Bharat Veer Karthik Shivakumar and his ‘Dosa Village’

Perur is an important pilgrimage spot. The tenth century Nataraja icon is housed in a shrine built by Alagadri Nayak in the seventeenth century. The lovely silver lined mandapam which adds to the beauty of this shrine was contributed by the famous pori (puffed rice) businessman P. Shanmugham Chettiar. His business was in Thyagi Kumaran Market on Big Bazaar Street in Coimbatore. Shanmugham Chettiar was a big wholesale merchant and he used to distribute his stuff all over Tamil Nadu. The family deity happens to be Goddess Pachainayagi (Maragathambikai, the consort of Lord Patteeswarar - Perur).  

Karthik Sivakumar, the founder of Dosa Village in the United Kingdom is one of the grand children of Shanmugham Chettiar. His parents P. S. Baladandapani and Dhanabhagyam live in Coimbatore. Karthik did his schooling at the C.S.I Higher Secondary School and went on to do his catering science and hotel management at S.N.R. Sons College in Coimbatore. He furthered his acumen with a Postgraduate diploma in tourism administration from Pondicherry University. Karthik moved over to United Kingdom and began working as a chef. Years of experience turned him into an entrepreneur. He founded the chain of food outlets 'Dosa Village' in the year 2013. His outlets are located in Coventry, Rugby, and Shirley. He specialises in Indian food. The Masala Dosa is the USP (Unique Selling Preposition) at Dosa Village. It is priced at 4.45 Pounds and is much sought after. The cheapest item in his menu is the Medhu Vadai and it is priced at 1.75 Pounds.  

"I wanted to popularise South Indian cuisine in UK. We have about 20 employees and chefs known to me are now helping in managing these ventures. Our Chilli Panneer, Sambar Vadai, Mysore Masala Dosa are amongst the favourites. My wife, Bhuvaneswari (dentist) is an ardent idli fan. Our idlis will be fluffy and soft. We do not add colours and preservatives at our outlets. One can stay healthy by eating our food every day. We follow the stringent norms as prescribed by the authorities in UK. Our parotta is among the best in the region and foodies come from far off and savour it. The filter coffee at Dosa Village is a speciality. My friend, Divakar sends it from Karnataka. All our ingredients are sourced from India. We employ Indians, Rumanians, and British nationals too. Everybody is equal irrespective of their nationality and there are no reservations in doing all kinds of work. The work includes washing dishes too! Dosa Village brand is registered. We have a lot of North Indian clients and I wish to start an outlet in Delhi. Coimbatore will be my place for offering outdoor catering services. Dosa King is well known for serving up to 2000 people in the United Kingdom (UK). I have now moved over to India and will manage my business from here. The culture of our beloved Motherland Bharat brought me back home," smiled Karthik while sharing snippets about his life in the United Kingdom. 

Karthik is a socially conscious entrepreneur. He hosts Indians in his staff quarters often. He offers them free stay, food, and Wi-Fi in his outlet. This helps people to settle down without a hassle. The under privileged are thus looked after. It is Corporate Social Responsibility of a humane kind. There are three Indians who are enjoying his hospitality as of now. Athithi Devo Bhavah (Guest is God) is the motto of this entrepreneur.  

The couple, Bhuvaneswari and Karthik are blessed with Kaushik, Krishan, and Kashvi. Dr. Bhuvaneswari shared her ethos to The Verandah Club, "We wanted to have good company and enjoy our stay in UK. Therefore, we decided to have three children. We are deeply attracted to our culture and tradition and hence we performed rituals like ear piercing and hair tonsuring in our Kula Deivam (family deity) temple itself. We visit the famous Birmingham Balaji temple quite often. I must tell you about the famous Siddhi Vinayagar temple in Coventry. It is the biggest Ganapathy in Europe. They placed the idol first and then built the shrine. The management ensure that the temple follows our customs fully. Kozhukattai is offered here. In fact, our daughter Kashvi was named in this temple. Both of us are fond of our culture and we want our kids to enjoy the same. Therefore, we decided to move to India. My husband's chef friends are now managing our restaurants. Each of the outlets can seat about 50 people and are open between 11:30 AM and 11 PM round the year. We serve Jain food too. "  

Karthik grew up in Vysial street and is remarkably familiar to Coimbatore. His mother Dhanabhagyam happens to be his role model. "My mother is my greatest motivator. I am incredibly happy to state this. India is a great country and has given me her best. I am referring to the culture and tradition of our Motherland," smiled the friendly businessman, whose Dosa King Sambar happens to be an all-time favourite in the United Kingdom. This BHARAT VEER has succeeded against all odds. He seems to be following the business practices as suggested by Damu and Bhagiyam, the iconic wise couple who are part of The Verandah Club.  

Rajesh Govindarajulu, Chief Curator, The Verandah Club Pvt. Ltd.

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