From Humble Beginnings to a Family Empire: The Inspiring Journey of McDonald’s franchisee Vijay Selhi and His Sons

Vijay and his three sons in front of their store

May 10, 2024

Where it all Began

The story of Vijay Selhi is one of perseverance, hard work, and family values. Born and raised in Mukandpur, India, Vijay moved to the United States in the 1980s in search of more opportunities. He found a job at McDonald's in Somerville, Massachusetts, where he started as a crew member earning minimum wage. Little did he know that this would be the first step in his 40-year-long journey with the brand. 

Thanks to his work ethic and dedication Vijay worked his way up the ranks, from crew member to general manager, to supervisor, and finally, to franchisee. In 2015, he acquired two McDonald's restaurants from former franchisee Bob King and eventually took over the Somerville location where he received his first McDonald's job. 


young Vijay in his car

Family first 

Core to Vijay’s personality is his deep appreciation for his culture and family values. Despite moving away from India, he remained rooted in his traditions and instilled them into his work and home life. 

Vijay's sons, Cherag and Anurag, visited India every summer to understand their roots and spend time with their family. The experience helped them develop a deep appreciation for their culture, which they now showcase in their leadership style and through their other passion, professional Indian dancing. 

In high school, Cherag and Anurag joined the business as crew members and later became managers while attending Suffolk University. After graduation and a few jobs in between, they both followed in their dad's footsteps as franchisees.

Vijay and his sons

For Vijay, family also comes first with his McFamily, and he makes it a point to check in on his crew members. “We always start the conversation about their personal life, like asking about their kids or mother who recently moved, and then we talk business after,” Vijay says.   

“Building something with your family, there’s nothing like it. Our family in India did the same thing so it’s invaluable that were able to replicate that in the U.S.,” says Cherag.

Making a Difference 

“We all wear different hats in our business, Vijay is the visionary, Cherag focuses on the strategy, and I execute – but the people always stay at the center of what we do,” said Anurag. Vijay and his sons take pride in the way they run their business and refer to their restaurants as a "melting pot."  

“You can find many different nationalities in one store; anybody can come to this country and have a dream like I did and we’re proud to offer them an opportunity,” says Vijay.

The family's Dorchester location is particularly close to their hearts as they feel it has had a positive impact on the community. Before the Selhi’s obtained the Dorchester location it had earlier closing times, so they extended the permit to serve food later.  

Vijay and his McDonalds crew

“By extending serving times, we feel it has had an impact on families – many in the community work multiple jobs and having this flexibility can be a game-changer when it comes to being able to eat dinner together,” said Cherag.

Continuing the legacy 

"I get such satisfaction knowing that I will eventually be able to pass this all on to somebody, and knowing it can be my sons, I know that they will also protect my McFamily – like the people who have worked for me all this time, they will keep the same job and work environment because my boys are carrying on the legacy," said Vijay.   

Vijay’s story is a testament to the power of hard work, family values, and following your dreams. The Selhi’s currently own 19 McDonald’s and don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon. 

If you're interested in becoming a McDonald's franchisee and potentially building your family legacy, learn more here 

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