From Student Company Program to running his own venture: Mannat Singh’s incredible professional journey

From the CEO of Student Company Program to starting his own venture, Mannat’s story is nothing short of true inspiration. His untamed love for food has been the driving force and one of the many secrets that have to lead him to success.

Mannat Singh runs a food joint that has contrived to catch the city’s pulse. Nihari by Noorani is what managed to cast a spell on the taste buds of many. 

Here is how Mannat was able to create a delicacy for scores of people. 

Share with us the motivation for opening one of the most delightful food places in Chandigarh.
Deep, untamed love for food that runs deep in my veins has been the motivational factor. Right from childhood, I have been introduced to a variety of good food. Being a foodie, I wanted to own a business establishment where I could offer the best quality food to the people of TriCity. That is my primary goal, hence fulfilled. 

What was the seed for what is Noorani by Nihari?
Food serves as a cultural marker and is a significant part of every milestone and celebration. With limited resources at my disposal & the gap in the market for good quality food, I sowed Nihari’s seed, a small establishment in sector 8 booths in Chandigarh.

What was the biggest hurdle you had to overcome?
A dream does not become a reality through magic, it takes sweat, determination, hard work, and overcoming many hurdles. My biggest hurdle was working in a small booth with a new problem cropping up every day and the second hurdle was stiff competition with those selling cheap quality offerings at a low price. However, one thing that kept me going that I will not compromise on quality. It will remain consistent, whatever the consequences may be. That way, I was able to make inroads into the loyal patronage of my customers.

How do you cope with the pressure?
The pressure is an inevitable part of any business big or small. If I am confronted with major pressure, rather than feeling overwhelmed, I immediately start thinking about the solution and not waste time cribbing about it. Put my energy into what needs to be done right away and what can wait. However, I do indulge in sports as well to let off my steam. 

You win the academic award equivalent for your industry. When you take the stage, who will you thank and for what?
I will thank my mother for her unwavering support, encouragement, and always believing in me, my father, for providing me with the opportunity to study at UFV. My appreciation goes towards my teachers (especially Dr. Shyam Vyas & Mushtaq Ahmed) at UFV for their valuable guidance. Last but not least, my employees, without them I would not have reached so far. 

What is unique about Noorani by Nihari, and how do you maintain an edge over your competitors?
It is our 4th year, and we have loyal customers since day one just because of our consistency in taste and quality. The majority of our customers are the doctors from PGI (especially from South India). A big responsibility lies on our shoulders to treat doctors with the best and fresh food. Therefore “no compromise on food quality” is what helps us maintain an edge over our competitors. 

How was student life like at Chandigarh Campus..?
Student life at the Chandigarh campus has been absolutely wonderful. It has been filled with new experiences, excitements, and challenges. It was a collective balance of fun and learning experience. I made friends, discovered new passions, and learned invaluable skills from some of the finest teachers. The best part of campus life was when I was made the CEO of a company named Jubrec. Besides theoretical study, this gave me ample opportunity on the practical side as to how to run a company beginning from formation to its liquidation stage. It equipped me with more confidence and skills needed to work with all kinds of people in the outside world.

What was the determiner that helped you choose FVI?
From early childhood, I knew for sure that I would become an entrepreneur. My mom always ingrained this in my mind that be a job giver rather than a job seeker. So, to be my own boss, I choose FVI to gear myself for management skills much needed to put me on the path for realizing my dream to become a businessman.

Did you feel your education prepared you for the workforce and the real world?
Yes, I feel no other college in Chandigarh would have provided me with knowledge on a practical level. The company program was the cherry on the cake. I feel FVI should take these company programs to the next level as it is a game-changer for sure. 

With the ever-evolving pandemic situation, uncertainties and stress have gripped every student alike. What would be your advice to a student who finds these times challenging and never-ending, considering they stand at a pivotal juncture?
I would advise students to take every threat as an opportunity. As there is a great saying, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going.”
I have learned from this pandemic always to keep a backup of funds and a plan to fight such situations when the revenue comes down to zero ready beforehand.