WESTBOROUGH, MA– Altamount Restaurant Group, which started in Westborough, MA, in 2013, is changing the face of Indian restaurant scene in Massachusetts, and probably in major cities across the United States under the brand name Dharani.
The group already has been operating several Dharani restaurants in Massachusetts: Westborough, Woburn and Franklin. By end of this year, Altamount is opening Dharani Galaxy, an Indian food court in Westborough that will have four Indian restaurants with different flavors and a gathering place with a podium and stage.
In addition, Altamount has Dharani restaurants in North and South Carolina, Connecticut, New York and Texas. Recently, the group hired Devanand Chinta as the Chief Executive Chef and as a partner to oversee the growth of the restaurant group.
Chinta is a name to be reckoned with Indian food scene in New England. He started his culinary career more than 18 years ago and has worked in Oberoi Hotel in Hyderabad, Les Quatre Saisons Hôtel in Paris, Waterside Inn in London, Carnival Cruise Line in Miami, InterContinental Boston. Most recent Chinta served executive chef for Marriott Hotels and worked at Harvard Bussiness School as one of their chefs.
“I always believed in an organic growth. We currently have 5 establishments in the pipeline. However, each setup would take 6 months to 1 year,” said Bhaskar Rednam, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Altamount Restaurant Group. “In the next few years, we want to take the Dharani flavors to all major cities. Currently we have inquiries to open Dharani in other countries as well.”
Altamount officials say that the restaurant chain has captured the hearts of the people due to its integrity in operations, commitment to quality and excellence in hospitality. The man behind all this is Rednam, who has tremendous passion for authentic Indian food.
Born in Southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesj, Rednam earned his degree in electronics engineering. After a five-year tenure in drug development, Rednam started eSpaceClinical ,a drug development firm assisting local pharma and CRO companies. After successful merger of eSpaceclinical with Cytel Corp., Rednam worked as Vice President heading the Data Management division of Cyel Corp.
Prior to leaving Cytel, Rednam took some time to travel to several regional places in India, before choosing his next venture Mirchi in Westborough, MA. After the success of Mirchi, he opened Mawa house, a casual dining space with sweets and cakes in Westborough, and then Dharani, an upscale Indian restaurant in North Carolina.
Before starting Altamount Restaurant Group, Rednam converted all his restaurants to Dharani and decided to promote the brand name Dharani. Presently working as the president and CEO of Dharani group, Rednam provides strategic vision and working on the expansion of the company.
In addition to running and growing a successful enterprise, Rednam also wants to change the culture of Indian restaurant business in the United States.
“My constant observation is that there are very few Indian restaurants who put emphasis on quality, service, ambience and hygiene. The same perception has been prevailing with the health inspectors as well,” Rednam said.
However, no one wants to say these things in public as it is such a delicate issue, he adds.
“When we started the group, we wanted to change the perception of the customers and health inspectors,” said Rednam. “(We) Hired food establishment consultants to create good practices and Standard Operating Procedures for the organization. Conducted mock audits to alert the staff on the importance of hygiene. (We) Hired best interior designers and architects to give a warm welcoming ambience.”
Rednam said that there are a few things Dharani does differently than many other Indian restaurants.
“Dharani takes pride in providing authentic tastes in an upscale dining environment, thus we call ourselves as modern Indian cuisine,” Rednam said. “Chef Devanand Chinta, working as chief executive chef brings in modern culinary techniques while chef Karthick controls the recipes.”
He said kitchen operations are headed by industry leaders and operational execution is implemented by the senior management across all restaurants.
How did Rednam get interested in restaurant business?
“I always felt the need of an authentic Indian restaurant in Boston area. Most of the restaurants customized the dishes to attract all ethnic, American and Non-American customers thus killing the authenticity of the dishes,” said Rednam. There was a big gap on what we get here v/s what we taste back home. The simple method we used is to bring simple, home-style dishes in a clean environment. We wanted to follow the actual recipe whether it is spicy or non-spicy.”