WHO'S WHO: young entrepreneur Neil Sanyal
Since completing his A-Levels last year, Neil Sanyal, 19, has been dubbed one of Britain s most promising young entrepreneurs, opening Chaiwalla – London s first authentic Indian tea shop, in Perrin s Court, Hampstead. He is now looking towards expanding
Since completing his A-Levels last year, Neil Sanyal, 19, has been dubbed one of Britain's most promising young entrepreneurs, opening Chaiwalla - London's first authentic Indian tea shop, in Perrin's Court, Hampstead. He is now looking towards expanding the business throughout the capital and beyond.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT HAMPSTEAD?
It's an interesting area. During the week, we have lots of interesting local characters and, at the weekend, we get a lot of tourists coming through - internationals who have heard of Hampstead village. Our product is alternative and appeals to a wide range of people - so it's good to have a mixed community. Indian customers like being treated to what they're used to at home, while others just love chai.
IS CHAIWALLA OUT OF PLACE IN HAMPSTEAD?
You may also want to watch:
It is out of place, but that's part of why I like it. It's a conservative area and the coffee shops around here are the mainstream high street ones, independent cafes generally struggle to stay up. It was a bold move to open here.
WHAT IS HAMPSTEAD'S BIGGEST EYESORE?
- 1 'Family unit': 28 Church Row wins readers' favourite restaurant
- 2 Haringey Green Lanes flat fire sees 40 firefighters tackle blaze
- 3 O2 Centre redevelopment: Decision draws on Camden planning guidance
- 4 Crouch End salesman who nursed mum runs marathon for Diabetes UK
- 5 Explore 8 of north London's prettiest streets
- 6 'Lobster-like creature' pulled from Hampstead Heath ladies' pond
- 7 For sale: Suggs' former 'bachelor pad' with gold-gilded underground bar
- 8 Anger as second audit into £23m 'Mary Celeste' office block is delayed
- 9 Met Office issues yellow warning for heavy showers in London
- 10 Free festival to take over the streets of Camden
WHEN DID YOU LAST GET A PARKING TICKET?
Three days ago. I've paid that one off, and all my others. But I've decided to start coming to work by motorcycle because of my record in that department.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE OPENING A RESTAURANT IN HAMPSTEAD?
Firstly, decide exactly who your target market is going to be. Who are you going to attract? What are you going to attract them with? My general advice to anyone starting a business is to make the business their life. By staying fully focused on it and eradicating everything else, you can fully concentrate on succeeding.
WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU'VE BEEN GIVEN?
My mother told me not to sleep for 12 hours a day and to do some work. I've found that in business, you can't afford to sleep more than six hours a day. My business partner told me never to ask for reinvestment because the investor will crush you.
IS LIFE STRESSFUL?
Running the business is stressful. There are payments to make at the right time, stock to be ordered. I need to be constantly innovative, thinking of new ideas and products.
IF YOU HAD A MILLION POUNDS TO SPEND IN ONE DAY, WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
For business, I would immediately invest - increase my percentage of Chaiwalla. For pleasure, I would rent a nice car and go for a long drive. Forget business worries and the stress.
HAVE YOU SPOTTED ANY CELEBRITIES IN THE AREA RECENTLY?
We've had a few in. Geri Halliwell came in and so did Jamie Oliver's wife. Oh, and that guy who says "goodness gracious me".
IF YOU WERE MAYOR FOR A DAY, WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
Scrap the congestion charge.