Anushri Agarwal interview© HelloIndia

‘Papparoti’ Founder Anushri Agarwal Talks About Her Journey & More

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Neeva Jain

A multi-hyphenate from an eminent family, Anushri Agarwal is out to make her mark in the F&B space in her own way, with no regard for the cut-throat competition around her. HELLO! gets to know how…

Armed with a degree in psychology from the University of Bath, England, Anushri Agarwal lives the most charmed and privileged life. Yet, this Modern School of Delhi alum is an ambitious mover and shaker, who gets by with the brilliance and chutzpah of a 20-something year old that’s most endearing.

At the forefront of her mind at present is her vision board to expand her entrepreneurial startup ATR Foods and its subsidiary Papparoti, a popular chain from Dubai that she franchised in India, in what she describes as an “Ah ha!” moment.

Anushri Agarwal interview©HelloIndia

“Papparoti is a Malaysian concept of buns with dollops of butter inside. These are both savoury, like the pasta-pizza sandwiches, and sweet (the lotus biscoff is our most popular treat). They are also popular for making paninis and bagels,” she says of her franchise, the first outlet of which she opened at Terminal 3 in Delhi’s domestic airport.

“My passions, professionally and personally, are intertwined. But my work takes priority,” adds Anushri, who hopes to open three more outlets of Papparoti in the next year and a half.

Hailing from a family that’s devoted to the business of construction, Anushri is also trying to build a foundation in the field, with a special focus on sales. And for this young woman, being able to employ staff in large numbers brings in a sense of responsibility, a duty she takes quite seriously.

Speaking with Anushri, we sense her indifference towards the concept of cut-throat competition rampant in the times we live in. She neither desires nor needs to be competitive with her peers, as for her, it’s about “doing the best I possibly can”. A highly refreshing change from the general aura around today.

A multi-hyphenate

Work aside, Anushri fills her life with many an interest, with reading topping the list (she’s currently making her way through The Last Queen) and an intrinsic part of her ‘me’ time. This multi-hyphenate was also part of India’s national swim team and excelled at horseback riding, with a special affinity for dressage. Also a skier (she enjoys exploring bunny slopes, giving red slopes a shot now and then), her hobbies are numerous and varied, and there’s an innate sense of self-confidence.

Anushri Agarwal interview©HelloIndia

She lays immense importance to evolving and growing as a person and not becoming stagnant, as well. However, while she exudes shades of being extroverted, Anushri has a tendency to retreat into herself when not around like-minded folks. On the fashion front, this beauty with brains has quite the enviable wardrobe. While she admires upcoming brands and designers, adores the collections of Céline, Vivienne Westwood and Elie Saab, and holds close to her heart her collection of Mini Birkins by Hermès, it’s the closet she inherited from her nani that’s most precious to her, comprising legacy Abu-Sandeeps, jewellery, saris and even coloured diamonds.

“There’s this one diamond ring nani presented to me that I never take off…” she says. While she mostly keeps it casual in a pair of blue jeans and a crisp white shirt during the day, it’s “as professional as it can get” for work in simple, subtle neutral colours, and “rather cool, edgy and stylish” for the evening in a blazer paired with interesting shirts.

Familial Bonds

Anushri exhibits a sense of innate self-confidence, which also reflects the values she was brought up with. And the bond she shares with her close-knit family, especially her siblings, is akin to one we see in movies. Born into a family of business minds, it’s unsurprising that she has an entrepreneurial streak ingrained in her from her formative years. However, she credits the “strong and powerful” women of her family for moulding her personality.

“They had a larger-than-life presence in my life. They are very rooted women, with a strong set of values that are instilled in me, as well,” she says, alluding to her personality trait of being comfortable in her own skin.

Both of Anushri’s grandfathers were a significant influence on her. Successful yet humble industrialists, Narendra Gupta of Mumbai-based RNA Builders and Radhe Shyam Agarwal inculcated in all their grandchildren the power and potency of nurturing relationships and respecting familial bonds and values. Growing up in a joint family also made Anushri capable of adjusting and adapting to change with ease, moulding her into a calm, soft, gentle and beautiful soul.

“The idea was to give without expecting anything in return,” says Anushri, who idolises Indra Nooyi, former chairperson and CEO of PepsiCo “for her leadership and commitment to diversity and sustainability” — the kind of shoes she hopes to fill some day…

Interview: Neeva Jain; Photos: Karan Takulia; Styling & Creative Direction: Amber Tikari

This has been adapted for the web from a story originally published in the May 2023 issue of HELLO! India. Get our copy of the latest issue right here!