South-Western - Management  
Pennsylvania Entrepreneur Makes, Markets Ethnic Specialty Foods
Topic Entrepreneurism
Key Words Entrepreneurial motivation
InfoTrac Reference CJ104571491
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News Story 

Rajavel Jagadesan first had the idea to start his own company when he was a junior in college. His family immigrated to the U.S. from India when he was 4½. He became interested in the food business after realizing that Indian specialty stores and general supermarkets were ignoring the potential of certain niche markets.

Jagadesan began by arranging for a firm to make chapatti, an Indian pancake-like bread made with whole wheat flour. He personally delivered it to Indian grocery stores in New York City. The business has grown from that humble beginning to several million dollars in annual sales generated by more than 30 products, with Indian grocery stores representing about 60% of the business.

The company remains independent, expanding from its profits and without outside financing.

Questions
1.

What motivated an engineering major to begin a specialty foods company? How did his original purpose for starting the business help him achieve success as the company grew?

Source "Pennsylvania Entrepreneur Makes, Markets Ethnic Specialty Foods," Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News, July 1, 2003.
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