The scion and founder of CK’s Bakery chain was in conversation with his father, CavinKare CMD CK Ranganathan, at the inaugural edition of TVNews4U.com Straight Talk – The Brand Stories.
Manuranjith Ranganathan, MD, CK’s Bakery, proposed a business model, one he had drafted along with his roommate in the US when he was studying there, to his father, CavinKare CMD CK Ranganathan. The response? The son revealed, “He said it was atrocious.”
The duo were in conversation in a session themed ‘The pioneer and the scion’ at the first edition of TVNews4u.com Straight Talk – The Brand Stories hosted in Chennai on 30 November 2018. The talk was moderated by Hemachandra Shetty, CEO, Brand Avatar.
Rejection of his first business plan didn’t deter the youngster from taking a deep dive into business. The business he ended up launching in June 2015 was the bakery chain that bears the father’s initials: CK’s Bakery. Taking the franchisee route, it has 60 outlets in 5 cities and is on track to touch 163 by March 2019.
Talking about what drove him to quit academics for business, Manuranjith said, “Having seen my dad and my uncle (CK Kumaravel, MD, Naturals) and so on, there was a drive to succeed in business. I wanted people to talk about me after I had lived my life. I knew I could do that only through business; it is already in my blood. There will be a lot of people who say that it (my success) is because of my dad’s money, they will keep saying it. I am sitting here today because of what I have done.”
Asked about his reaction when his son quit studies to pursue business, the senior Ranganathan explained, “I respect the independence of my children. He had decided not to pursue studies and I respected that. The only thing I say that a degree is helpful – whether you are going out to meet people or when dealing with people working under you, it can be helpful. In his mind, it was about: ‘Did Bill Gates study? Did Mark Zuckerberg study?’ It was his reading that it is only those without (formal) education who succeed. Actually, there is no correlation. You need to educate yourself for business and he is doing that. He extensively listens and reads. He prepares himself for the business and that is very good.”
Quoting George Bernard Shaw when asked about the ‘rebellious’ son, Ranganathan senior quipped, “Bernard Shaw said, ‘A reasonable man adapts himself to the world. An unreasonable man persists in adapting the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.’ I am happy he is unreasonable.”
On the business innovation driving CK’s Bakery, Manuranjith explained that the tagline ‘Eat Fresh, Pay Less’ represented the value for money proposition that the brand stood for. Leveraging economy of scale and cutting down on retail space are among factors helping deliver this value. The brand plans to launch 500 outlets in five years.
The son revealed the core value driving his business, “In my discussions with dad, one clear thing emerged – the franchisee should win. The numbers we show should be real. Whatever we pitched were actual numbers.”
In a parting shot aimed at the younger entrepreneur, CK Ranganathan noted that while CK’s Bakery plans to launch 60 outlets in the next six months, the roadmap for the next five years was far slower, targeting 500 stores.
While the younger business leader reasoned that the projections were moderate factoring the brand’s entry into newer cities, his father surmised quoting Swami Vivekananda:“Unnai nee thirumbipaar, un balamunakkutheriyum.” (All power is within you.)