Published On : Tue, May 24th, 2022

Nagpur start-up set to feed Tarri-Poha to Sharks!

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Pohewala, start-up founded by Chahul Balpande and Pawan Wadibhasme, aims to raise Rs 1 crore for 20% equity from Shark Tank India

Nagpur: Nagpurians and their love Tarri-Poha is a world known affair! Poha, which needs no introductions across the globe, and traditional ‘Tarri’, the signature dish of Nagpur, are literally a match made in heaven. To spread this message of authentic taste and rich quality, two youths from Nagpur have decided to pitch this flavourful dish at Shark Tank India platform through their start-up ‘Pohewala’.

Chahul Balpande, an MBA graduate and Pawan Wadibhasme, a Mechanical Engineer have already cleared two rounds of the renowned Shark Tank India show and are set to appear for an interview next month in Mumbai. The duo, native of Bhandara, aims to raise Rs 1 crore for 20% equity of Pohewala, Chahul informed, speaking to Nagpur Today.

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Since its inception on May 18, 2018, Pohewala has completed four years. We’ve seen many ups-and-downs in the past couple of years due to the pandemic. However, time has passed and we’re blooming once again, said Chahul.

For Pohewala, taste and authenticity are paramount. To keep up with our motto, we use our own set of spices to make Poha and Tarri. We currently serve six varieties of Pohas: Paneer, Indori, Sadhe, Tarri, Misaal, Chiwda. Soon we are bringing organic pohas to the market. Pohewala will be the first one to serve Black, Red and Brown Pohas in the country, he added.

The dawn:
“Back in 2018, Pawan and I were working simultaneously at two projects: Pohewala and Parkingwala. However, due to time constraints, we started to work in shifts on both projects. So we would work on Parkingwala in the day and would look after Pohewala in the night. We used to cater our patrons through cloud kitchens between 10 pm and 4 am.

At the dawn of Pohewala, we received overwhelming response for our venture. The orders would pour in from across the Second Capital of the State. Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Mayo Hospital, bachelors, students were our prime patrons,” Chahul said while narrating their journey.

Pandemic Strike:
“Since Pohewala was attracting a crowd, we started our first outlet at Hingna T-Point on November 1, 2019 followed by a series of outlets in Delhi, Aurangabad and a cloud kitchen in Goregaon. However, the Covid pandemic came as a major jolt to our business. We had to shut all our shops. Though cloud kitchens in Nagpur stayed operational,” he said recalling the ups and downs.

Vision and Future Plans:

“Poha is a dish which is loved by all age groups. Thus, we at Pohewala want to cater quality food with authentic taste of this heritage food. We’ve already opened our first franchise in Dev Nagar, Nagpur. Franchises in Dadar, Bhilai and Raipur are in pipeline,” said Chahul and mentioned that, “We are planning to raise money from Shark Tank India to build an empire across the country.”

Notably, in the previous season of Shark Tank India, two businesses from the city had appeared on the show. Of them one had got a deal of Rs 20 lakh for 20% equity of their company.

– Shubham Nagdeve

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