Super excited to announce that my first live chat show on FB ‘Konnect with Kiran,’ with Sanjay Bathla of ‘Over The Moon’ fame was very interesting. Sanjay was totally zen-like in his appearance and talking – cool and composed. With decades of experience in the pubbing industry in Hyderabad, Sanjay offered some intelligent insights and different perspective about what is to be ‘behind the bars,’ in the literal sense.
Professionally I could connect with him at many levels, as we share the same industry, the glamour associated with it, its challenges and years of experience. We are those ‘old hags’ surviving, thriving and catering to a relatively young crowd. Especially Sanjay! But it is from these hags that you get some very useful knowledge. These exclusive pearls are for those who love to party or watch others party and either way would want to make a business out of it but wondering whether it is worth all the jazz.
Before I start off with those, a slight rewind giving you the backstory of Sanjay Bathla and OTM. Having been a party lover himself, Sanjay figured in the early 2000s that Hyderabad was way behind compared to other cities in terms of nightclubs and bars and so was in dire need to up its quotient. So, he along with his friend Sanjay Chimnaney started Bottles & Chimneys twisting their own surnames and adding zing to it. B&C rocked for years by becoming a town favourite and known as a place for fun, friends and party, when Sanjay realised he needed to bring in something new again. This time it was the rooftop lounge OTM which swept party goers off its feet. The rest, you people have been there and experienced the magic.
So, coming back, here I am shooting away those pearls one by one:
- Hyderabad pub culture is really evolving with lots of people willing to experiment new places and new stuff. So, a good time to start something new, if you are thinking of any.
- The latest fad Micro-breweries are here to stay! Yes! You heard it right. They will continue to rock the pub scene simply because of the scope of experimentation it offers in terms of beer brewing. So play on.
- Bad news first: Liquor License is very high in Telangana compared to other states and also compared to a decade earlier. In the 2000s it used to be 12 lakhs and now it is a whopping 44 lakhs. Now The good news: High license cost should not deter you as the spending power of the people is high here and people are willing to pay a bit extra for that drink and a nice experience.
- Challenges are numerous as in any business. If you are clear as what you want to do, they appear less. But if you are unclear about it, they become those elephants in the room.
- Law and order is good in Hyderabad. Please follow the law. Especially in pubbing business. That is the only way to remain safe.If you are planning to open a pub, please regulate the entry very strictly. The only way to avoid those late nights bad brawls.
- Be prepared to forgo being a morning person, at least till you set systems in place. Night-Life Balance is probably what you would be looking at.
Personally, despite being an insider, I had my share of surprises and good takeaways after talking to Sanjay which is exactly what I have put up there. They give a broad perspective about the insides of a lounge, but if you are looking at something more extensive, then I suggest you watch the entire video, which is put up on my FB page.