Prafull Billore is the founder and CEO of MBA Chaiwala.
He became a very successful entrepreneur despite previously failing to secure admission into IIM and despite encountering many setbacks.
Prafull Billore was born on 14 January 1996 in Labrawada, Dhar District, Madhya Pradesh.
In 2016, he graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce from Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya (DAVV), Indore.
Prafull Billore has a younger brother, Vivek Billore.
Obsessed with MBA-
In 2014, Prafull Billore decided to prepare for a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and started preparing for the Common Admission Test (CAT).
His dream was to get admission into a top business school of India like an Indian Institute of Management and then, set himself a career and earn decent money.
Prafull Billore was preparing for CAT for 8-10 hours a day.
In 2016, Prafull Billore started seriously preparing for both CAT and Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT).
At that time, his plan was to study from a prestigious management institute either in India or abroad.
Likewise, Prafull Billore prepared for a couple of years for various exams like CAT, GMAT, GRE, etc.
Love for tea-
During his preparation days, tea was his most loved beverage.
And in the course of his preparation for MBA, Prafull Billore drank thousands of cups of tea.
Failing to secure admission-
Prafull Billore attempted the CAT exam twice but couldn’t score a decent percentile in it.
So, there was no way for him to get into IIMs and he wasn’t ready to compromise by joining any normal MBA college.
This failure broke Prafull Billore and he became clueless about his future.
Abandoning the MBA dream-
During that time, Prafull Billore realised that he couldn’t score beyond 92-93 percentile for CAT.
And to get into top IIMs, one needs to get around 99 to 100 percentile which seemed impossible for him to achieve.
So, Prafull Billore gave up preparing for MBA and decided not to pursue MBA.
Prafull Billore decided to travel across India to get over his failure and ease his mind and at that time, he was 20.
He travelled to different cities like Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Delhi, Haridwar, Gurugram and Ahmedabad.
Prafull Billore travelled the country cheaply by travelling in trucks and staying in his friends’ rooms.
Finally, he settled in Ahmedabad as he found this city to be very congenial.
In Ahmedabad, Prafull Billore stayed as a Paying Guest behind the IIM Ahmedabad.
Also, currently he lives in Ahmedabad.
Getting rejected by McDonald’s-
Prafull Billore had read that famous personalities like Jeff Bezos and James Franco had previously worked at McDonald’s and this inspired him to try for a job at McDonald’s.
So, Prafull Billore started trying for a job at McDonald’s and there he used to mention that he was preparing for MBA and thanks to this, he couldn’t get the job as the managers there feared that he would take off their jobs.
Likewise, he got rejected by McDonald’s four times.
Working at McDonald’s-
Later, Prafull Billore approached a McDonald’s and requested for a job stating that he studied only until the 10th standard.
This time around, he was offered a job as a waiter and was paid ₹37 per hour.
Within four months, Prafull Billore became an Assistant Manager there.
Later, he wanted to start something on his own.
Deciding to sell tea-
Initially, Prafull Billore thought of opening a burger restaurant and name it as Billore Burgerwala but he dropped this idea as he wanted to sell something that all Indians consume regularly.
At that time, tea struck his mind and he decided to sell tea.
So, Prafull Billore wanted to open either a restaurant or a café in Ahmedabad to sell tea and for this he required around ₹15 lakh.
But as this is a very huge amount of money, he was reluctant to seek financial assistance from his father.
Inspired to start small–
Prafull Billore’s father, Pandit Sohan Billore, initially used to sell incense sticks on a bicycle and this inspired him to start small.
So, Prafull Billore took a sum of ₹15,000 from his father for opening a tea stall on the pretext of doing an international course.
After purchasing all the necessary utensils, after around 25 days, he mustered up the courage and opened a tea stall on a street in June 2017.
An interesting thing was that Prafull Billore never made tea before and now, he had to learn to prepare it and sell it.
On the first day of opening his tea stall, Prafull Billore couldn’t sell even a single tea.
So, on the second day he started approaching the people on the street and offering them tea.
The people were amused to see Prafull Billore selling tea by conversing in English.
He started selling tea by placing tea cups on a tray and used to also offer tissue papers and rusk along with a visiting card with positive quotes written on it.
Prafull Billore started applying the lessons that he learnt while preparing for CAT for selling the tea.
On the second day of his business, Prafull Billore sold a total of ten teas and sold each tea for ₹30, so he made a revenue of ₹300.
People started liking his tea and were eager to know his story.
And over a period of time, they became Prafull Billore’s regular customers.
Slowly his business started growing exponentially.
Job along with business-
Prafull Billore used to work from 9 AM to 3 PM in McDonald’s and then sell tea in the evening from 7 PM to 11 PM.
During this time, his father pressured him to enroll into MBA.
So, in August 2017, Prafull Billore quit his job at McDonald’s and took admission into a local private MBA college.
Meanwhile, he borrowed ₹50,000 from his father for the MBA but he invested this money in his business.
Prafull Billore was not particularly interested in studying MBA and thought of quitting it to focus full-time on his tea stall.
So on the 7th day, he dropped out of college.
Prafull Billore struggled financially in his initial days of business.
Many times he would be left with no money for meals and for recharging his mobile.
During that time, Prafull Billore also purchased a pushcart for selling tea but he struggled to find a suitable parking place.
Closing the stall-
When Prafull Billore was becoming somewhat successful with his tea stall, his neighbourhood business men grew envious of him.
So, they hired goons and intimidated him to close his tea stall.
Prafull Billore was left with no option except to cease his business.
So, his business got closed just after a couple of months of starting.
Then, Prafull Billore thought of once again preparing for MBA but his customers started calling and messaging him to reopen his tea stall.
So, after 15 days, Prafull Billore found another area in Ahmedabad for opening his tea stall.
He approached a doctor and requested him to allow him to set up a tea stall outside his hospital.
Luckily, the doctor agreed with Prafull Billore and like this, he opened his stall.
He used to pay a rent of ₹10,000 to the doctor.
Prafull Billore wanted to offer something unique to his customers so as to gain popularity.
So, he set up a whiteboard in his tea stall and allowed the people looking for jobs to fill in their details.
Soon, the people started receiving not only jobs but also business offers.
A few people also met their life partners in this way.
Story behind the name-
Initially, Prafull Billore named his tea stall Mr. Billore but people were finding it difficult to pronounce.
As he had become famous for his MBA attempts among his customers, the people started remembering him as the MBA guy.
So, Prafull Billore renamed his tea stall to Mr. Billore Ahmedabad, which is abbreviated as MBA.
Likewise, his tea stall was renamed to MBA Chaiwala.
But some people mocked Prafull Billore for setting up a tea stall after being highly educated but as he knew the dignity of labour, he didn’t pay heed to them.
Now, Prafull Billore is running his business very successfully.
As of 2021, the turnover of the MBA Chaiwala is around ₹5 crores and has a team of around 50 people.
Prafull Billore is planning to go international in 2021.
Initially, his father wasn’t happy with him for setting up a tea stall instead of pursuing MBA but now, thanks to his huge success, his father is very proud of him.
Thanks to his huge success, Prafull Billore has been interviewed by many news channels and he is also very famous on social media.
He runs a YouTube channel by the name, Prafull MBA CHAI WALA.
Prafull Billore is the second most famous tea seller in India after Narendra Modi.
Narendra Modi used to sell tea as a child.
In 2020, Prafull Billore also spoke at TEDx at KIET.
Now, MBA Chaiwala is not a mere tea stall but a lot bigger than that.
It sells its items through online food ordering platforms like Swiggy and Zomato and also serves tea in various events like weddings, campaigns, etc.
MBA Chaiwala is offering its franchise all across India.
Prafull Billore is an angel investor and has a digital marketing company.
He also launched MBA Chaiwala Foundation and is raising funds for cancer patients and natural disasters.
Prafull Billore is also planning to launch the MBA Chaiwala Academy to teach entrepreneurship.
So, how are you inspired by the success story of Prafull Billore?
Tell me in the comment section below.
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Sunil · October 14, 2021 at 7:43 PM
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