New Delhi: Girish the carpenter is so last week. India was introduced today to Jasuben (Sister Jasu) in a speech by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who said her pizzas are one of Ahmedabad's secret guilty pleasures.
Jasuben, Mr Modi said, exemplified how successful women entrepreneurs can be if they are given the right opportunity, which is available in plenty in Gujarat, he stressed.
Last week, while addressing business tycoons in Delhi, Mr Gandhi talked of sharing an early morning cup of tea with a young migrant worker in Mumbai called Girish, who exemplified the economic aspirations of a young, untapped India.
Mr Modi was speaking today at a five-star hotel packed with the women's wing of industry lobby Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry or FICCI.
Mr Modi talked of Jasuben and grinned as he said, "Now the media will think Jasuben is like Kalawati, and search for her," he said, "so let me tell you she died in Pune five years ago."
That was a dig at Mr Gandhi, who had made a farmer's widow named Kalawati famous when he talked about the plight of her debt-ravaged family in a Maharashtra village, in a speech in Parliament in 2008. Years later, she accused him of failing to assist her.
Jasuben set up her version of a pizzeria nearly 40 years ago in Ahmedabad. To cater to the local tastebud, she added a dash of sugar and jaggery to her pizza toppings.
Her business soon expanded to include six branches, three of which she optioned to franchisees.
Though she moved to Pune in the 90s, her business partner still runs the restaurants.
The pizzas are sold at a price of Rs 50 and on an average about 600 pizzas are sold in Ahmedabad.
"We have ensured that the quality as left by Jasuben is retained and that's why our clientele is so loyal'' said Desosinh, a manager with one of the branches. He hopes today's endorsement by the Gujarat Chief Minister will draw hordes of new customers.