Vikram Baderiya has gone from being a techie to restaurateur, running a funky bar-and-restaurant that satisfies all his creative instincts.
When boredom strikes
The regular and the run-of-the-mill were never for Vikram Baderiya. Dropping out of college, he went on to work in IT, creating web products and services, later expanding into mobile solutions, during which time he began to build apps for large companies.
“But a few years into that I realized that wasn’t what I really wanted to do or the way I wanted to live my life,” says Vikram. “You could say I was bored.” His fascination with the restaurant business was just beginning to take shape at that time. Passionate as he was, Vikram was not one to dive in without extensive ground work and research. He went about planning everything from the branding to the menu. He also hired a market research team to survey the landscape, exploring various restaurant formats along the way.
All the planning and strategizing led to the opening of Horn Ok Please, Vikram’s funky, desi-style bar and restaurant in Bangalore’s swank Indiranagar. While it was taking shape, Vikram was able to give free rein to his creative abilities, which include brand design. Mostly self-taught, Vikram’s artistic side is on view at Horn Ok Please – from the milk cans that double as bar stools to the kitschy cut-outs of Bollywood stars that adorn the walls.
Turning a passion into a pay check
“Being a restaurateur is completely different from being in the tech world,” he says. “I was pushed out of my comfort zone and realized what a lot of commitment and dedication it takes.” Hard work it may be, but doing what he loves, Vikram Baderiya isn’t complaining. Neither are his happy customers, who love the Indian-inspired cocktail menu and dhaba-style food which are making waves on the eating out scene in Bangalore.
His workplace now is a space in which people have a good time, where they come to unwind after a day’s work or on a fun date. What could be better? Very little, believes Vikram. Also, he says, no matter how much you love what you do, you have to always be conscious that it’s a business and that it has to be sustainable.
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