In just over three years, Aayush Agrawal, the dynamic young founder of Wok Express, is now in Forbes 30 Under 30 list. The brand’s expansion plans include adding 10 more restaurants in Pune in the coming year.He started the venture in 2015 as a pilot in the food industry and today it is the fastest growing Chinese food QSR brand with 35 outlets in Mumbai and Pune and growing at 50%.
In three years, this completely self-funded home grown brand entity of Aayush Agrawal (29) is now making industry bigwigs sit up and take notice. Aiming to bridge the gap between Chinese street food and fine dining, the beginning was made with Chinese Rice and Noodle Bowls – Wok. But Aayush Agrawal did something very basic – listen closely to customer feedback and grow slowly. The next step – expansion of the menu, which today boasts of momos, baos – Chinese bread with choice of filling, traditional appetizers and mains at pocket friendly prices.
The brand’s big recognition comes in form of Aayush Agrawal, finding his name in the Forbes 30 Under 30 list of India’s most inspiring young achievers, bright rising stars and the leaders of tomorrow. This Under 30 class of 2019 is all about millennials who have made an impact. “This is such an honour not just for me but for brand Wok Express as readers and top editors have selected us from thousands of nominations,” stated Aayush Agrawal, Managing Director, Wok Express. “This award also puts an additional responsibility on our growth plans and we are so ready for it,” he added.
Wok Express has two restaurants in Pune – Phoenix Marketcity (Viman nagar) and Pimple Saudagar –both giving overwhelming response and there are now plans to open 10 restaurants in next one year.
The brand is also hitting all the right notes with the young demographic with their ‘Making your own Chinese Rice/Noodle Bowls’ concept. Here, the customer makes his own meal with his own preference and choice from wide range of customised offerings- right from the base, vegetables or meats to the different kinds of sauces, which range from traditional Teriyaki, Machurian, Schezwan to more adventurous ones such as Bangkok Bell Pepper or Black Bean.
has emerged as a major educational hub in recent decades, with nearly half of
the total international students in the country studying here. It is also an
evolving business centres with major IT and automotive companies having their
operations. Students and young working professionals contribute maximum to our
business, making it an important and lucrative market to focus on,” explained
Aayush Agrawal is aware of his competition with the Chinese restaurants and other QSR brands. “The consumer is demanding ambience, hygiene, time to service and accessibility. The success of Wok Express shows there is a huge potential for branded Chinese food QSR in India and every young person, newlyweds, working professional, families are our customers. We want to be the biggest QSR brand in India in the next five years,” he explained.