Academic journal article Journal of Business and Educational Leadership

Small Business Strategy in India: The Case of Café Central

Academic journal article Journal of Business and Educational Leadership

Small Business Strategy in India: The Case of Café Central

Article excerpt

Café Central: A First-Person Account of Business Successes

"There are only three measurements that tell you nearly everything you need to know about your organization's overall performance: employee engagement, customer satisfaction, and cash flow.... It goes without saying that no company, small or large, can win over the long run without energized employees who believe in the mission and understand how to achieve it.."

-Jack Welch, Former CEO of General Electric

Café Central is the oldest and most famous café in Goa, India. Mr. Ravindra Gayatonde and his team of industrious and skilled employees efficiently and successfully manage the café. This case focuses on Café Central and addresses the many economic and cultural issues associated with a café's operations and management in the heart of Goa and how it has maintained resiliency and sustainability over three generations. Café Central has succeeded in sustaining high levels of job satisfaction, employee engagement, linked with purposive mentoring. The case identifies, based on a series of personal interviews, the problems faced by Ravindra Gayatonde in the day-to-day activities in the café, while simultaneously responding to a changing clientele base, business relocation, and a changing urban-scape.

Goa, India

There are 29 States in India and Goa is one of the smallest with a population of approximately 1.8 million. It is located in western India with its coastline along the Arabian Sea approximately half way between Mumbai to the north and the southern most tip of India to the south. While it is one of India's smallest states it is one of the richest states with a GDP per capita two and a half times the rest of the country. At US$ 4166.3 it is one of the highest in India. In 2011-2012 the state GDP was approximately US$ 7.5 billion. The state is divided into two districts, North Goa and South Goa. Panaji, with a population of 115,000 is the capital of Goa. Goa is the second state in India to achieve a 100 per cent automatic telephone system and is one of the few states in the country to achieve 100 per cent rural electrification. It has the fourth highest road density in the country and has an international airport. Goa has the fourth highest literacy rate at 87.4 per cent, which has attracted knowledge-based industries such as pharmaceutical, biotechnology and IT. A large proportion of the population can speak English, which has helped to create a high inflow of international tourists, driving tourism revenue. Goa is traditionally known as a tourist paradise for its natural scenery, unique beaches and cultural diversity. In 2012, the state attracted 2.8 million tourists, of which 1.2 million were foreign tourists. As of 2012, Goa had 2,777 hotels, with a total of 26,859 rooms and bed capacity of 49,167. The state has a coastline of about 104 km, which is the attraction for tourists. Goa has a tropical climate with a monsoon season, which lasts from June to September; the weather is hot and humid for the rest of the year. Goa's economic growth is driven by the strong performance of industrial sectors such as mining, tourism, fishing and pharmaceuticals (the pharmaceuticals industry is one of the major employers in the state). Rice is the major crop in the state followed by coconut, vegetables, sugarcane, banana and cashew nut. The compound GDP annual growth rate from 2004 to 2012 was sixteen per cent.

Café Central: An Uncommon Introduction

The author's initial personal interview began on July 14, 2012 when the monsoon season was well underway. Café Central is located on Dr Pandurang Pissurlekar Road and it was crowded as was customary during the monsoon. The rain poured down all day, yet the market was full of people. The economic and social activities were robust and seemingly undeterred as hundreds of Indians were busy buying household goods and other personal amenities. In a subtle, quiescent manner, clusters of French tourists were engaged in serious shopping, and the all-too-willing sellers were applying their finest persuasion and bargaining powers. …

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