At times, wandering along different paths might put us in the right direction. The more we explore them the more knowledge we gain. But very few of us use that knowledge as a rudder to guide our sail, that is why most of us remain lost.
THE RINGER :
Just like there are two sides to everything, our life has two sides too. No, we are not talking about the good and bad. We are talking about the choice that makes the shift and decides which side of our life we have chosen. Is it the path you were destined to take with your heart or the path you chose with your mind to be on the safer side? The paths seem like the death ringer of each other. But if you look closely you will see your heart would have chosen destiny!
Well, we know a person, Mr. Madampatti Rangaraj, who decided to take the path his heart chose. I, Karthi Easwaramoorthy, sat with him for more than two hours to know his journey. What a exciting and unconventional path he has chosen for his career. Let us hear from him now.
THE SMOKE THAT SHOWED A CLEAR PATH:
He recalls his first memory of his father in the smoky kitchen that was stuffy from the wood-burning stove. “ Is the food ready? The guests have been seated, call for the cook” is how they were summoned by the organisers. A seemingly simple yet complicated job which has been trivialised for many years. That is when Mr Madhampatty Rangaraj thought to himself that one day he will express to the world that cooking is no ordinary job but an arduous work equivalent to white-collar jobs. The smoky room was the place that opened his mind towards his right path that day. We all can agree to his point, can’t we?
Despite the hard work and patience in the hot kitchen, cooks were always treated like fellow blue-collar workers. When in fact their work required a lot of skills to be conjured. Patience, precision, leadership, teamwork, multitasking, time management and even more are the skills developed by them over time.
PATH OF DIVERGENCE :
Even though Mr Rangaraj’s passion was to carry on the family business his father made sure to get him educated first. Mr Madhampatty Thangavelu wanted him to pursue engineering or medical studies and get into white-collar jobs.
His father is a hard worker and built the base for Rangaraj’s success. He and his family lived in a house of about 100 sq feet only. They struggled to afford his uniform and food. Until 6th std, he used to wear the hand-me-downs from his father’s brother who according to Rangaraj is 8 years older than him. Rangaraj’s childhood is a warming example of hard work and passion being the bridge to success. Until 8th std he studied in Madampatti Panchayat Union Middle School. He did his 9th and 10th successfully in Alandurai Govt High School. He scored 414 in his 10th std and turned out as school second. In his school days, he was the best outgoing student, Head of Tamil club and school pupil leader. Participation was his key to experience. He was much involved in Tamil speech, essay competitions and gave his best in the inter-school competitions too. Further, he did his 11th and 12th in Gopalan Naidu High school. He studied in Tamil medium throughout his childhood which posed him some struggles in his further studies.
In 1996, he completed his 10th std and travelled alone to Coimbatore for the first time, which was a big deal as he was a pampered child. Due to his unfamiliarity with English, he didn’t get as much exposure as other kids. He felt inferior in engaging with the English medium kids. He quoted his 11th and 12th as “Terrible Years”, due to the struggles he went through that period. He used to travel daily from his home to school which carried away around an hour every morning and an hour and half every night. He further felt inferior as his academic performance went incredibly lower than his friends in that period and yet he managed to score 80% in his 12th std.
As we can see our guest has been an exemplary academist, he scored spectacular grades throughout schooling and is also a Gold medalist. Later for his higher education, he joined Ramakrishna Engineering College and opted B.Sc computer technology. He didn’t get to study engineering as he scored very low marks in his entrance exam. On his very first day, he approached all his staff and let them know that he is from Tamil medium and requested them to teach him accordingly. This is where he met Karthi, who became his friend that helped him through college. According to Rangaraj, Karthi is currently settled in Bangalore, working for a game development company. Since Rangaraj was a bio student in school, computers were a whole new world of aliens to him. In 1999, he came in contact with a computer for the first time in his life. He then took a course in Aptech computer education which brought him to his senses about logic and other information on computers. In his first year, breaking all the obstacles and making everyone dumbstruck he topped his class.
In his second year, the family moved to the city. He regained his interest in his studies and was excited about building his career. He got a shield of self confidence. He says, “I got confidence that I would be able to achieve anything. If we believe our thought process and mind, we will eventually elevate to heights.” In his third year, the project he made with his team won the best project award. The project was about an app that controls electrical equipment with voice inputs. He served as the joint secretary of his department and received a gold medal for his academic performance.
His determination and will power along with the help of his encouraging friend made him break all the obstacles of studying in English medium. The result of all this hard work helped him secure a gold medal in graduation. After his bachelor studies, Mr Madhampatty Rangaraj decided to pursue his interests in Animation. Along with his supportive friend, he joined MCA in Indra Gandhi open university and studied courses like 2D animation, 3D studio max and MAYA. They wanted to be acquainted by big animation companies like Pixar and DreamWorks in the USA just when he received a call from his father.
He requested for his support to carry on the family catering business as handling it alone was a bit difficult. Mr Rangaraj was very happy about the call and decided to take the leap towards his passion.
KATRATHU KAIALAVU :
“சித்தினியல்புமதன்பெருஞ்சக்தியின் செய்கையுந்தேர்ந்துவிட்டால்,-மனமே! எத்தனைகோடிஇடர்வந்துசூழினும் எண்ணஞ்சிறிதுமுண்டோ?” – பாரதியார்
“ I didn’t even know how to make coffee” was the first sentence he said when asked about his skills in cooking. After accepting his father’s offer he decided to learn about cooking and develop his skills to manage the team. He recalls the words of his friend “whatever business we do we have to be the best in it” and for that an extensive knowledge and practise was needed. So he joined a technical course on catering and gained a lot of knowledge about the business. It was a 9 months course in Coimbatore Govt Polytechnic College and he earned a Diploma in Hotel and Hospitality Management after that. He joined the course and also took an internship at Alankar hotel to gain more experience in handling events. He intricately learnt all the recipes and processes in detail from his father and team. He enjoyed the learning process as it was his dream and it made him happy.
He says, “Theoretical knowledge is the moral support while Experience is mandatory for success.” Finally, all the learning and practice was put to test when he decided to run the business on his own. All his friends and family members showed great support. His younger brother even quit his corporate job to help him successfully carry out his dream venture.
BIEN CUIT :
The recipes of life came together to create an extraordinary dish. The result of all his gutsy decisions gave rise to a revolution in the cooking field. Innovating the contemporary meal course to the standard of star hotels and distributing the portions into smaller quantities was a breakthrough in the industry. He developed the team from 100 people to 500 people in a very short period and converted the business into a whole new industry. Madhampatty food services developed into a whole new brand and became the most sought after catering organisers in town.
When asked how he manages to cater for a large crowd, he shared few of his nuances with us. He calculates the volume of food based on the number of invitations printed. He assigns employees to calculate the number of persons in a floating crowd every half an hour in order to make sure food is available for everyone attending the event. He talks to his employees to motivate them and make their work efficient. He concentrated more on his presentation.
But the learning process didn’t stop there for our beloved guest. He continued to explore all the scopes of improvement in his field. He travelled across the globe to many countries like Dubai ,China, Singapore and explored food exhibits conducted on a massive scale. This helped him gain more knowledge in handling miscellaneous crowds.
After a successful stand in the catering business, Madampatty food services got the attention of big clients like Robert Bosch. In 2013 Bosch conducted a 125th-year celebration in CODISSIA Coimbatore. The arduous job of supplying lunch for 8000 people was entrusted to Madampatti food services as they supplied delicious meals and were capable of handling massive crowds.
Later on, the regular food supply project was also given to Madampatti food services. Apart from this, Madhampatty food services also handle the regular food supply at Pricol and Kumaraguru in house kitchens. The most interesting part is, Madhampatty food services also have an R and D department to improve the recipes and carry out innovative changes in desserts.
FRAGRANCE IN FOOTHILLS:
The reach of Madampatti food services not only constraints South India but the fragrance of their deliciousness has touched the foothills of Himalayas. Their services were conducted in Dehradun and Delhi for over 4000 people.
Mr. Rangaraj states that currently they cater to an average of 600 weddings every year and deliver 5000 breakfasts, 15000 lunches and 5000 dinners every day. There are 625 regular full time staff working on the deliciousness!. When asked about the menu for corporate, he highlights that the menu is customized according to the work and characteristics of each industry. He says that it is not fancy food but simple healthy home based food.
Apart from this, Madhampatty food services have also handled the food supply at weddings of many notable personalities and celebrities. He was happy listing out the people felt joyous and proud working with and was extremely grateful as they loved his service. He catered at the following events:
1. Saidai Duraisamy’s son’s wedding at Chennai with the population of 40000 people.
2. Event at Ramdas’s house
3. Actor Vikram’s daughter’s wedding, where Vikram’s wife personally appreciated him for his service.
4. Actor Karthi’s wedding
5. Event at Lingusamy’s house
6. 2 weddings at Dehradun with a population of 2000 people.
7. Director Rajamouli’s son’s wedding at Hyderabad.
THE BIG SCREENS:
What is life? but a river that takes us through different courses. Appearing on the big screens was also a big-time dream for our beloved guest Mr Rangaraj. With dashing looks and energetic attitude he also got the attention of many casting emissaries.
After getting a noteworthy story he decided to take the chance and enter the silver screen. He worked up and attended multiple acting workshops to shape him for the spotlight. Mehendi Circus was his first movie so he chose to handle the production of the movie. The movie got positive reviews from the audience and the songs were a jewel to the crown.
Following Mehndi Circus Penguin, hunter, casino are the movies lined up for production and action! He conveys one thing to all aspiring artists, “There’s an actor inside all of us. Imagining feelings and reacting to it is all that matters. Studies are not the base for acting. Confidence is everything in acting. We must believe in ourselves that we are artists. With strong moral support, we can achieve greater things in the industry.”
TWO PARALLEL WORLDS:
Madhampatty group of companies on one side of the portal and Silver screen on the other side. Both are similar worlds with only minor deviances. “ both arenas seem the same to me, the food production and errands in the food industry is as same as the production site”. He concluded by saying that the only thing important in life is to go with its flow doing the things you love. Life will take you across beautiful twists and turns but remember to listen to your heart.
The only line that kept ringing in our minds throughout the interview was
“ Millionaire models are rare enough but, by Jove, Model millionaires are rarer still”.
A very humble and jovial guest who gave us tons of inspiration to keep learning and work hard for what we believe. At last, the smile was as sweet as his desserts. All the best to him for all his future endeavours on behalf of DigitalVillage.In
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