The Inspiring and Untold life story of MGIs Founder!
Gopu Iyengar was born in a very small village of Ethirkottai in TamilNadu, which is known for its proximity to Srivilliputtur. Gopalan, as he was fondly known, was a very kind, humble and playful child. One fateful day, when he was playing with his friends, he accidentally fell inside a steep well nearby. He fell in so deep that it took about a day to rescue him back. He survived the fall but lost a leg. He was permanently limped. From then on, the boy was constantly humiliated by his friends, was kept outside of the games and was treated in the most lowly ways.
All these insults notwithstanding, at a young age of around 18, Gopalan decided to migrate to Madurai, the biggest town nearby. He arrived at Madurai, all alone, penniless and not really knowing what to do. He was roaming around the Meenakshi temple, which is when he found a very small Brahmin Outlet which was serving some delicious south Indian tiffin varieties. The owner of this outlet took pity on him and gave him the job of a waiter at the restaurant. The name of the original outlet is not known still.
Gopalan worked very hard, day and night, preserving all the pennies that came out of his job. He ate and slept in the outlet. The owner of the outlet, who was ageing and had no legal heir, wished to sell the outlet to potential bidders. Gopalan offered to buy the outlet from him by giving away everything he had saved. After working in the outlet for around 18 years, he went on to become the owner of the place.
From then on, there was no looking back for him. Teaming up with a couple of very capable Brahmin cooks, they invented a variety of authentic items on the menu which no other joints in Madurai had at that time. The list included Vellayappam, Green Chilli Chutney, Rava Pongal, Milk Boli, Jeera Boli, Dosa varieties and on and on. The team was very keen to serve limited, novel and very high quality food.
Morning walkers around Meenakshi temple would love to eat there. Tourists visiting Meenakshi temple would never miss a chance to taste the good food. MGI became a major brand of Madurai, standing in comparison with other places like Modern Restaurant and Arya Bhavan.
Shri Gopalan Iyengar, passed away at his 66th year, but continues to be our guiding light and inspiration by the way he lived, his business brilliance, hard work, Services mindset and customer satisfaction. This is why we say in MGIs, We are in the Business of Serving People through good quality food. Food is just a means to service people. Our business culture and the food symbolises the true spirit of Madurai. The place which enabled a handicapped Boy become a Business legend.