THE OPPORTUNITY AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PYRAMID
When Venkatesh Iyer co-founded Goli Vada Pav with Shiv Menon in 2004, he saw a big opportunity in selling affordable, clean, ethnic fast food to lower-income customers in India. Mr Venkatesh, now chief executive, saw a potential market of 500m mostly teenage and young adult Indians paying Rs10 (about 20 US cents) or more to eat a vada pav, a typical Mumbai street-food dish of a spicy vegetable patty in a bun. He was also counting on big social changes under way in India, including longer commutes for lower-middle-class Indians, who he noted "don't have so much time for food." Goli Vada Pav would occupy a potentially lucrative spot between traditional street-food vendors and global chains. The goal was to sell hygienically prepared food with an authentic touch.