Sadiq removing creepers from buses parked due to lockdown (left), Sadiq'a wife Seenath and mother Aleema making biryani (right) (Photo: Mathrubhumi)
Palakkad: Yakkara native M Sadiq has been living his life with buses for the past 35 years. He had owned 26 buses including 12 'Faisal Fast' buses on Palakkad-Kozhikode route. Though he still owns 8 buses, the COVID crisis pushed him to enter the delicious world of biryani. He has been managing 'Aleema's Biryani' in the name of his mother during the five months of lockdown.
Sadiq takes order for biryani from Monday to Friday. On Saturdays, Sundays and other holidays, Sadiq, his wife Seenath and sons Fasil and Fahadh will be totally busy. After biryani, chicken chilli and salad are ready, Fasil and Fahadh deliver the items to the households of the customers.
Sadiq has four children. Fasil and Fahadh are supporting him with the biryani business. Fasil was managing the bus services with father before lockdown and Fahadh is an engineering student in Coimbatore. Eldest son Faisal is an MBA student in Bengaluru. Daughter Shahanas is married.
Son of V S Muhammed Kunju and Aleema, Sadiq was fond of buses from childhood. After learning driving, he bought a bus without informing even his parents. When he got a chance to go to Gulf, he entrusted the bus service to a person. But when he returned after two years, the bus company was in loss.
Then Sadiq bought a bus and conducted service on Pulapatta route. Gradually, the number of buses increased and touched 26. When the income started decreasing, he sold some of the buses. First, there were four employees in a bus. Even during the good times, only Rs 2000-2500 could be earned as profit per day.
Following this, the staff was reduced to only a driver and conductor. When the lockdown was imposed, Form G was submitted for tax exemption. He also arranged groceries required for the staff for 3-4 months in a friend's shop during the COVID crisis.
Entering biryani business
After the income from bus service stopped, Sadiq thought of starting biryani business. Thus the brand 'Aleema's Biryani' was born. Even when the COVID crisis ends and buses start plying, at least Rs 8-10 lakh is required to condition 8 buses. So, the biryani business will be the source of income till then, Sadiq made it clear.