that as their super power. A sign is assigned to different categories of dishes followed by a dish number. National institute of design is responsible for these signs.
Their motto is to create wealth both for the society and the individual with commitment and integrity as their surname. Spreading love and affection along with serving mouth watering delicacies is what you can expect from M and M.
Rochiram T Thadani High school for the hearing handicapped has provided them with people initially. This was followed by hiring few others through a job fair held by National Society for Equal Opportunities for the Handicapped.
It was uncanny how the candidates were right royally ready to take up the job but their parents had their apprehensions. The selected candidates had almost zero knowledge in this field. They were trained for 8 weeks by Clyde Castellino along with Ranjan Chakraborty with the help of Dr.Reddy’s Foundation.
The training comprised of English, life skills, etiquettes of customer service where they are supposed to maintain a charm throughout the day and making them ready for the job. As the society considered them to be fit for nothing they did not explore much and hence had to be trained from level one. Even the chefs and other team members were trained in the sign language by well versed trainers.
What existed in front of them after the training was a tough job. Taking the orders sometimes may go wrong and the customers will get to know only when the food is served. They got rid of this problem by using green and red dish cards which indicate vegetarian and non vegetarian respectively as an addition to the sign language.
All said and done, if the food is not scrumptious enough, all this doesn’t make sense. They roped in two chefs Sameer and Dipesh with Manoj Vasaikar from UK as the culinary director. Chef Sameer says “Though it was tough to manage in the beginning, now it is all good in the hood.”
As soon as you enter the place, you are greeted and welcomed, later you can place the order using the sign language. In less than twenty minutes your food will be served hot and fresh. There are signs associated with each server in order to call them as and when required. Thank you and Welcome are a part of the signs that the customers are made to know.
Menu filled with love: They have modern Indian cuisine alongside few classic Indian dishes with a contemporary twist to them and cooked using Tandoor, Tava and Sigri grill techniques at affordable prices. They also cater various drinks including cocktails. This copper clad place has a vintage touch to it and a story behind every setup. For instance they have age old recipes on the walls which make the place more Indian than ever.
Though the servers are silent, the impact they created is violent in a good way. The reason behind selecting the specially abled is the concentration with which they work. Mime is not going to stop any time soon. They have plans of expanding this to 21 different cities including Bangalore, Singapore, Dubai by the year 2018 and provide employment to at least 500 differently abled people.
This business proves that a vision is necessary to bring a change not just in your lives but others as well.
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Vikram Simha S.N.
I am S.N. VIKRAM SIMHA.I am a B.tech final year student from REVA University Bangalore. I am a Blogger.I write content, quotes, short stories.I love to do something in the field of English.SO, I love to write content.