A 23 year old trying to change the hospitality industry one day at a time. This week, we speak to Palak Shah- Founder of Bandra’s hotspot Plush Cafe and also the author of Plum, Peach and Damson, a true-to-heart poetry compilation.
A cinematography student who studied in London, Palak always enjoyed the quaint and plush Oxford street cafes rich in variety and culture—also an inspiration for her namesake cafe in Bandra now. Upon returning and finishing her Entrepreneurship graduation from Mumbai, Palak, who had always been bitten by the writing bug and performed her poetry in front of the audience, decided to compile all her poetries into a self-published novel at the age of 21. Ranging from With over 30 lakh listeners on her book debut Radio show with RJ Erica, this beautifully penned book touches your soul and covers unspoken issues such as men’s insecurities to global issues such as feminism and gender neutrality with inimitable ease.
Where/How do you get your best ideas?
I get my best ideas via travelling like a local wherever you go
What’s something they don’t teach you in University that you should probably know?
Read more, travel, explore, take risks and just start working on your dream project and even if you fail you’ll end up with more knowledge than you imagined.
First thing you do as soon as you wake up?
Watch the WION news channel on IGTV
What do you hope to see happen in the near future for small businesses in the country?
Every individual is taking the leap to start their own business which is incredible. The more we manufacture, the more we export, more we earn in terms of national income and it will hopefully boost our economy.
What was your biggest stroke of luck since the launch of Plush?
I would love to give credit to Hon’able Assistant Commissioner Mr Vispute & Mr Vicky Patil who are both absolutely legendary men that were so supportive while launching Plush and helped me ease my license work within a couple of days.
What do you typically read?/ Favourite book?
I love reading autobiographies. Currently obsessing over Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s – My Vision
Best boss you had and what did you learn from them?
I have not had the opportunity of learning under anyone yet but I would say my partner in business Mr Dalvi who has an absolutely candid approach for business which makes sense which is to create a great brand image and the rest will follow automatically.
What question do you ask at interviews?
Everyone talks about the glossy end but what I’d ask is about the struggle a person faced that led them to be successful enough to be who they are at the moment.
One thing you learned about yourself?
Always be kind, everyone has a tough backstory you’re oblivious to.
How do you maintain work/life balance?
I prefer to stay anti-social and devote most of my hours devising business plans and am working on multiple streams currently
A childhood memory that shaped something you do in your business today?
I’ve seen my father burn his hands and get cheated on in business and make wrong financial decisions which has made me more cautious, professional and a black & white document person.
If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Just start, don’t wait, you will either do well at your first go or fail now and do something better at your next attempt.