Dolly Patel, 30, who owns Dolly Ki Tapri Tea Stall in Nagpur in the western Indian state of Maharashtra, enjoys a huge fan base in the city due to his quirky style and unique tea-making skills.

I didn't know it was Bill Gates

On February 27, Patel was invited to prepare tea for “some foreigners” in the city of Hyderabad in the southern state of Telangana. Among them were the founder of Microsoft, the American billionaire and philanthropist Bill Gates.

“I was called to Hyderabad to prepare tea for seven or eight foreigners,” Dolly Patel said.

“I started making tea and there was a man standing next to me. I didn’t know who he was.

Patel added to The National: “The moment I served him tea, he said: ‘Wow!

“Good tea, Dolly.”

Patel had no idea who the "foreigner" standing next to him throughout the tea-making process was until Gates shared his video on social media the next day.

“In India, you can find innovation everywhere you turn – even in making a simple cup of tea!” Gates wrote with snapshots of him smiling and looking fascinated.

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Patel continues: “Only after I returned home, my friends called me and asked me if I knew who I served tea to. I was ignorant and they said it was Bill Gates. They said he was a big man. I didn’t know who Bill Gates was!”

“He was very kind and humble,” he added.

Unique tea making skills

With his long, dyed reddish-brown hair, eye-catching yellow sunglasses, and a wide smile, he pours milk cartons directly into the pot and mixes the cups before handing them to the customer.

Patel sells simple tea at his stall.

It is a mixture of tea leaves, milk, cardamom and ground ginger.

"There's nothing special except the way I serve," he says.

He adds that it is his style and antics - inspired by superstar Rajnikant - that attract customers.

"I was inspired by South Indian cinema and Rajnikant sir and combined his style with my own," he said.

"I love the way he wears his sunglasses or lights a cigarette or even walks. I imitate him."