Parth Mehta

Parth Mehta

PGDM-BE 2014-2016

9834 The Fruit Truck

On a Ride to Tickling the Taste Buds

Parth grew up amidst acclaim for his tactical approach. He graduated from the School of Liberal Studies, Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University where he specialised in Business Administration. In college, his friends looked up to him for organising events and mustering sponsorship support. During one such well-organised event in college, a cultural committee member came up to him, shook hands and remarked, “You will excel as an entrepreneur. You have an eagle’s eye.” Parth reacts, “I was thrilled to hear these comments. My confidence instantly soared up. That was the first time the seeds of entrepreneurship were sown in me. I started nurturing a dream and couldn’t wait to get into my own business headlong.” Immediately after college, Parth initiated a trading venture but failed. Determined, he made another foray but unfortunately, that also met with an inglorious end.

Just when Parth had given up all hopes of making it big in business, a friend mentioned that he must give himself a second chance. Driven by passion and motivation, Parth decided to delve again but this time, certainly after equipping himself with relevant knowledge. His search for appropriate courses led him to EDII’s Post Graduate Diploma in Management – Business Entrepreneurship (PGDM-BE). Parth was in no two minds about undergoing a course in entrepreneurship. In fact, he had even tutored 100 kids of India in a course on Entrepreneurship Leadership, managed by Infosys.

 Parth cleared the tests and with a focussed objective, got involved in the PGDM-BE course. As Parth says, “During my earlier businesses, I thought I knew a lot about this discipline but I was wrong. Even while joining the PGDM-BE, I was 80% convinced that I would learn. But, only a few days into the course and I realised that the world of business was vast, its vicissitudes were perplexing and unless mastered, it was difficult to move ahead. So, I thank EDII for telling me that I need to unlearn a few things and learn a whole new world of things. Calculated risk-taking, business opportunity identification, project implementation and sustainability were areas that particularly caught my fancy during the course.”

After a thorough opportunity-mapping, Parth settled on a business in food and beverages. He worked on a Food Truck Project under able mentorship support of EDII faculty. Parth had always been experimenting with food. He was fond of cooking and had tried his hand at it several times, simply out of interest. Everybody had appreciated Parth’s culinary skills but nobody had encouraged it from a commercial point of view. Ironically, Parth had also never looked at his skills from the point of making a living. At EDII, he realised he could convert his passion into a business opportunity. Parth started working on his idea. His biggest concern was to impart a unique identity to his venture.

He knew that unless he wooed people with exclusive products, he wouldn’t be able to make a mark, especially when he had decided to price the items at par with restaurant rates. Parth began work on his business model and crystallised his plans well within the duration of the course. As he puts it, “I don’t remember having wasted time at EDII. I was studying all the time, thinking business or taking actions related to my plans. The process of creation had engrossed me completely.”

A fruit truck! The idea did raise eyebrows initially, so we asked Parth as to how did he think about it and not a restaurant which normally would be the idea for a food enthusiast.

“Once I decided that I had to get into the food industry, I made random travel plans. I travelled almost across the country, observing what was new in this area and how could I innovate to catch the target’s attention. I realised that theme-based restaurants or those with features such as catchy décor or live music appealed to people, especially youth. For me, finance was a constraint and so, a lavish restaurant at a posh location was ruled out. Next was the idea of a theme-based restaurant. I wanted to address this and in thinking about creative ways, I thought of starting a fruit truck with exotic fruits,” shares Parth.

Parth’s father was not convinced with the idea of a fruit truck. Parth had to reason extensively with him to get his nod. Parth launched India’s first fruit truck on June 28, 2016, with an investment of ₹ 15 lakh, which he borrowed from his father.

Parth’s appealingly decked-up truck, called 9834 The Fruit Truck, was soon stationed opposite a high-profile club in Ahmedabad. Parth started popularising his signature drink – the jamun shots, served in an enticing glass rimmed with salt and garnished to tantalise the taste buds. This soon became a rage among all age groups and people from nearby localities started frequenting his truck, especially after dinner. Parth was careful about giving a twist to every dish that he served. Besides shots, 9834 The Fruit Truck serves exotic fruit platters, cold-pressed and blended juices, vegan smoothies, fresh fruit shakes, and fruit desserts that are a rage among young and old alike.

Although Parth’s truck soared up the popularity ladder, there were times when the business graph started plunging. This was when some people copied his idea and parked trucks with almost the same products, at cheaper rates. As Parth recalls, “I don’t mind people getting into the same business. There’s space for everybody but what disturbs me is the fact that they use unfair means. I knew I was in a business where I would sustain even if I used sub-standard products. Yet I never compromised with the quality and so, reducing prices was something we couldn’t have afforded. So while I maintained my quality and thus the price, I introduced new dishes which were slightly less priced, keeping in mind people’s preferences. Gradually, people realised that what I served them was chemical-free and healthy and that is how my customers started thronging to my truck again.”

Storing fruits and vegetables was a big concern for Parth. He addressed this concern strategically, leading to very little wastage. Parth considers the storage facility as his biggest strength and says that because of gaps in this department, several vendors could not sustain. Parth’s technique of extracting juices imparted an exceptional taste to his beverages. He smiles and is quick to add how this trade secret is his biggest blessing.

With a turnover of ₹ 50 lakh, Parth is all set to look beyond. He plans to diversify and capture different locations.
As Parth wraps up, he reminds us about his alma mater, “I am thankful to the School of Liberal Studies for putting me on the right track and then to EDII for giving a concrete shape to my half-baked idea and for drilling in me the belief that instead of dilly-dallying and nurturing inhibitions, I must trust the market survey and set out with confidence.”