If your passion testifies to work in a particular field, then neither does it need any courses nor any uncounted experience to start a business.

If you are passionate to work, you don’t need any degree. Neither you need any course nor you need any experience. Nature will conspire to make you successful.


Ashwini Srinivasan, a girl from Chennai proves the above point to be true. And that too without raising any funds.

Ashwini is only 22 years old and she started a café in Chennai in November 2016 together with one of her friends. Without any prior experience at such a young age, in just one year, she skyrocketed her business revenue to Rs 54 lakhs.

With a major interest in travel and food sector, she completed her engineering degree in IT Stream. And she joined Pranesh in his studio. Pranesh runs wedding photography and video company by name Studio 31 in Chennai.

During her work there Ashwini realized that this work will soon become the inspiration for her becoming an entrepreneur. While learning the nuances of the creative industry, Pranesh sensed a special aura in Ashwini that he encouraged Ashwini to start her venture.

Pranesh was familiar with Ashwini’s creativity and therefore, he advised Ashwini to take a risk, start her own business and work hard.

It’s always great to have friends as business partners

Ashwini's Cafe
Ashwini’s Cafe

Their friendship is quite old.

They trusted each other. So both of them decided to start a café named ‘80 Degrees East‘. Both had great affection for eating and thus created a food brand for themselves.

Ashwini said that this unique name of the café was given by Kurti, wife of his partner Pranesh. The name is based on the location of Chennai (longitude of Chennai city).

While studying the ins and outs before opening the café, Ashwini realized that there were not a lot of alternatives for vegetarians in cafés serving both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food. So she decided to solve the problem by filling the gap for vegetarians.

She started the process of preparing a veg menu that has enough varieties and options. Ashwini says that there are options for 85 items for Vegetarians in their cafe. Also, she presents combo offers daily to her customers.

These offers depend on timings and seasons. In order to make the process of cooking cost efficient and to avoid pollution, she uses electrical appliances instead of traditional fossil fuel equipment for all her kitchen needs.

Another specialty of Ashwini and Pranesh’s café is that all the chefs there are from the rural areas of Tamil Nadu. And thus, her cafe creates a platform for the needy to showcase their talent, earn their bread and support their family.

Ashwini visited 38 places for along duration of 8 months and found that in the last three to four decades only traditional South Indian and North Indian restaurants were opened in these places.

Let us tell you that within a year of launch, the café generated a revenue of Rs 54 lakhs. She believes that there is nothing more satisfying than traveling and enjoying good food.

Keeping these two factors in mind, Ashwini designed the restaurant on a travel theme. The walls of the café have been given the names of different countries and those countries have clock-wise clocks.

The walls have been decorated with quotes related to travel and food.

School children, families and college boys often visit the café for picnics, parties and so on. Burger, Nachos, Petza and Desi Fries, as well as futon dishes of East and West, are something to boast about in the cafe’s menu.

One of the few special dishes in her menu is Bhel Pasta, which is a fusion of Bhelpuri and Pasta. Many unique varieties of Maggi and Dosa are also available in the menu. The average cost of dining for two people in the café is around 400-500 rupees.

Referring to the challenges of the first year, Ashwini says that her family members used to object to her timings and routine. Apart from this, at the age of 22 people did not take her seriously when she tried to crack business deals.

Whenever she goes to a café or restaurant with her family or friends, she talks well with the owner and the chef. She always tries to learn something new talking to them. Ashwini believes that such visits helped her learn a lot about business models and industry.

Ashwini’s café’s growth is completely organic. Word of mouth and persistent menus is helping the cafe to earn great customers and leading to the development of her business.

After thorough market research, the café plans to increase business through the franchise model. So far, the company is fully bootstrapped and is constantly looking for external investors.


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