Girish Sham­dasani

JJK e-magazine - - SMALL TALK -

THE MAN­AG­ING DI­REC­TOR OF QUEEN’S TANDOOR SHARES HIS EX­PE­RI­ENCE OF RUN­NING A RES­TAU­RANT AS WELL AS HIS LOVE FOR JAKARTA.

¤ For those who adore In­dian cui­sine, Queen's Tandoor is not new. This In­dian res­tau­rant has been in the city for 30 years, be­ing es­tab­lished in 1986 by Ramesh Sham­dasani in North Jakarta. The res­tau­rant was first called Queen's, and served Chi­nese cui­sine. In 1991, In­dian food was added to the menu, and the res­tau­rant changed its name to Queen's Tandoor. Since then business has ex­panded, and there are now two restau­rants in Jakarta, six in Bali and one branch in Al Kho­bar, Saudi Ara­bia. Three years ago Ramesh Sham­dasani va­cated the throne and passed the op­er­a­tion of the res­tau­rant on to one of his son’s, Girish Sham­dasani. Born in Jakarta 25 years ago, Girish is an en­thu­si­as­tic man­ager, main­tain­ing Queen's Tandoor’s po­si­tion as the lead­ing In­dian res­tau­rant in In­done­sia, par­tic­u­larly in the cap­i­tal. He be­gan to work in the res­tau­rant af­ter grad­u­at­ing from the Uni­ver­sity of Bath, UK, with a B.Sc de­gree in Business Ad­min­is­tra­tion. "I never thought I'd be go­ing to work in the res­tau­rant. But I have a pas­sion for food, so I de­cided to join the fam­ily business, and I re­ally love do­ing it now," he says. Even though he had never man­aged a res­tau­rant be­fore, Girish was con­fi­dent that he could make Queen's Tandoor even bet­ter than it was. "I kind of grew up in this res­tau­rant, so I know how things work here. In the cor­po­rate and man­ag­ing side, I find that ex­pe­ri­ence from my pre­vi­ous work in in­vest­ment bank­ing helps a lot. In terms of the ser­vice and menu, I have learnt a lot from my par­ents. And af­ter three years now I can say I'm do­ing very well at Queen's" he ex­plains. The first time he stepped into the of­fice, Girish faced many chal­lenges, one of which was the pres­sure of main­tain­ing Queen's Tandoor’s il­lus­tri­ous rep­u­ta­tion. "My dad raised the bar high, so the chal­lenge was how to get it even higher, to im­prove things even more. One thing was keep­ing the same staff. We have peo­ple that have been work­ing with us for 15-20 years, and are just like fam­ily," says Girish. Girish re­marks that Queen's Tandoor man­ages to re­main the lead­ing In­dian res­tau­rant in In­done­sia, espe­cially in Jakarta, be­cause of two things: con­sis­tency and flex­bil­ity. "We rarely change our menu. The same one has been in our res­tau­rant for 30 years. As for flex­i­bil­ity, we're open to cre­at­ing a menu that suits our cus­tomers. If you want a item that's not on the menu, our chef will be more than happy to cre­ate it," he says. With Queen's Tandoor al­ready hav­ing eight restau­rants in Bali & Jakarta and an­other fran­chise in Saudi Ara­bia, the next chal­lenge is to at­tract a lo­cal mar­ket, be­cause cur­rently most cus­tomers are In­dian peo­ple and other ex­pats who live in the city. "Most lo­cal peo­ple in Jakarta don’t know In­dian food very well. We are think­ing of open­ing an­other res­tau­rant with a con­cept that is more recog­nis­able to them. We want In­done­sian cus­tomers to have dishes that are fa­mil­iar to them but also make them feel like they're eat­ing in Mumbai," says Girish. –

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