news Wednesday, February 11, 2015 - 05:30
This a man who spends six months planting trees and the rest at parties. Well, actually organising parties. To be more specific, arranging for everybody to have a good time. Jeet Milan Roche is a Mangalore-based businessman who heads Cocktails Mangalore, a firm that puts together the bar at parties. The bar he explains, is not just for those who drink alcohol. “Its for the children, for the women, and the men,” he says. Putting together a good bar means you have to have a good menu of mocktails as well. “Sometimes, we are surrounded by children. They love the bright colours of the mocktails. Those kids trouble me a lot,” he says with a laugh. From being a BPO employee for several years, Jeet now runs a firm which is booked solid for the Christmas and New Year season. And when that is not there, there is always someone who is throwing a party. He says it all started when he was working at a BPO. “The idea for this came when I was talking to a tax collector from Massachusetts. I had spoken to her several times and one day she asked me what plans I had for the weekend. I told her I was going to spend time my kids, and she said she was hosting a cocktail party, and later sent me photos.” That got him thinking and he hired a bartender for 15 days to teach him the works. He began to undertake orders for small parties and even set up a Facebook page. Starting with parties of around 50 to 100 guests, Jeet has built the firm to the capability of catering to up to 10,000 guests in one go. “Im not a hotel management student or a bar tender. If you start something in Mangalore, it just works,” he says. Word about him spread and he began to get offers from people who knew his clients. “Most of my business comes through references,” he says. A quarter of his clients approach him through the Facebook page as well. Today, he is invited to set up bars for clients in Mangaluru, Coorg, Chikmaglur, and even Cochin. So what kind of people ask him to set up bars? Jeet says his firm organises bars for professional conferences, weddings, engagements, bachelor parties, anniversaries, and even other kinds of gatherings. “Its not always new clients. There are many clients for whom I have done several parties. For some of them, I would have organised the bar for an engagement, bachelor party, the wedding, the first anniversary and even the first birthday of the kids,” he says. Asked if the business was enough to see him through the year, Jeet said it was. His first love was planting trees in and around the city in which he lives. He would do that for six months after the monsoons set in in June. He would spend the next six months ensuring that the saplings grew and were not choked by weeds or destroyed in any other way. For the next six months he caters to business orders. But it wasn’t always like that. During the first three years of the business he juggled his regular job at the BJP and undertook these orders side by side. Now, he says “For the next two weeks I will be lucky if I can get four or five hours of sleep.” Tweet

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