Mumbai, Maharashtra [India] : Starting off in the Hospitality industry at a very young age, Akshay worked in operations and marketing, with a number of well-known bars and restaurants, learning the nuances of the industry, after which he went on to establish his own brand by the name of Café Ville Villa, named after Vile Parle, where its first outlet started out in 2016, Café Ville Villa has grown into 3 outlets across Maharashtra and Gujarat. Having won multiple accolades and awards for his brand and personally as an entrepreneur, most recently The Hospitality Excellence Award at the Indian Icon leadership Awards 2019 for Café Ville Villa, Akshay has recently also started his own Hospitality Training Series called, ”The Ville Villa Diaries”, where he helps budding restaurateurs answer basic questions like, “How do reduce wastage” or “How to cross sell products”. When the whole hospitality industry was battling major setbacks during the lockdown, Akshay chose to take Café Vile Villa towards a cloud kitchen concept, opening kitchens across the city and launching meals that could cater to anyone and everyone without being heavy on the pocket. With plans to take the Café across the country through his dynamic franchise model, Akshay seems to have big plans for his café. Here’s what he had to say about his journey and future plans about the restaurant: “Since the beginning, we have always chosen to create a concept which is unique and expandable across the country. Our cuisine is a mix of Italian, Mexican, Lebanese and Indian cuisine.
The key is to make sure that we have something on our menu for everybody from the ages of five to fifty. I always work tremendously on our operations and our kitchens to make sure there is minimum wastage and the cost we manage to create our signature dishes makes it possible for us to offer our customers a very economical meal where they can spend less than 500 rupees and try dishes from all over the world. My team has been my greatest support system. Running a business alone is not a joke and it requires a strong set of people who stick with you and are loyal over the years to make sure that the quality is maintained and the same taste can be experienced by customers across the outlets, over the years. When I took the decision to go into the franchise model, I first made sure that operationally we are perfect in our systems and our processes so that we can replicate what we do in Mumbai across the country. My goal is to build at least 50 outlets by 2025 with at least two to three outlets in every major city in India and at the same time I also want to grow into the two tier cities of our country since it is a area where people are beginning to understand global tastes and cuisines and really enjoy trying new food.” A person with strong leadership qualities, Akshay has always grown the people around with him. Here’s what his first franchise owners and now best friends Advit and Harit had to say about him: “Akshay has been a delightful person to work with right from the start of the franchise in Vapi, Akshay has been a great support system, making sure that we understood the process of running the restaurant and handing over the running of Cafe Ville Villa, Vapi to us very smoothly. Cafe Ville Villa’s Central team in Mumbai support us with creating campaigns, marketing, social media, staffing as well as other day to day operations of the restaurant. It has really been an amazing experience to have had the opportunity to bring an esteemed brand like Cafe Ville Villa to the state of Gujarat and we look forward to taking this brand across other states of India very soon.” When asked about the secret to his success, Akshay shared some of his best learnings from his journey so far: “The one thing I have realised is that there is really nothing like an overnight success. It takes years of perseverance for any entrepreneur to crack the code and create that one night success. I have had to fail many times and realise my mistakes on numerous occasions to reach where I am here today. To anybody who is just starting out the only thing I would like to say is that it’s not about failing, it’s about failing, putting your head down, going to sleep at night and waking up in the morning, taking it as a new day and coming back to work again. Every time you choose to do that, you are a winner and every day you spend as a winner is a day spent towards reaching your goal and achieving your true potential”