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Apra Kuchhal

2018 Fellow

Owner, Handi

Apra (4)

Apra is the Owner of Handi Restaurant, a fine-dining restaurant in Jaipur. Handi Restaurant is one of the most popular restaurants among both locals and tourists in Jaipur, it’s famous for its North Indian menu that combines Northern Indian cuisine with a touch of Mughal influence. The menu consists of specialties from different north Indian states, served in traditional Rajasthani setup and décor for a cozy dining environment with comfortable furnishings, soothing music and service by a skillful and well trained staff. Handi is located in the heart of the city, on the main street of Jaipur. They offer carry out, delivery, catering and dine-in options for their customers between their three locations (Handi, Handi Fusion and Handi Rooftop). Her three locations offer slightly different menus that can encompass north Indian Mughal, Rajasthani, Chinese and Italian cuisine. Particularly popular dishes include Handi Meat, Lal Maas, Chicken Tikkan Masala, Butter Chicken and a variety of Kebabs. Handi is listed in major food guides around the world and has been the recipient of a variety of food awards in the state. Apra’s vision for Handi includes expanding the number of locations within Jaipur and beyond, as well as to innovate her catering offerings further. In these changing times of the food industry, there is a lot of western influence on Indian food, but Handi still carries its legacy of authentic north Indian food served in earthen wares balancing authenticity and honesty in the recipes with changing tastes. At Handi, they actively encourage semi qualified chefs to advance within the company, this empowers them to move higher, learn more and built up their resume. Apra believes that a qualified chef will always be able to get a job but semi qualified chefs face additional challenges in gaining quality work. In addition to her work at Handi, Apra is also actively involved in women empowerment and mentoring programs and she is passionate about helping woman to be self-sufficient. Apra is also the Owner of Vinayak Arts and Exports and the Chairperson of WE CARE a nonprofit organization to promote women, youth, mentoring, arts and culture. She is also the Joint Secretary for RAYS, an NGO that provides a home for HIV+ children in Jaipur, India. Apra is a member of the Confederation of Indian Industry, Jaipur-Rajasthan State Council Member and the Executive Secretary of the Rajasthan Forum, which focuses on the development of art, literature, culture, music, dance and theater in Rajasthan State. Her primary areas of expertise are strategic planning, accounting principles/procedures, human resources and networking. Networking in particular is one her core strengths for her business and personally. Apra has completed a Bachelor’s in Commerce from Maharani College, Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) in Marketing & Finance from Indian India International Institute of Management, a Foundation Course & Intermediate Certificate Program from The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, a Certificate Course in Management Development Program from Indian Institute of Management, a Six Months Certificate of Excellence Program from National Institute of Information Technology.

What Apra hopes to gain from the VV GROW Fellowship: Apra is hoping to gain new skills and knowledge in budgeting, strategic mapping, management information systems. She is also looking to meet and learn from other fellows, specifically how women across the globe marry on their businesses in complex political conditions while having work-life balance.

What Apra can offer other fellows: Apra can offer her knowledge, expertise and networks in the food industry, furniture and artisan crafts. She can share her knowledge of how to preserve and promote art and literature through performing arts and cultural programs, as well as implementing youth skills development programs for employment, English and skills development.

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Apra was selected as a 2018 VV GROW Fellow.