Engineer ‘chaiwala’ sets an example for the youths

Pranita Roy
Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Unable to get a job after completing his engineering, Ajit Kerure (35) started his own cafe ‘Kadak Special’ at Sadashiv Peth

Pune: At a time when youths are running from pillar to post to get degrees and trying to leave no stone unturned to get an employment, an engineer by degree and ‘chaiwala’ by profession, Ajit Kerure (35) a city-based entrepreneur has shown a way that where there is a will, there is a way. He says he earns more than what an engineering degree holder would earn from his job.

A buzzling cafe with youngsters, onlookers and residents of the area visit the place to have a cup of different kinds of tea that too at a throwaway price of Rs 10. 

The most interesting feature of his hustling-bustling cafe ‘Kadak Special’, is his garlanded engineering degree certificate like someone demised, and prominently displayed. Little to mention that the cafe located at Sadashiv Peth has interiors adorned with ‘Puneri Patis’, that are witty and quirky one-liners which are synonyms to the city’s identity and its sense of day-to-day sarcasm. 

Kerure who completed engineering from the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) in the year 2013, had started desperately looking for a job which met his level of education. Failing to get one, he decided to set a business on his own. 

“I didn’t appear for job interviews because the offers they displayed during placement were not satisfactory. Not one job offered then gave more than Rs 15,000 salary to the degree I held. I felt, I can earn better by starting my own business,” said Kerure.

When Kerure was about to enter his adulthood, the perception of his peers was that an engineering degree does not only mean a certificate of education but also an achievement earning respect in itself. 

Kerure remarks sarcastically, saying, “I always wanted to be a job giver, not a seeker,” adding, “If anything, it helped me getting married.”

“It took nine years to complete engineering. I was a brilliant student but was disinterested in pursuing engineering,” said Kerure.

“I had also left engineering in between, but because my family was insistent that I should take an engineering degree, I completed it finally. Yet after completion of the degree, I couldn’t find a satisfactory job. I always wanted to do something of my own. Food and beverages were one of the best-liked options I could find for a startup,” added Kerure.

There is a board hanging outside his shop which shares a piece of advice saying – “There are hundreds of students graduating every year but only a handful of jobs available. It took a lot of courage and determination to start a business when no one in the family has ever run one. But today, I earn enough to provide for my family’s needs.”

To expand his business further, Kerure has planned to inaugurate 25 centres across Maharashtra out of which at least 7-8 centres including cafe at Sadashiv Peth running as head of all centres in Pune.

Hundreds of students visit his cafe each day and most of them share a conversation with him about their passion and interest. To which Kerure modestly replies –  “one should do what he feels like doing. It is difficult to be unique and has different opinions from others but what matters is self-satisfaction.”

“Today many are fighting for reservation. Being a Maratha myself, I feel instead of waiting for the government to amend laws and avail facilities one should make oneself capable of achieving success. If there are no jobs then create one. Reservation will only make one dependent,” Kerure said.

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