Student Biryani

Back to homepage

“We do not depend on our chefs”- Student’s Biryani owner says

Tastefully terrific Student’s Biryani owner Mr. Arif speaks to The Label Sticks about how the business with a humble beginning became a world renowned brand.

From a humble start to becoming a brand, from a brand to a trend and from a trend to an icon. Café Student has set itself in the heart of customers through its flavorsome food which sets it apart from the rest.

On a sunny afternoon in October 1969, 40-year old, Haji Muhammad Ali, stood at a stall in Karachi, Pakistan with a few plates and a bucket full of aromatic rice called Biryani. Like nothing which was sold before, passersby could not resist trying his food.

“My father had started this, he is the founder of Student’s Biryani. At that time there was no concept, no idea of how we would start business, just a passion to start something unique.”

This was the beginning of Café Student. Coming a long way through extreme hard work, a clear vision and unfailing customer loyalty.

“Alhamdulilah we have had very good acceptance initially from the Pakistani people. Once we saw that people have accepted us with the taste, quality and pricing etc, we expanded into areas.”

Consistent taste and “word of mouth” is what has taken Student Biryani, a brand of Café Student, from a small roadside vendor to one of Pakistan’s fastest growing franchise networks. The brand has its stores in Barsha, Al Nahda in Dubai, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi  and has major plans for expansion in the near future.

Haji Ali’s recipe for biryani is still the business secret for Café Student that associates its popularity partly to “the word of mouth” publicity.

“We have a central kitchen here in UAE as well, we make all the recipe mixes in our central kitchen and then transport then in different branches. We do not depend on the chefs,” the owner adds.

The Karachi-based food outlet – after attracting notable traffic in Dubai – now wants to test North American and European markets and extend its Gulf network through global franchising.

“Then we moved to Dubai in 2009, then we moved to Oman and later Saudi Arabia. Also in Canada, my younger brother Shehzad is there.”




Various celebrities have visited the Student Biryani outlets to taste their scrumptous biryani.

Some of them include Jaaved Jaafri, Faisal Kapadia from Strings, Singer Honey Singh and cricketer Younus Khan.

So if you’re out in Karama the next time around, make sure you grab a taste of this tastefully terrific Biryani indulgence.