Divya Rao IIM Ahmedabad, Rameshwaram Cafe, Entrepreneur, Biography

Divya Rao IIM Ahmedabad, Rameshwaram Cafe, Entrepreneur, Biography

Divya Rao IIM Ahmedabad, Rameshwaram Cafe, Entrepreneur, Biography – In the bustling streets of Bangalore, where the aroma of diverse cuisines mingles with the city’s vibrant energy, the story of Divya Rao unfolds. Born into a lower-middle-class family, Divya’s journey is an inspirational narrative of resilience, determination, and the pursuit of entrepreneurial dreams. This biography delves into the various chapters of Divya’s life, from her modest beginnings to the establishment of the thriving Rameshwaram Cafe and beyond.

Divya Rao IIM Ahmedabad, Rameshwaram Cafe, Entrepreneur, Biography

Divya Rao Early Life and Academic Pursuits

Divya Rao’s story begins in a household where financial constraints were a constant companion. With a meager monthly pocket money of ₹1000, she learned the value of money from an early age. However, instead of letting these limitations define her, Divya embraced education as her ticket to a brighter future. Her diligence and determination led her to achieve the remarkable feat of becoming a Chartered Accountant at the tender age of 21.

Undeterred by challenges, Divya continued her pursuit of knowledge and enrolled in the prestigious Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIM Ahmedabad). Here, she embarked on a journey to expand her horizons, pursuing an MBA in finance and management. This academic endeavor not only marked a personal milestone for Divya but also set the stage for the entrepreneurial spark that would later ignite within her.

The Spark of Entrepreneurship

It was during her time at IIM Ahmedabad that Divya’s entrepreneurial spirit was kindled. Detailed case studies on global food giants such as McDonald’s, KFC, and Starbucks triggered her imagination. Noticing the absence of a world-class Indian food chain, a vision took root within Divya – to introduce traditional South Indian cuisine to the global stage.

Collaboration with Raghavendra Rao

However, the path to realizing this ambitious dream was not a solo journey. Fate intervened when Divya crossed paths with Raghavendra Rao, a seasoned professional in the food industry with over 15 years of experience. Their collaboration began when Raghavendra, initially reaching out to Divya in her capacity as a Chartered Accountant, recognized the potential for a partnership.

Divya Rao IIM Ahmedabad, Rameshwaram Cafe, Entrepreneur, Biography

Raghavendra’s journey in the food industry had been a rollercoaster, starting with a roadside cart in Seshadripuram. Despite facing numerous challenges and setbacks, Raghavendra’s resilience and experience made him an ideal partner for Divya’s entrepreneurial venture.

Founding Rameshwaram Cafe

Pooling their savings and determination, Divya and Raghavendra embarked on a journey to establish Rameshwaram Cafe. The name itself held significance, paying tribute to former President APJ Abdul Kalam, who hailed from Rameshwaram, and emphasizing its immediate connection to authentic South-Indian cuisine.

The journey, however, was not without its challenges. Divya faced familial resistance, with her mother expressing concern over her decision to sell idli and dosas on the streets. Despite these hurdles, Divya remained steadfast in her pursuit, determined to turn her vision into reality.

The Rise of Rameshwaram Cafe

Diligently focusing on delivering high-quality food, Divya and Raghavendra dedicated themselves to setting their cuisine apart. Their commitment bore fruit as stellar reviews poured in, prompting the opening of additional outlets. The compact-sized stores, measuring 10 by 10 or 10 by 15 square feet, became the epicenter of a culinary revolution in Bangalore.

Sujeet Kumar, Co-founder of B2B startup Udaan, highlighted the astounding success of Rameshwaram Cafe. Despite the limited space, the cafe processes 7,500 bills daily, generating a monthly revenue of Rs. 4.5 crore per store and contributing to an annual turnover of approximately Rs. 50 crore, with an impressive gross margin of around 70 percent.

Personal and Professional Convergence

As Rameshwaram Cafe continued its upward trajectory, the personal and professional lives of the founders converged in a heartwarming union. Raghavendra, recognizing the deep connection they shared, proposed to Divya, emphasizing that they were not just business partners but potential life partners.

Future Aspirations

The success of Rameshwaram Cafe, though remarkable, is just the beginning of Divya and Raghavendra’s entrepreneurial journey. With ambitious dreams reaching beyond borders, they envision establishing a presence not only in South and North India but also abroad in the next five years.

Divya Rao IIM Ahmedabad, Rameshwaram Cafe, Entrepreneur, Biography

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Divya Rao IIM Ahmedabad, Rameshwaram Cafe, Entrepreneur, Biography


Divya Rao’s biography is a testament to the transformative power of determination, education, and the audacity to dream. From financial struggles to the founding of a culinary empire, Divya’s journey exemplifies the spirit of entrepreneurship. Rameshwaram Cafe stands not only as a flourishing business but as a symbol of inspiration for those who dare to dream. Divya’s life story is a celebration of resilience, ambition, and the belief that even the humblest beginnings can lead to extraordinary success.

Also Read,

How did Divya Rao’s upbringing influence her entrepreneurial journey?

Divya Rao’s lower-middle-class upbringing, where she received a modest monthly pocket money of ₹1000, instilled in her a deep appreciation for financial responsibility. This upbringing shaped her determination to overcome challenges and pursue education as a means to uplift her family’s financial situation.

What inspired Divya Rao to enter the food industry after pursuing an MBA in finance?

During her MBA at IIM Ahmedabad, detailed case studies on global food giants sparked Divya’s interest in the food industry. The absence of a world-class Indian food chain inspired her vision to introduce traditional South Indian cuisine to a global audience.

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