Saravana Bhavan “Annachi” Rajagopal – Cleaner boy to owner of most successful chain of restaurant

August 17, 2008 § Leave a comment

Rajagopal started his career as a cleaner in a hotel… Today Saravana Bhavan has 25 outlets in India and 22 outlets in 7 countries.

First he  started a provisional store in K K Nagar in Chennai.

The sales representatives who came to their shop, one day said casually , “Sir, dispose of us quickly.  This is lunch time. There is no hotel in this area” triggered his thinking.

He was running the store successfully, but fell into debts after he purchased and built a 2 storied building. 

A person was running Kamatchi Bhavan in his building unsuccessfully and looking for buyers.

While eating the Prasadam (food offered to Lord), returning from Thiruthani an idea was born to takeover the Kamatchi Bhavan and discussed the same with his friend Ganapathi. Rajagopal is believer of horoscope and there are some indications he will prosper in hotel business.

Then he sold the building to Rathna Nadar with agreement that he can still run the store in the same building by paying rent. He bought Kamatchi Bhavan and made some changes.

He named the hotel “Saravana Bhavan” since the idea came while eating the Prasadam (Saravana is another name of lord Muruga).

The first hotel was opened on December 14, 1981 by Rathana Nadar. Because of no experience in running a hotel he and his partner Ganapathi worked very hard from 6.00 am to 11.00 pm.  His wife Valli also helped him.

Rajagopal desired to run a hotel which would earn a name for excellent food.

He used quality grocery and oil and incurred a loss as predicted by others.

He set apart Rs.50,000/- to compensate the loss. He incurred a loss of Rs.10,000/- every month.

From 6th month the sales increased.  For the first anniversary he supplied 23 items for just Rs.5 and there was too much of crowd and police has to control the crowd.

Then it is all history now….

In his own word “This success was not success easilty achieved.  The success was due to the hard work put in by me and my partner Ganapathi.  I should refer to my devotion to God also in the same breath.  It is no exaggeration to say that I achieved this success only because of of Lord Murugan’s grace”.

His autobiography “I set my heart on Victory” is available in Saravana Bhavan book stalls.



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