With the previous experience of being harassed and humiliated at workplaces, Ms. Urooz Hussain wanted to lay the foundation a cafe: the very idea of starting it came from employing people from the LGBTQ+ community only, as they suffer a lot when it comes to permanent employment. By this startup, Urooz Hussain ensures that her dream of becoming a chef is fulfilled, while providing an opportunity to trans-people as well.
Shreya Pradip Srivastava
Goa Institute of Management
Initially, the business employed nine people from the same community. However, after a few months of operation, the restaurant was forced to close because of the global pandemic. Despite the challenges, Ms. Urooz was able to run a thriving business by switching her business model from a restaurant to a cloud kitchen. She also created an agile delivery service with the help of aggregators, like Uber Eats and Zomato, in her area. Despite the change in her business approach, her restaurant was nonetheless profitable and able to stay open. With the aid of her staff, she is now trying to expand her business to a national level. The cloud kitchen business model has been a feather on a cap for her to save infrastructural money, which allows her to do more.
Born in the small town of Bihar, she was a boy by birth. However, she became aware of her reality later in her life, which caused many problems with her family members and peers. Despite the challenges, she graduated from Frankfinn University in Delhi with a Bachelor's degree in Hospitality Management. When she finally found a job in 2013, she had to deal with much harassment and abuse. “The process of transition is not overnight, and people should stop thinking of it as an on/off switch,” she quoted.
Since she faced such kind of exclusivity from society, on 22nd November 2019, she opened her restaurant. With her love for food and a vision to open a national chain of restaurants, Ms. Hussain tried to break the stereotype and stigma that society has for transgender people. The initial cost to book a rental space was high as there is a stigma in the system about who has the ability run a business, but her friends helped her dreams set sail, so she never gave up.
When it comes to opening up one's identity, though it is not a crime anymore, it may lead to disown or disrespect from one's family or friends, and it sometimes leads to being outcasted from society. The restaurant owner reiterated that people see transgender personality with a very different notion. Not only it becomes difficult to get employment in a company, but it also leads to a waste of talent due to gender inequality. With this thought, she proudly allowed persons only from the LGBTQ+ community to be a part of her team and spread the message of love and their love for food through their small kitchen filled with big hearts. Initially, these young people were dependent on their families for their livelihood, but now they have stable incomes and are now self-sufficient.
The business benefits from orders all around the nearby regions of Noida with an average number of 70-100 orders per day. The business Instagram page has been active since it began. In addition, the food reviews on Google by the loyal customers have shown positive signs of expanding this restaurant further. Also, the usage of fresh and organic ingredients is the unique selling proposition of the business. Urooz believes that no one should remain hungry, and her team makes sure that the food quality, taste and image of 'Street Temptation' should be colorful and vibrant.
Urooz is the founder of the 'I love Noida' booth, as she believes that most of us take our birth, job, and death from the same city, and it is our cultural responsibility to give something to that city back. Being an active member of the Women Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (WICCI), Uttar Pradesh, she has been helping to boost and build women entrepreneurship and businesses through greater engagement with government, institutions, global trade, and networks. She represented India on an international level in the Australian beauty pageant show in 2020 and became the winner; she invested the winning amount of Rs. 3.5 lakhs into her business.
Concerning the SDGs, the reduction in inequality is promoted by suppressing any discrimination in workplace ethics, which creates a sense of being together as a family. Discussing the latest Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019, Urooz also viewed it as problematic because of its exclusionary nature. In light of these facts, she was exhilarated to share that NCR—Noida Metro's Sector 50 station (Aqua Line) was renamed 'Pride Station', and an all-trans staff deputed, creating a better environment and acceptance to all of those who are different.
During the daunting times of COVID, she provided food packets to more than 500 migrants who lost their jobs. Her efforts were not limited to trans persons only, but also to sex workers who have lost their livelihoods during the pandemic. She spoke about visiting GB Road and distributing sanitary pads, hand sanitizers and masks to the workers, and chocolates to their children, who, she says, are looked down upon by society. She has been kindred with Orane Kids School, which is an abode for autistic children. The restaurant also supplies food to them as a part of their Social Service.
She has promoted a decent workplace by financially supporting her staff in difficult times. This step promotes their well-being, which leads to better economic growth as ‘health is wealth’. And if people are considerate towards this noble step, the restaurant would have its cash register ringing.
For an awareness campaign for the community, she wrote to the district magistrate of Gautam Buddh Nagar to organize a separate camp for transgender persons, and the administration agreed.
Urooz aspires to make the world live by these words - ‘whoever you are, whatever you are, you are equally valid, equally justified, and equally beautiful.'
Urooz Hussain, Founder
Keep this story going! Share below!
Noida, Uttar Pradesh, IN
Business Website: https://streettemptations.wixsite.com/stnoida119
Year Founded: 2019
Number of Employees: 2 to 10
Food is not an option, but rather a necessity. The right to Food is an integral part of the right to Life. But more often than not, nutrition suffers from Gender-based inequality. To curb this menace of a prejudiced eye, Street Temptation arose as India's first Trans-woman led restaurant set up in Sector-119 of Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India.
The Global Goals in which the company focuses are Reduction against inequality, Zero hunger, and Decent work and economic growth.