Founder of The Elephant Room
A lot of guests walk into our bar and experience Indian culture with us, with our display of spices and the explanation of a backstory in each cocktail.
Tell us your story, how did you get here?
I started as a dishwasher when I was 16 and soon worked in various famous and institutional establishments. Then I took a one-year break to start my own bar.
What impact have you made in Singapore?
Personally, I have and still am showing Indian culture through various spectrums – through the hospitality, cocktails and food program at The Elephant Room. A lot of guests walk into our bar and experience Indian culture with us, with our display of spices and the explanation of a backstory in each cocktail. Our guests understand what Singapore’s Little India is all about.
Our bar made a big impact during the pandemic – we didn’t close down during these two years. We opened just before the pandemic on 24 September 2019. We managed to ride the pandemic wave by doing all we could to stay afloat. Being a niche concept, it was hard for me and my team. But we did it.
What does 2022 look like for you?
2022 is all about ultimate maximation. I feel like we’re back to stage one, given the new regulations. I have to find ways to push our brand and our team to their limits. The ultimate focus is our customers.
What do you love most about Singapore?
Singapore is all about consistency and progression. We’ve built a nation that strives for perfection. And we’re able to execute fast decisions for the future. This was shown during the pandemic crisis.
I love Singapore for her vibrancy in showing our cultures. We’re able to balance our heritage very well in modern Singapore.
What are your first and last drinks of the day?
My first drink is kopi o, a very important beverage for me. It sets my tone for the day! My last drink is water before I hit the bed.
Who is your Local Legend, and why?
Mr. V. Mahendran, patriarch of Samy’s Curry Restaurant at Dempsey. This man is my ultimate role model. He stuck to his ethos and upheld his brand. Till now, nothing has changed in his place. Still the same interior, consistency of food offerings and hospitality. This is what I strive for in The Elephant Room. I personally think Samy’s deserves a Michelin star for staying true all these years.