Starting with the notion of one small startup will turn out this good, a couple of 21-year-old lads hadn’t thought that through. Wow!Momo is a chain of fast food restaurants headquartered in Kolkata, specializing in Momos, started by Binod Homagai, and Sagar Daryani, those two 21-year-olds who just completed 3rd year finals in 2008. “When You Make Well You will Share well this is success secret for any business’’, says Sagar Daryani, co-founder Kolkata Based food startup Wow!Momo. Solely to avoid the juggling of numbers, figures, maths and calculations, their interest on food business grew.
On asking about the clicking of ideas, Sagar had an interesting story to share. “When I was in school, there is one aunt who sells momos and we called her as momo aunty. I used to buy one plate and eat one piece and momos are brilliant. That gives me the confidence the good quality momos will sell. When Binod started making it, I was like – yaar people play with burgers and pizzas why can’t we play with momos” says Sagar. That’s the how Wow!Momo came in. Sagar and Binod started Wow!Momo with steamed momos, and soon came up with different varieties like chicken, chicken and cheese, schezwan, and prawn. For vegetarians, the offerings include corn, and corn and cheese, among others. They had a vision to create the Indian brand that goes abroad and that’s how Wow!momo created with very small humble begin.
To the very beginning of their first outlet, Sagar and Binod approached the supermarket chain Spencers to set up a stall. In the earlier days, Sagar would wear a Wow!Momo T-shirt and approach every person entering the store, and ask them to sample the Momos. “When we started we don’t have money to give one momo to everyone so we make one momo into 3 pieces and gave it to the people we were believed in our taste if they taste once they will come for another” Sagar said.
At the start, they don’t have money and began with borrowing Rs 30,000 from their parents as initial capital. Sagar also managed to rope in part-time chef Ramji KC who was working at a small restaurant in the city.“Paying him a part-time salary of Rs 3000, we would get him to come to my father’s garage, which worked as a makeshift kitchen to make the momos for Wow!Momo,” adds Sagar. On the first day, the team’s sales were Rs 2200, and by the end of the month, had touched Rs 53,000. Today, Chef Ramji works full-time for Wow!Momo, and is the head chef with a salary of Rs 1.5 lakh a month.
The food business is slowly picking up in India, and while investors believe the business is operationally intensive, some tested and proven models continue to thrive and grow. Currently, it aims to open over 1,000 stores across the country. Over a decade, it has spread all over India including Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai with a total of 13 cities all over India. The commerce graduates confirmed that the company is focusing on “Chindian” cuisine, the India used version of Chinese cuisine that is popular in India is Chinese food is the second most popular cuisine across North and South India. Their attention on introducing new dishes to the outlets as well as in customers’ plates follows a never-ending cycle. They have been honoured with awards like Coca-Cola Golden Spoon Award in 2018, Best unique retail concept award in 2017. These are the added badges glowing as to write the success story of Wow!Momo.
With the hands of Sagar and Binod, Wow! Momo can send out Momos with the best tastes all over India for over a decade. From startup to a 13-cities branch, it’s been an incredible journey.