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Mafia brothers bring a bite of Calcutta rolls

Patna, Sept. 5: Inspired by the famed Calcutta rolls, two Patna siblings, who had tasted the lip-smacking fare around six years back, have been able to create the same in the city.

Varun Sahay (in blue) and Vishal Sahay, the owners of Roll Mafia. Telegraph picture

The duo are the owners of Roll Mafia, which now has three outlets in Patna and eight in Pune.

The two are all set to expand thanks to some angel investors who got excited about their venture and have invested Rs 1 crore to help them.

"Patna is our hometown. My elder brother Varun is a professional golfer and has been living in Calcutta since the past 10 years. Back in 2009, I was working as a sales manager in Calcutta with a private company and always used to eat the rolls there, as they were my favourite. And I also used to see many people there enjoying these rolls. They taste really good and are very popular indeed. Both of us used to visit good eateries, particularly Nizam's. The rolls and biryanis cast a spell on us. Both of us consulted, brainstormed and finally decided that our hometown too should have similar rolls. After much planning and hard work, we opened Roll Mafia with the first take-away outlet opening at P&M Mall in 2011. Opening up a joint in Patna was nostalgic for us because of different factors," said thirty-one-year-old Vishal Sahay, the younger brother of Varun (33).

Varun's wife named the outlet Roll Mafia. Their first unit was at a mall in Raipur but it was shut down owing to a financial problem with the mall.They have come a long way. At the P&M Mall in Pataliputra, on the opening day, they sold more than 50 rolls.

Business has been hard but a nice ride for the brothers with Roll Mafia now having three outlets in Patna, including one at SK Puri and the other on the IIT-Patna campus.

Not just this, they have as many as eight outlets, all take-aways and drive-ins, at different places in Pune (Maharashtra). "Around six months back, we were contacted by angel investors who said they were very excited with the venture and wanted to invest. It was an added advantage for our business and we got a seed funding of Rs 1 crore. The money has started to come in parts and now it is time again to expand. We are planning fast to open up joints of Roll Mafia, which mainly sells different kinds of rolls and biryanis, in cities like Jharkhand and Jamshedpur and other cities like Delhi, Gurgaon and others. And by December this year, we will make our presence felt in Mumbai as well," Vishal told The Telegraph.

An angel investor or angel (also known as a business angel or informal investor or angel funder or private investor or seed investor) is an affluent individual who provides capital for a business start-up, usually in exchange for convertible debt or ownership equity. The money has been invested by Nirav Choksi and Rajiv Ramnayayan, co-founders and directors of Equentia Natural Resources Pvt Ltd. based in Singapore.

Having studied till Class III at the Patna-based Rosebud School, the duo shifted to the Scindia School in Gwalior.

While Varun is a commerce graduate from St Xavier's College in Calcutta, Vishal did his graduation in economics from Symbiosis International University, Pune.

Their father, P.V. Sahay, who assists them in their business, is a retired government employee while their mother Anjula Sahay is a homemaker.

"When we were kids, there was a roll joint along the Station Road called Mayfair. Around 1994-95, our parents used to take us there to have those lip-smacking rolls. But then something happened and the roll culture in Patna suddenly disappeared with all shops closing down. We might be expanding but then Calcutta rolls are still intact in our minds and we try to maintain quality just like Nizam's," said Vishal.

Having come a long way, they now plan to expand to 50 locations in eight cities by early 2016.


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