As a boy he slept on Kitchen Floors, Now he owns 80 Restaurants around the World

Almost everyone knows Sarvana Bhavan Restaurant, but not many are aware of his founder’s story, a rags-to-riches story of P.Rajagopal. This is a story of a boy who had a rough start in life. Born in a very poor family, the boy had to leave his studies and travel to the city for a stable job in order to support his extremely poor family. The first job he got was that of cleaning utensils and uncleaned dishes.

However, life did not show its best to him even then. His boss was very torturous and would often scold him for imperfect work. Being a little boy, he couldn’t do anything than just gulp it all down and not mind anything at all. The boy was compelled to sleep on kitchen floors and footpaths but as it is always true, hard work pays off. Soon, after learning to make excellent tea, he opened his own tea shop in KK Nagar, Chennai along with his father and brother.

P Rajagopal with his helpers. Image Source: New York Times

P. Rajagopal, the boy who had to be strong enough to face the adversities of life, then turned the small tea shop to a huge hotel. ‘Sarvan Bhavan’, his restaurant was actually a grocery shop until 1979.

P. Rajagopal’s dedication, hard work, and love regarding his career helped him touch the sky. He understood his business well and wanted to use the adversities of the market to his favor. He was clever enough to understand the condition of Chennai regarding restaurants and food shops. He outsmarted the other hotels by selling food at a very cheap rate. This helped him gather customers and people from lower middle-class backgrounds as well. Publicity came to him in no time and he started growing his business more and more due to this. His foods were tasty, fresh and cheap. Another clever idea that he adopted was ordering online food which was not quite popular among restaurants in Chennai at the time P. Rajagopal started it.

However, P.Rajgopal had even incurred a loss of Rs. 10000 once but that did not deter his ambition of becoming the owner of restaurants. Also, though he incurred a loss, his good name was prevalent all around at that time which made him fight back and earn his position again. He also went to Singapore in 1992, to learn about the growth of the food market and food management methods in details.

‘Sarvana Bhavan’ is a trusted name in Chennai even today and their rates have not gone any higher which makes them quite popular and a good choice in the market. New York Times has rated their Masala Dosa as one of the finest.


P. Rajagopal is an inspiration for every youth struggling through life and trying to do something big from a really small start. Today, he owns over 80 restaurant around the world and his personal wealth is over $700 Million. Yup, that’s right!

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