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Red - Genx

HARSHA & HIS IRON(H)WILL

The end of 2017 had witnessed a new beginning of brew pub culture in the city. People were full of curious anticipation to explore and experience this new mode of hospitality. Ironhill Brewery exploded into the city scene, bringing in a fresh and frothy drift and draft in the dining culture. Simply amazed by the local response, Sriharsha Tripuraneni, Managing Partner of Ironhill, says, “They have taken to it like a fish taking to water.” Incredible it may sound, but he is an unyielding teetotaller, who doesn’t even take a sip from the overflowing keg of ale that brews in his pub. Harsha, caught in an elated and elevated mood, tells us how he has jumped into beer headlong and begun the ‘heady’ journey and also tosses in a few personal details.

EXCERPTS
The roots
I hail from Vijayawada and was brought up in a joint family ran by my father Mr.Jagadeeswara Rao along with his four brothers. He resigned his PWD post to test his trade skills and rose to prominence in transport and finance sectors, working his way up. My mother Mrs.Sarada, a homemaker, diverted all her attention to us two boys.

Clear objective
If ‘resolute determination is the truest wisdom’, I have had it in ample measures right from childhood. I wore my ambition on my sleeve & made no bones that I had no interest in academics.

Love for Vijayawada
Leaving the city was inconceivable for me. So I refused to go for the fashion designing course for which my father generously offered to send me to NIFT, Hyderabad. When I shifted my interest to hotel management, my father once again proposed to send me to a premium institution in Bengaluru. I said no and was prepared to go through any course that allowed me to stay in the city. So, I took the Hobson’s choice of studying B.Tech in VR Siddhartha Engineering College, Vijayawada. Later on, I was compelled to step out of the country to study MS in Leeds University, UK. This was again at father’s behest.

Vizag call
Surprisingly, my father never wanted us to tow his trade line because he felt it was a sticky wicket. Though he perfectly understood my passion to be an employment-giver, not an employee, he advised me to work at least for a few years to gain experience & understand the value of money. So from UK, I returned to Hyderabad to join Computer Science Corporation as a networking engineer and worked for two years. Later, I took up civil contracts in Navy and Vizag airport. And I fell like thousand bricks for the Gajuwaka girl, Pallavi and the city that saw her birth and growth.

Trade tide
Pallavi shares my passion for business. Realising her avid interest in the beauty sector, I opened Studio 11, which she ran for two years. She had to give it up as our bundle of joy Mayuka arrived. Meanwhile, my quest for the right time & right venture was going on.



Ironhill Brewery
One fine morning, Pallavi stumbled on Prost Brew Pub FB page and brought it to my notice. Thoroughly impressed by its concept and ambience, I went in for negotiations with the owners. Though they were looking at Vizag for further expansion, they were a bit reluctant to go for a franchise mode. I could convince them & bagged their first franchise in the country. The spadework for the project began in Jan 2017 and I got this place in July. The work, started in August, was completed in November. After a month-long kitchen and brewery trials, we threw open Ironhill on 27th Dec and ushered in New Year. To my delight, it received rave reviews from the word go.

Perfect ground
Vizag is the right place to run a restaurant. Out of the three major cities (Vijayawada, Tirupati and Vizag) in the state- this city has everything going for it. Besides being breathtakingly beautiful, it is growing in an organised manner, and its people are docile and disciplined. Till date, we have not faced any drunken brawls, nor did we witness misconduct of customers.

Learning ground
Since I came with no prior knowledge of this industry, I thought that the best way to enter it was through the franchise model. Prost takes a lot of burden off my shoulders in terms of maintaining manpower as it is armed with back up staff, besides running the brewery. It is a good learning ground for a fresher like me.

Franchise favour
It has been a smooth sail. They are open to my ideas and accept my suggestions. Since I am the interface between them and the local public, my opinion carries a lot of weight. Whenever they launch anything new, I appraise them if it gels with the local sentiment or not. For example, I suggested that we should go for the buffet model lunch from Monday to Friday and they readily accepted it. It will start soon.

Best part of hospitality industry
It is awesome to survey a packed brewery and the mixed throng of all ages. Since our guests feel comfortable enough to bring their children and enjoy this place, I know that I have reached my intended goal.

Future plans
My intention is not to stay where I am now. I have drafted my roadmap. Plan B is getting ready even as I am through with Plan A. We have some projects in the same hospitality line.

CSR activities
We have contributed to the red on a Mission and we keep donating to Akshaya Patra.

Memorable days
I carry indelible memories of my college days. Even now our gang of 30 college mates meet and relive those days. Those were the days we were found more at film theatres and less on the college campus. Almost every semester the principal used to summon my father and complain to him about my escapades. My father, in return, would hold brief for me, citing young blood as an excuse.

‘PALLAVI IS MY LIFELINE’
My father had given me all the freedom to choose my life partner, of course with a rider that she should be from our community. Fortunately, Pallavi, whom I met on FB, fitted the bill. Her innocent and serene face won over my heart. It turned out to be ‘they lived happily ever after’ story with both of us sharing a lot of interests. Arrival of Mayuka doubled the joy of our togetherness.

HER FAVOURITES
Restaurant: Barbeque Nation & KFC
Cuisine: Continental, particularly Pasta
Drink: Fresh fruit juice
Pastime: Chatting with friends and kitty parties
Film: Any movie of Anushka
Actor: NTR Jr
Actress: Ardent Anushka fan
Car: Mercedes and Audi
Attire: Western
Colour: Pink and blue

‘HARSHA IS A GREAT FRIEND’
My father Mr.Satya Prasad is a contractor. Mother Mrs.Dhanalakshmi has brought up my sister and me with discipline. I obtained a degree in Pharmacy and I am also a qualified cosmologist. While I come from cool Gajuwaka, Harsha is from volatile Vijayawada. Yet, our journey has been joyful. He is more a friend to me and a devoted father. Mayuka twirls her father around her little finger.

HIS FAVOURITES
Restaurant: Novotel
Cuisine: Indian, chicken biryani
Drink: Coca-Cola
Pastime: Facebook
Actor: NTR Jr
Song: Old Telugu songs
Car: Audi
Attire: Formals
Colour: White

OFF THE CUFF
Best compliment
One customer said that this is the best thing he had seen in Vizag.
Regrets: None
Success mantra: Pallavi
Role model: My father
Motivation: Pallavi
If not brewery: Fine dining
Strength: My family
Best time: Hours spent with Mayuka
Fear: I faced it a few days before the brewery started as I was opening it for the local people who are known to be conservative.
Failures: I refuse to take them to heart

 
 
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