Kaya and karipap in food fight with palgova and laddu in Chennai

A Malaysian businessman, yearning for home-made pastries in South India, is opening his own bakery after failing to find any to sooth his taste buds.

Forty-year old Prakash Rao has now turned into a budding entrepreneur in Chennai, busy planning a chain of his fancy “Breadz and Puffz” outlets across the city.

“I could not find any Malaysian pastry in Chennai when I arrived so I decided to open a bakery. There is growing demand for bread and pastry products because many Indians living abroad are now coming home due to the economic growth and lots of foreigners live in Chennai,” Prakash told Bernama.

Certainly, Prakash adds to the list of adventurous Malaysian entrepreneurs queuing in the bustling Indian market to turn their business dreams into reality, at what ever cost it may be.

Fast urbanising Indian cities, Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai, are now dotted with swanky malls, take-away eateries and western-styled cafes, catering for young prosperous Indians.

After opening two outlets in Chennai recently, Prakash’s company, Homeblends Confectionary and Bakers Pvt Ltd started along with four other Malaysians, are  toiling in the South Indian market to create a niche for their take-away products.

Stiff competition is likely from traditional South Indian sweets and pastry makers like Sri Krishna Sweets, Saravanaa Bhavan and Adayar Ananda Bhavan popular for their sumptuous “laddu”, “jellabies”, “Mysore pak”, “palkova” and “halwa”.

But, Prakash is undaunted because his pastries are uniquely Malaysian and even his business strategy is ahead of his Indian competitors, as he puts it.

“We have received overwhelming response. Business is good, 90 per cent of our customers are Indians and only 10 per ent are foreigners.  “Two outlets are up and running and we plan to open 20 outlets by this year,” he prided.

Customers are spoilt for choice with a variety of puffs filled with “kaya”, spicy “chicken rendang”, chicken and egg sambal and pandan-flavoured pastries, all made from ingredients sourced locally and diligently prepared in their factory.

Prakash’s venture merely epitomises the “Malaysia Boleh” slogan of putting wings to their lofty dreams and dare to fly, even in a foreign land.