We caught up with Murad Shahuna of Fill Belly, who was busy with the Love of his Life: Biriyani- his words, not ours. Take a look at what he had to say about his super-successful biriyani business in Chennai.
How did Fill Belly happen?
I’d finished my Hotel Management and was working with different industries. What can I say, I love my Biriyani. Biriyani is my passion. I eat Biriyani everywhere I go. About a year and a half ago, I had this idea to start business with biriyani. I started a tiny kiosk in Mogappair a few months ago. I shut down after a lukewarm response. I decided to keep the delivery open. I set up the website. You had to order a day in advance and 1 kg was the minimum quantity- those were the rules. We do have a website, but you still can’t pay online- you’ll have to opt for COD. We started with and still do the Tamil Muslim Style Biriyani, which we cook over a traditional wood fire. We’re quite sought after for this one.
We’ve also gone to launch Hyderabadi Biriyani- a service which is about 20 days old. I must say it’s taken off rather well. We have Pepper Chicken, Chicken 65 and our famous Bread Halwa on offer.
What’s a regular day like?
I run the whole show. I even deliver food myself some times. We have 2 cooks and a few helpers for now. We have a few third-party deliverers now. We also do well in our vegetarian kitchen-which operates all on its own. We do catering for events and parties as well. Yes, Biriyani is the hero, but I do throw in a lot more. We let the client leave the food to our staff completely.
Where-to from here?
I want to throw in more options, fish, prawn with the 1kg offering. I still want to get back to retail- maybe a small restaurant.
A word of advice..
Just dream. I’m here because of my dream. Fill Belly was once a dream.
A lot of opportunities will come your way, but don’t stop dreaming.