Realtor-Restaurateur Couple Firmly Retain Ethics, Quality
31 October 2017
Manu Shrivastava, Mumbai

Sitting in their cozy office at the famous Madras Café restaurant in Colaba, Mumbai and sipping onto their beverage of choice, Rashmi and Sachin Shetty make a picture-perfect couple. Easy-going yet ambitious, the couple has managed to strike a beautiful balance in their professional and personal lives. Both are gradually moving up the ladder of success in their individual careers and complement each other by guiding and supporting the other. For this power couple, the power is not about running their business but the ability to run their family together and spend quality time.

Sachin is a nutrition expert and the owner of Colaba-based Madras Café – one of the oldest and well-known casual dining places in South Mumbai. His polite and hospitable demeanour is in sharp contrast to the gregarious and warm Rashmi, a Realty and HR consultant who has carved a niche for herself in the highly-competitive sectors, particularly in South Mumbai. The couple not only share their lives but also space in an elegant office ensuring their professional demands do not come in the way of spending time together. A common office also means your best advisor is next to you in times of need.

It was in 2002, when things clicked for the duo who know each other for years together, and they got engaged the very next year. “Things happen just when they’re fated,” says Sachin, a South Mumbai resident, who had to take up the responsibility of the restaurant at an early age owing to his father’s ill-health and Borivali-based Rashmi too was completing an MBA. Marriage was on the anvil and the couple got married within a year of engagement in 2004.

The couple now have an eleven-year-old Ishaan, who has inherited his parents’ love for travel. “He loves to travel with us and eagerly awaits his vacations,” says Rashmi. Vacations for the family are spent at a new destination, almost always, if not at Sachin’s ancestral home in Mangalore. Having already visited Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and more, they now want to explore their own country. “There is so much to see in India alone, so much we have not even known of,” quips Sachin.

Like any other couple with demanding careers, the Shettys also have days and phases harder than the rest. They have to tackle the pressures of maintaining service standards and delivery deadlines as well as constantly innovate to keep up with changing markets. As a Realty Consultant, Rashmi often faces difficulty because of the severe lack of professionalism and business ethics in the highly unorganised Realty sector.

The irregularities and the presence of unregistered Real Estate agents cause damage to the reputation and clientele of those going by the law. She is hopeful that things will change because of the new RERA Act. “I am positive that the anomalies will be ironed out as registrations for agents is now mandatory under the new law,” she says during a break from browsing through client mailers on her laptop and a constantly ringing mobile.

Sachin, who inherited his father’s restaurant business, soon realised to survive in the fast-evolving hospitality industry, diversity is essential. That is when he shifted from a purely South-Indian specialty restaurant to serving North Indian cuisine, a-la-carte and now Chinese too. Being extremely health conscious, he ensures food served at his restaurant has no additives and the highest of hygiene levels are maintained. “We don’t use Monosodium Glutamate, popularly known as MSG aka Ajinomoto, or artificial colour at all, not even in our Chinese food and have been using filtered water even before it was made mandatory by law,” says a proud Sachin closely monitoring his staff.

Every now and then he introduces ‘healthy’ items such as a Sprouts Salad despite there being poor demand for the same. He ensures the food prepared is fresh even if it takes little extra time, sometimes at the cost of upsetting his customers. A little risk he hazards to keep them happy in the long run.

So, for the Shettys, life is as good as it gets. They take pride in their achievements and are excited to stride further in their respective callings. Rashmi, who boasts of a loyal clientele, sees herself among Mumbai’s top realty consultants in a decade from now. Sachin feels accomplished when every now and then tourists, foreign and local alike, who come to visit Gateway of India or Colaba Causeway glide in to eat at Madras Café. He would like to see himself owning a chain of smaller cafes in the city and outside, in the future.

Their drive to succeed doesn’t come in the way of their affection for each other and their shared passion to travel to new lands together.