Kylin is an age old legacy brand known for its Pan-Asian cuisine. Saurabh Khanijo, the man behind the success of Kylin is a dynamic & passionate individual who has the knowledge and has been in the hospitality industry for several years.
He expanded his ancestral poultry business and incorporated Welgrow Travels Pvt Ltd in 1997, as a travel total management solution provider. The passion to bring world class lounges and restaurants with flavours led the entrepreneur to form Welgrow Hotel Concepts Pvt. Ltd in 2005 which is listed under Rollatainer publicly listed company. Rollatainer is one of the country’s largest packaging companies based out of Haryana which has entered into separate business purchase agreements with Welgrow Hotel Concepts. Rollatainers has some of the major players of food and beverages sectors like Amul, Bacardi, Britannia and Haldirams.
Today, Saurabh Khanijo manages 10 different restaurants under the Kylin umbrella, Kylin Premier, Kylin SkyBar, Kylin Experience Chandigarh, Sartoria to name a few.It has a vast menu which offers a variety of cuisines like Asian, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Malaysian and Vietnamese. From their signature Teppanyaki form of cooking dishes to exquisitely created sushi platters from their live counters and Robatta grill dishes.He is also associated with a conglomerate that has active interest in international brands like Wendy’s; Jamie’s Italian, Jamie’s Pizzeria and Barista.
Currently, the flagship brand is moving into different direction by expanding across country through opening its self-operated restaurants as well as lending out franchisees.
We caught up in a candid tête-à-tête with Saurabh Khanijo, the man with a mission.
- Congratulations on completing 12 years of Kylin- how does it feel?
Needless to say, feels very good and sense of achievement.
- How did the journey for Kylin begin?
Journey began from simply seeing the gap between an eating place to an experiential dining.
- What was the inspiration?
I believe eating out should be an experience from the first step of the restaurant. That’s what I missed in our part of world so wanted to bring experiential dining to my own country.
- How has the journey been in the past twelve years?
Beautiful! This industry has taught me a lot.
- In a competitive environment, what is the secret of your success?
Consistent good food!! It’s food what customer comes back for.
- What is the USP of Kylin?
Teppanyaki style of cooking!! Kylin is unique concept like none other. The menu starts from Thailand and goes up to japan. And we make sure whatever we make is to the perfection.
- How has the brand evolved in the past few years?
We started as a lounge concept with preplated style of servings which was completely opposite for oriental food. Normally Chinese Thai is served in bowl meals in sharing format.
Now with times because of our good food we are more of a pan Asian family restaurant.
- What next from you?
Loads. Just launched 2 new concepts this year. In October opened Thai house by Kylin with menu focusing on rustic casual only Thai food place with cordon bleu chef. And December we opened our latest new concept called shop house by Kylin which is DIY place. Do it yourself bowls. Or build your own bowl by choosing your choice of protein / veggies to starch and top it with the choice of sauce.
- How do think Delhi’s hospitality scene has changed in the past decade?
It’s ever changing it works like a fashion industry. But the biggest change in our industry is because of technology and the way millennials eat.
- What advice would you give to young restaurateurs starting out?
Simply that it’s a good business provided it’s not a side business or glamorous business. Lots of youngsters feel there is a lot of fame in restaurants but on the other side of table things are difficult and one must be committed with a hands-on approach.
- What is your favourite cuisine?