Run by single mother Shilpa, Halli Mane Rotties is a food truck that serves its customers delicious North Karnataka cuisine, some of which are the rotties made of Ragi, Jowar, and Rice. From working as a a saleswoman to finally being a self-established entrepreneur, here is the story of a young mother’s determination to do what it takes to win at life
When her husband didn’t return from work one day, and things started falling apart, Shilpa (34) felt like the whole world had come to a standstill. Unable to put food on the table for her three-year-old child nor her ailing parents, it really looked like all hope was lost to the wind. Coming from a well-to-do family in Hassan, Shilpa married a man from Mangalore in the year 2005. As her parents grew older and needed to be taken care of, they too soon moved in with her. Just when things seemed manageable, her husband was no longer by her side and she was left alone and helpless with the responsibility of taking care of three other individuals all herself. Filling three hungry stomachs, looking after their medical and day-to-day expenses can be overwhelming for a single mother, but Shilpa fared better than most.
Yet, life is never easy. Soon Shilpa took up work at a cyber-cafe and also worked at a cosmetics store. However earning 6000 rupees a month hardly covered anything. Thus she realised that thus was not going to be enough and that she should now try and find another line of work that would earn her the money she requires. Every now and then, Shilpa’s family would praise her for her wonderful cooking skills and somehow, playing at the back of her mind was a forgotten desire – to put her cooking skills to the test and earn the much-needed money for her family.
Although she had no finances kept aside to support her through this unsure venture, she did put aside one lakh rupees to support her son through school. While she never dared to touch that money when in need, this time she took the chance. Using that to set her small food truck up, Shilpa began what is now called “Halli Mane Rotties.” she started the business by purchasing a brand new Mahindra Bolero pick-up truck, for which she received much criticism as people thought of it as a foolish investment. Her critiques were of the opinion that she should have bought a second-hand vehicle instead of a brand new one and that she should have set it up near a busy street or next to a mall. However, Shilpa made her own rules and defied everyone as her mobile canteen at Sanghaniketan in Mannagudde became a success right from day one.
This place is open every day from 5 in the evening till 10 in the night. Her menu includes a wide variety of rotties from different parts of Karnataka but none from the coast. While this did cause her to be anxious about whether or not people at the coast would enjoy the same, life had different plans up its sleeve. From day one, her sales have only grown and she has been gaining popularity day after day.
Seeing how Shilpa was achieving great success all by herself and seeing as how she had chosen a Mahindra truck to help her in her struggle, Mr. Anand Mahindra, Executive Chairman of the Mahindra Group decided to invest in her business and even went to the extent of gifting her a Mahindra Boler Maxi Truck Plus which costed about 6 lac in the year 2018. This happened at a time when Shilpa was considering expanding her business and transforming it into a mobile eatery. Shilpa is the proud recipient of Mahindra Transport Excellence Award 2017.
What could be the secret to achieving such a great feat you might ask, but for Shilpa, this is her heart and soul. This is what helps her support herself and her family and therefore, she ensures that her customers are given the best of the best food. She procures all the ingredients during the day and even gets some delivered from her village in order to ensure quality. Some of the items on her versatile menu are tomato rice, methi rice, bisibele baath, and thatte idli. While she has received various requests to open her canteen in the morning as well, she talked of how she needs time to procure the ingredients and cook food during the day inorder to be able to meet the demands of her ever-growing customer crowd.
This is a story of a woman who decided to do everything in her power to ensure that her child could attend school and her parents could get the medical attention they deserve even if it meant giving up on her needs for the time being. Her hard work has now been rewarded as her small yet proud business is picking up the pace and creating a name. Food made with love, skill, and in extremely hygienic conditions for everyone under the sun. Shilpa truly has a will made out of steel.