They are not twins but look strikingly similar. Their working styles are different, but both mostly think alike. This is the brother duo of Inderjeet and Jasmeet Banga, on the Delhi’s F&B scene since 2009, as owners of Pirates of Grill and Prankster. “Food was something that was passed on to us by our parents, and it’s in our blood,” says Inderjeet, the elder one, adding, “Our father and grandfather were extremely good cooks, and through them began our love affair with food.” The brothers lost their father when Inderjeet was 12 and Jasmeet was just nine.
While Inderjeet had to jump into work just after his graduation, Jasmeet joined him some years later, and together they worked on everything from managing their agricultural land to running different businesses like construction and handicrafts. “But there was always an urge to do something that would make us happy, and that we could pass on to others. So, in 2009, we launched Pirates of Grill, after taking a year to research and conceptualise it.
We were lucky enough to get the best team onboard. In the first month itself, our outlet would get a long waiting line,” adds Jasmeet. Both of them feel food falls under categories of celebration, need or an experience. “We wanted to start a restaurant that could give people all three. We have the classics, as well as the specials by us on the Pirates of Grill menu,” adds Inderjeet. Today, there are 10 Pirates of Grill outlets across India. In 2016, Prankster was launched that, they say, takes you back to your childhood with dishes such as the 1960s Good Old Pineapple Pastry, Cooker Meat, etc.
The two believe in working with their strengths. Jasmeet, who holds a Business Economics degree from Delhi University, says, “When you work together, it’s important to have a collective flow of ideas and individual responsibilities. We have different strengths. While I am the numbers and finance guy, Inderjeet is the people’s person and manages operations.” To this, Inderjeet jokingly says, “I am the elder one and I am supposed to call the shots, but Jasmeet always bullies me because he’s got the money in his hands. I want to buy a sports car, but he’s not letting me.” However, both feel as long as an individual is doing something constructive, and it’s good for the company, it’s not a problem.
“Still, if we don’t agree on something, either we discuss it at length, or one person takes a backseat and lets the other person do it. To maintain harmony in a relationship, it’s important to agree to disagree,” says Jasmeet. Moreover, they don’t consider work as work. “It’s something that we enjoy. So, we don’t restrict it to just office,” adds Jasmeet. Gymming and having their lunch at home is an everyday norm. Apart from that they shop, party, travel and sometimes even cook together. “We even have a common wardrobe because our clothes size is similar, except shoes.
But both of us are shoe hoarders,” says Inderjeet. To balance out and ensure that working together doesn’t get overwhelming, they have their ‘me-time’ too. “The maturity of a relationship depends on how you can be together while not being together. Life is a journey, and while we are covering a distance individually and together. It’s important to be self-fulfilled and fulfilled in a relationship,” adds Jasmeet. And during this journey, they have seen themselves evolving. While Inderjeet feels he has got control over his temper, Jasmeet says he doesn’t get hurt easily anymore.
Now, they have plans to open five more Pirates of Grill in Guwahati, Delhi, Patna, Zirakpur, and Yamunanagar, and one more Prankster, but the Covid situation is a spoke in their plans. While last year’s lockdown was more about selfrealisation and a break from the rat race, the same situation seems to have arisen. “Our business revenue is 90 per cent dependent on night business and weekend business. But with the spike in cases and the night and weekend curfews, the industry will go into a really bad shape. We don’t know what we should do and how we should do it. We really expect the government to give our industry whatever support they can,” concludes Jasmeet.
- Something you like about Inderjeet: Every six months he explores something new.
- Something you like about Jasmeet: He is very focused.
- Something you want Inderjeet to change: Sometimes he is in a zone, and he forces things on me because he thinks it’s the best.
- Something you want Jasmeet to change: He needs to be more chilled out and forgiving.
- Something funny/weird about Inderjeet: He tries to act like my elder sister.
- Something funny/weird about Jasmeet: He is always super confused about what to eat. One moment he is on diet, and half an hour later you will find him eating biryani.