Fuelling Success with determination

An ace achiever – be it academics, sports, extra-curricular activities or social work – Maulik Bopalia has excelled it all. Victories only triggered in him the will to break odds and keep moving ahead with eyes fixed on the goal.
For Maulik, entrepreneurship was just a familiar word; he had not had any first-hand experience of it as no one in his family had ever explored this discipline. He was, therefore, unaware of the finer nuances associated with it. But, what was important was that, he wanted to be hailed as a first-generation entrepreneur, and he was confident about making it there.
Maulik grew up in the industrial city of Morbi in Gujarat. Although no one in his family comes with a business background, he had that unique ‘entrepreneurial spark’ in him. Maulik believes that he imbibed this spirit from the business environment of Morbi. Maulik had always been a sincere and dedicated student. He completed his B.Tech from the prestigious Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology. Harbouring the dream of becoming an entrepreneur, he opted out of the placement process in his last year of college; instead started searching for options that could strengthen his entrepreneurial competencies and give him a direction to move ahead.
He came to know about Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India, through some friends and a few articles on the Institute’s role in escalating entrepreneurship, on various social media platforms. Since, he always wanted to pursue his dream of building his own venture; he felt that this course would help him achieve his goal. Maulik joined the Post Graduate Diploma in Management – Business Entrepreneurship at EDII. He actively sought to establish in himself the right characteristics through classroom training and field visits. He tried to strengthen himself through soft and hard skills and learnt the nitty-gritty associated with entrepreneurship. He also, with the help of mentors, continued to scout for business opportunities. Maulik says, “I am grateful to EDII for helping me evaluate a score of opportunities. The advice and counselling helped me each time.” Being a foodie himself, Maulik had somehow always got fascinated by the challenges inherent in the Food Industry.
In 2019, he became the founder and Managing Director of BOPTEL Empresas Private Limited and opened the first 1441 Pizzeria outlet in Ahmedabad. It is a Mumbai based franchise brand and Maulik took the franchisee for Ahmedabad. Maulik, for the first time in Ahmedabad, introduced the concept of woodfired pizza. He started this outlet from December, 2019 and it has since been a “journey of sorts” says he. He adds, “There were apprehensions despite the fact that I had done my homework well. My parents fully supported me and became my biggest strength and motivators. They bestowed unconditional faith in me. I felt confident about continuing with my dream venture. Today there are several pizza brands and it did feel risky to enter that space and that too with a concept which was different. But I had done my market research and somewhere felt people would appreciate. I, therefore, went ahead.”
Maulik did face teething troubles. Identifying a location, handling the volatility of the service sector, handling competition from established pizza brands, managing staff related issues – all had to be handled. Maulik evolved promising ways to deal with such issues. He introduced a system of attractive perks and the results were heartening. His staff was convinced about their well-being and the employee turnover instantly reduced. He came up with interesting campaigns and measures to sustain and grow amidst competition. He had specially designed mobile vans at all prominent locations of Ahmedabad. People had started appreciating his pizza and he gradually started getting known.
But the biggest setback came in the form of COVID 19. The pandemic created unforeseen issues and challenges in the service and food industry. Maulik went all out to maintain the hygiene of the place and staff so that customers could be convinced. He completely shifted to online selling mode from the safety point of view. During these troubled times, just when he was putting in every bit of his energy to keep things afloat, his head chef left without any information and that’s when he realised the significance of having a backup plan always. He got on to the task of orienting other members of his staff towards specialised skills of making woodfired pizza. Gradually he came around, and today after a series of training and orientation sessions, he has a team of dependable staff. Maulik says, “I am learning every day and gaining experience since day one of my business. I am an optimistic person and challenges do not deter me. I believe that these experiences will help me become a more rational and experienced person and help me move forward.” Given the present situation, Maulik is now concentrating on developing an advanced application software for the pizza outlet.
His future plan is to open more outlets in Ahmedabad and explore other viable options in the food industry. He wishes to diversify his business, keep learning and trying out new things in life.
Advising budding entrepreneurs, Maulik lays emphasis on the importance of team building. He says, “Team building is a very important aspect of business. It is the core of any business. So build a good team before you begin full-fledged.”

Keep rising and shining Maulik…..EDII salutes your strength and perseverance…