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Interviews

We need to jointly put across our issues to the Central / Local Government & Police Departments to do business more efficiently and with ease – Sandeep Anand Goyle

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He truly embodies the great qualities of a hotelier. His enthusiasm, organizational abilities and encouragement has contributed to the growth of Essex Farms in the Hospitality Sector. A young and dynamic entrepreneur, Sandeep Anand Goyle, Director, Essex Farms (P) Ltd. shares his journey with NRAI.

Please take us through your journey. Tell us about your restaurants and their expansion plans.

Essex Farms was incorporated in 1943 and has been continuously into food related businesses since then. The family entered into the hospitality and restaurant business in 1986, more than 3 decades ago. Essex Complex is a landmark property known by at least 4 generations of Delhites because of its existence and location i.e. being in the heart of South Delhi.

The journey has been quite historic and as of this date, the fourth generation of the Goyle family is actively involved in the business, bringing in new concepts and cuisines into our complex, which are desirable to the palates and taste of today’s generation.

You are an industry stalwart. You opened Essex Farms, a thriving complex comprising of restaurants, a bowling arcade, banquet hall etc, when it was a fairly new concept back in the day. How did you come up with the idea?

Essex Farms was started by my grandfather, late Mr R.N. Goyle and carried on since then at the same location. Delhi is expanding more towards South of Delhi making it more central over the years. Benefiting from the location and being on one of Delhi’s busiest junctions, we have been closely studying the requirements of the market, making things convenient for our customers, which includes basic facilities like parking, security, safety etc.

As mentioned, earlier, it all started with a multi-cuisine restaurant back in 1986, which catered to the residents of Delhi, slowly diversifying and adding party rooms for small gatherings and later converting it into a luxury banquet hall for up to 600 guests because of the growing demand. In 1998, we had the opportunity to launch Delhi’s first Entertainment/Amusement outlet which combined food & games for all age groups. In 2015, we relaunched the same outlet by a new name and added real-time sports entertainment to combine nightlife with entertainment along with gourmet food to offer a different experience to the youngsters catering to all age groups for their continued patronage.

Your restaurant, Café Tesu, offering artisanal coffee and delicious food, is quite popular. What sets it apart from others?

Essex has always been popular for casual and formal coffee meetings. When we decided to dedicate a space for a luxury coffee shop, we wanted to create a more formal environment offering the same amenities as a coffee shop at any five star hotel does than a regular Coffee Chain Store. There was a lot of thought which was put in while designing the space. We wanted the ambience to be relaxing with sunlight and neutral colours welcoming our customers.

What sets us apart is that we put a lot of importance to the main ingredients we use to produce our coffee or dishes. For coffee, our coffee roasters based in Goa handpick the best of beans from various plantations in India and they have their signature roasts which a guest can select from up to 14 different varieties of freshly ground coffee beans.

What are your major learnings as a restaurateur?

We have always kept our core values very strong which are to maintain standards be it with service, food quality, customer satisfaction etc. The key is to keep things simple so that whenever we launch or open a new outlet it caters to all age groups and bring in unique concepts.

What do you do to unwind yourself, to keep work-life balance?

I was a keen cricketer in my school and college days. I have represented Delhi State and the cricket team at Hindu College, Delhi University. I have had the privilege of playing matches in domestic circuit along with captained International Cricketers representing the country in late 1980’s. Therefore, cricket is a passion to watch or play for unwinding besides, listening to old Hindi music and spending time with family.

How have you been involved with NRAI? In your view, what more can be done through the association to strengthen the restaurant sector?

I have been associated with NRAI since 2002. I have had the privilege of being the Honorary Secretary for two terms and being in the team of stalwarts of the industry like Samir Kuckreja, Sunil Malhotra and Vikram Bakshi. The NRAI has given me a lot of occasions to interact with the government and raise points on various issues troubling the restaurant fraternity. As far as the current scenario of the restaurants, we need to jointly put across our issues to the central/local government and Police departments to do business more efficiently and with ease.

One piece of advice you would like to offer to budding entrepreneurs eager to make a mark in this industry.

Be focused, give quality and maintain high standards on all aspects of hospitality with consistency.