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Sometime in late 2019, 26-year-old Pankaj Rabha pooled in all of the money he had managed to save from his salary as a courier delivery boy into setting up a momo stall in Guwahati’s Beltola market. Rabha ran a tight ship – in terms of help, he only had his long-time neighbour, Sanjay Boro.

The stall, which does not have a name, took off quickly. At Rs 50 a plate, the pork momos (five mid-sized dumplings with a side of chicken broth) were the biggest hit, according to Rabha. “We had a regular bunch of customers who would come almost every evening,” he said. “We were doing business of around Rs 1,500 daily.”

With around Rs 700-Rs 800 going into the raw materials, Rabha made a profit of...

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