The Simran Gumani

From single mom to CEO

Chai Vaai Café is founded by an inspiring woman entrepreneur Simran Gurnani, along with her daughter Diya Gurnani. While most girls enjoy spending time with their friends during early childhood years, Simran’s life had different plans. The bubbly girl’s mom left for heavenly abode when she was just 13 years old. Like losing a mother wasn’t enough pain, Simran had to gather strength to take care of her ailing father. Her father was suffering from a brain injury, leaving Simran to be the sole bread-winner in the family. At a young age of 17 years, Simran started taking tutions to make ends meet. She managed the house and her studies with great determination.

Unfortunately, Simran had to marry against her will because of family and societal pressure. What followed was the worst phase of her life! An abusive marriage! After facing years of mental and physical trauma, Simran decided to give up on her marriage and build a better life for herself and her kids.

She took up loans to provide a good education to her kids. She tried her hands at several businesses; started a boutique. Despite failing multiple times, Simran didn’t give up yet she remained burdened financially until her daughter Diya decided to take over reigns.

In 2019, Diya suggested her mom to open a small café as they were known for making delicious food. For someone who had no clue about setting up a business and marketing it, the idea seemed difficult. After a lot of brainstorming with friends and family, the mom-daughter duo opened the first outlet of Chai Vaai Café at Bhawarkuan, Indore on November 2018.

The worst was yet to come!

March, 2019. Pandemic struck and thousands of businesses were forced to shut down. In less than three months of opening, Chai Vaai Café started tanking. Banks started calling for loan payment and their landlord didn’t let them stay without paying rent even when the outlet was shut amid pandemic. Nevertheless, Simran’s willpower gave her the strength to bear all of it and become an inspiring woman entrepreneur.

Soon after, the Indian government allowed restaurants to reopen. This was a sigh of relief for the mother-daughter duo! They planned strategically and converted the ill-fated times of Covid into an opportunist time. They started promoting franchises and expanded from just one outlet to 51 others.

Simran Gurnani is an example of a rock that continues to climb up a mountain despite rolling down multiple times. As the CEO of Chai Vaai Café, she has received several awards. The brand has won the Best Franchise Award thrice until now. The mom-daughter duo was felicitated with the ‘Best Cafe Franchise Model 2023’ by Arbaaz Khan too.

Simran and Diya Gurnnai awarded by Arbaaz Khan

As Simran says, this is just the beginning and she is going to adopt the tortoise approach to win the race! Slow and steady but way ahead of competitors! She is definitely an inspiring woman entrepreneur! 

Her determination to achieve the unthinkable is a ray of hope for thousands of women and girls who succumb to their dreams due to societal pressure and other challenges that life throws their way.