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From a Push Cart to a Global Empire: The Inspiring Story of CY Aasife

By P Saravanakumar

Around 18 years ago, a 25-year-old youngster named C.Y. Aasife faced financial difficulties that prevented him from studying beyond Class 9. But with an innate entrepreneurial spirit, a passion for cooking, and the experience of being a biryani master, he decided to take a leap of faith.

In 1999, Aasife used the Rs. 4,000 he received from an LIC 'Money Back policy' to start a small biryani business from a thallu vandi (pushcart) on the streets of T Nagar, Chennai. His commitment to quality, hard work, and self-confidence paid off, as his biryani quickly gained popularity and his daily sales grew from 3 kilos to 10-15 kilos within just three months.

Despite facing initial setbacks, such as threats from a local rowdy, Aasife refused to give up. He relocated his business to Butt Road in St. Thomas Mount, where it continued to thrive. In 2002, he opened his first proper outlet, a small 15-seat shop, marking a significant milestone in his entrepreneurial journey.

Today, what started as a humble pushcart operation has blossomed into a global empire. With over 50  outlets across Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Sri Lanka, and the UAE, CY Aasife's biryani has gained worldwide recognition as the "World's Best Biryani Restaurant." This incredible success story is a testament to the power of passion, hard work, and unwavering determination.