Behind the Brewpub ScenesSelling sarees to driving Hummers, say hello to Vishal.
Running a brewpub isn’t easy- it’s a lot of work, a lot of sweat and the occasional tears.
There are a lot of good, earnest people working behind the scenes, who put in a great deal of effort, round-the-clock, to ensure that everything you love about Toit stays that way.
And these people are none other than our never-tiring, ever-inspiring staff.
Our very own Toit Army- a battalion dedicated to the cause of good beer!
From selling sarees in Surat, to driving Hummers in Bangalore, Vishal, our valet, has had quite the journey himself.
How have you been with Toit?
It has been five years now.
What were you doing before this?
Before this, I had a business of my own, a family business, in Gujarat.
I was into textile designing, for approximately 20 years.
How did you end up leaving that and coming here?
You know how there are always problems that keep happening in a business? I had similar problems, and my bother and I ended up splitting. So the business got divided.
How did Bangalore happen?
So I am from Gulbarga, in Karnataka.
We used to have a jewellery and cloth shop business. I moved to Bombay when I was 16, and worked with some relatives there. But as time progressed, they started going their own separate ways and asked us to do our own business.
My parents had moved to Bangalore and been here for the last 10 years, and there was no one to take care of them, so I thought I’ll move here and do some business.
But when I came here, it didn’t feel right to start a business. I didn’t know if it would work or not, and because I had a doubt, my relatives suggested I take up a job initially and then do my own business later if I want to.
How did you end up at Toit?
I’d heard a lot of good things about Toit, but I never imagined I would end up working at a place like this.
I decided to come by and take a look, and the agency I came through also recommended Toit a lot, so I applied for a job here.
When I joined, it took me a couple of months to settle down. But after that, five years went by without me even realising.
What is your job role?
I work as the valet.
How did you end up choosing that?
Actually, I didn’t have any prior experience of working in a pub. I used to have a Corolla, and I knew how to drive, and it’s something I liked. So I decided to join something in that area.
As an employee, you need to have some kind of experience and this is the only thing I had experience in, as a job option in Toit, so I decided to be a valet.
What’s a typical workday like?
I wake up at 6:30 am every morning. Whether I go to sleep at 1 am or 2 am, I always wake up at 6:30 am. Or max, 7:00 am.
I freshen up, watch the news and finish all pending work. If my parents need to go somewhere, I take them.
They’re quite old, so I need to take them to the hospital quite often.
I finish all that and come to work. I’ve had the second shift since I joined, from 3:30 pm till 12:30 am.
And what about your off-day?
My off is on Tuesday, but I wake up at 6:30 am even then. I do all my work peacefully on my off days.
I sometimes go visit relatives, whom I haven’t seen in a long time. Otherwise I go watch a movie, or end up coming to Toit and spending time here.
Do you have any hobbies that you like pursuing in your free time?
I keep going to Surat when I’m free, and I bring sarees and material back from there and sell it to people around my house.
I have some contacts in Korea also, and they send dresses from there that I sell here.
So your business back in Surat was also sarees?
Actually, it was related to the design in sarees. The ‘pallu’ and all over.
We used to create the design in our office and send it to the mill, like Praful, Vipul, Parag, etc.
There is a printing master at these places, and he chooses from the designs we send and gets it printed on their sarees. And this isn’t 2-3 metres—they print it on 5-10 lakh metres. And they supply this all over India.
Do you enjoy being a valet?
Yes! I have a lot of fun. In the beginning, I used to worry about how to interact with the customers and how I should be doing this job. Mainly because I didn’t have any experience.
But now, every customer is like my family, and they enquire about me and my family too. I feel so good.
What’s the best car you’ve driven until now?
Hummer! And a BMW left-hand drive car. All kinds of people and cars come to Toit.
How do you handle it when a customer is impatient and the car takes a while to come?
We apologise and explain to them that the car is taking time because the parking area is at the back, and we need to go around the block and bring the cars, and sometimes end up having to stop at the traffic signal.
Once we explain it, they usually understand.
It’s been five years here. What are you excited to do in the next five years?
Until I’m at Toit, I will do this.
If I leave Toit, I will definitely pursue my own business. But this time around, I will do it solo.