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‘Soul’ed out Twosomes

DECCAN CHRONICLE | NAMITA GUPTA
Published Oct 19, 2015, 5:42 am IST
Updated Mar 27, 2019, 10:40 am IST
Cupid struck. And then it was a mix of quirky ideas that gave these city couples a reason to embark on their own hospitality trail...
Amit and Pratiksha Ahuja
 Amit and Pratiksha Ahuja

While many wait for their light bulb moment, some just find their passion while solving their own needs and turn it into a startup opportunity. We speak to three young and dynamic couple entrepreneurs from the city who have come out of their comfort zones to work together and are loving it. Meet the business partners who’re also partners in crime.

Pratiksha and Amit Ahuja, The Open Box
Quirky, eccentric and fun is what defines their dream venture. Talking of their indulgences while slogging it out and how tough or easy it is to turn tables, model and fashion designer Pratiksha states, “He’s the man with the ideas and I’m his biggest critique.

I  met Amit at a gym about 13 years ago, while he was working with Jitu Virwani for over a decade. Opening a restaurant was always a dream and passion for him. We discuss everything with each other and we’ve worked a lot of late nights. The fun part was the food trials, but the funny thing is that both of us do not drink. We’re both health freaks and thrive on health food. I also run marathons.” Amit adds, “We both love to travel and our favourite places are Singapore, London, Las Vegas and San Francisco. We’ve done deep sea diving in Bali and bungee jumping in Macau and are going to do sky diving next. Since we don’t get to spend time together at home, it’s nice that we’re at work together at all times. It makes life easier as we don’t have other business partners, so we can work on each other’s strengths.”

Kiki Petriti and Ashok Prabhu, Marzipan café & bakery
Kiki is from Greece and she met her husband Ashok in London. “Ashok is an architect and has designed our café. Although, I was a writer, while I was completing my masters from UCLA. I  worked in a Greek restaurant. Since I had baked a lot for friends and family, it was something that came naturally to me. We discuss our ideas and he has done a great job in implementing the blue and white colours that we wanted at the café to remind one of Greece. We never intrude in each other’s space and since he’s more experienced I listen to him. Women tend to get emotional, so he helps me in getting a reality check. Besides work, we love to take frequent holidays and are both food lovers. We just got back from Slovenia. We drove across two weeks in Europe from Paris to Switzerland and Italy and Geneva.”

Tina Chengappa and Thashvin Muckatira, Plan b
Thashvin Muckatira and Sundeep Nayak were childhood friends and their passion for food and cooking brought forth their Plan B, after working for IT firms. Jet setters, Thashvin and his wife Tina hopped across many countries on food-tasting trips and continue to do the same. Sundeep and I named it as it was our backup plan after quitting our jobs.

 

Thashvin who has a masters in engineering and an MBA from the US, shares, “I met Tina in the US and after I returned to Bengaluru I couldn’t deal with the Whitefield commute and Tina told me to stop cribbing and do something about my dream since I liked to cook.” Tina adds, “Although, we do have our disagreements and fights, since I take care of branding we’re in different divisions at the same workplace, it works out just fine. We both travel only for food and try out food trucks or street foods across the world to get fresh ideas. We loved oysters and mussels in Toronto and Vancouver, street food in Thailand and got so inspired that we came back and started our new place called One Night in Bangkok after our constant tryst with Bangkok. At home, I cook Indian and Thashvin cooks everything else, but he makes a mess after he cooks and I clean up after.”

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