Success Is What You Make Of It!
“Although I always wanted to become a doctor as a child but ended up becoming a textile person. I did my graduation and masters in Textiles way back in 2007 and thereafter worked in garment exports industry for 4-5 years. It was going really well – I was loving my job and the money was good too. I was heading the merchandising and sourcing for an International Clothing Brand when I had to take a break from maternity with a plan to come back to industry once my baby turned 6 months old. BUT life does not work as you think it will…”
This is Richa's take charge story which made her realize that success is what you make of it. “I just didn’t want to sit idle!” That was her reaction when asked what prompted her to get back to work.
“I was missing MYSELF”
“No matter how much I say that I was a career oriented girl but my newborn made me realize that NOTHING in this world was more important than him. I just could not leave my son for work so decided to quit the industry and became a homemaker. But, something was not right - things were getting too monotonous for me- looking after the home, taking care of the kid (though I loved it), etc. I was missing MYSELF. I had never imagined myself as a full-time homemaker.
Although my family, especially my husband, was really supportive and stood by me in every decision that I took and even encouraged me to join the industry back the Mother’s Heart didn’t agree.
I was never fiercely ambitious and never wanted to be the MOST successful woman but always had an aspiration of having my individual identity – Something other than a Homemaker ONLY.
“I was unhappy and unsatisfied again.”
So as my son turned one, I started looking for something where I could work from home and yet take care of everything, as leaving my son and taking up full-time office job seemed impossible. Thankfully I got this opportunity, where my college friend asked me to join an online media company – based out of Singapore that she was already working for.
It was an editor profile, work from home, 6 hours a day. Everything seemed perfect - the kind of job I was looking for, although it was not my expertise I was willing to learn from scratch because I thought I would be happier if I was working.
But that perception was also short-lived - gradually work pressure started to build and health started to suffer because of the nature of the work. I didn’t realize when this 6-hour job turned into a 10-hour chaos!
Before I knew, I was again getting sucked into the corporate ordeal and I had started ignoring my family and my son – I was unhappy and unsatisfied again. I had actually started feeling guilty.
“This would have been impossible if it wasn’t for my mother-in-law.”
I had never in my dreams thought of starting up a food vlog especially a YouTube channel. I was never a good cook, I wasn’t even a foodie. This would have been impossible if it wasn’t for my mother-in-law. She is a fantastic cook, she really loved cooking and she had told me many times that she always wanted to open a restaurant but this thought remained a dream due to family constraints – something similar to what I was going through.
Since she had also gone through the same cycle, she was always there to cheer me up when I felt low. Since I was not really good at cooking, she would occasionally give me tips and teach me in the kitchen on how to make things better.
“My husband – just to make fun of me, recorded one such video!”
It was in 2014, I was still working for the online media company, when my husband – just to make fun of me, recorded one such video with his phone where my mum in law was teaching me to cook a special dish in the kitchen. And without even telling us, he uploaded the video to his Youtube account and shared on his social media. Although it was a fun intended action within one day that video garnered more than 1000 views and interesting comments starting pouring in.
Some of the comments really forced us to think and debate. And while debating, my brother in law suggested to start a professional food based Youtube Channel, but I could already see a lot of challenges:
- I did not really know cooking, so was very uncomfortable with being featured as a chef and my mum in law outrightly refused to be a part of the video.
- I was not comfortable in front of the camera.
- I had no clue on how to even set up a Youtube Channel, forget about how to run it.
- I had no technical expertise in shooting videos and editing.
- I still thought, the idea was not going to last, and still focussed on my editor job.
- Good quality videos needed quality shooting equipment, but we were not ready to invest.
- And many more…
“I started finding solutions for each one of the challenges.”
And like there is a saying – Where there is a will, there is a way!! I started finding solutions for each one of the challenges I had thought – my mum in law agreed to teach me the recipe before shooting while I had to learn to speak in front of the camera; we decided to continue shooting with a mobile till we were sure that it was going to work; my brother in law helped me set up the channel and taught me how to run it; my husband taught me basic video shooting and editing and I decided to give it a shot as a part-time hobby…
That’s how HEALTHY KADAI was born, it was still a part-time – hobby affair. Not a full-time job.
“It was now clear that I had to choose ANYONE.”
It was actually in 2014, I started realizing that I was not doing justice to either of things I was doing – the Editor Job with the Online Media Company and the Youtube Channel. It was now clear that I had to choose ANY ONE.
It was a really tough choice, as Healthy Kadai was still only with 1000 subscribers and I did not know whether it will survive the tough competition on Youtube. But the fact that this was the job that would help me spend quality time with my son, make my mum in law – my business partner and actually help me take care of my family – it was a clear winner. With my family’s support, I could see myself venturing full time into Youtube.
So I quit the media job in April 2015 and started to work on the channel with full confidence and enthusiasm.
It seemed that my Mum in law was actually more happy doing this than I was – she was, in a way, living her dream of running a restaurant and making innovative recipe through me.
“ It was important for us to create a niche for ourselves.”
Since there were a large number of food-based Youtube channels already and even more were being born every day – it was important for us to create a niche for ourselves with a healthy twist. We started making everyday recipes with a healthy twist without really compromising on the taste.
We also targeted appliance based cooking, as no one was working in this area to explain how appliances can be used more effectively and can even help in healthy cooking.
During that time Airfryer was launched and we picked up that appliance to create oil free recipes using airfryer. It was an instant hit as no one could even imagine oil-free frying in India. We started creating Oil Free Air Fried Indian recipes and kind of became the authority on Indian Airfryer Cooking on the internet. Since then there has been no looking back. Healthy Kadhai is all about healthy cooking, simple yet interesting recipes, appliance-based cooking with a goal to move towards a healthier lifestyle. That is the ultimate intent behind Healthy Kadai.
“Healthy Kadai was selected as one of the winners for YouTube Next Up 2016.”
Slowly and gradually I started getting recognition from various online food groups and communities.
Exactly one year due to my dedication and hard work put in behind the Youtube Channel. Healthy Kadai was selected as one of the winners for YouTube Next Up 2016 by Youtube India. This was the BIGGEST reward, I had never thought I would be able to make it so far, it was a dream come true.
We were among the youngest channels ever to be selected along with a few big shots – we had barely touched 10k subscribers while the others selected were easily almost touching the 1 lac subscribers mark.
Since then, we have been continuously working on our content and production quality, connecting and building the relationship with our viewers.
Healthy Kadai is now already 29k subscribers strong and it is all because of the love I have got from my viewers.
“Rather than following random diet plans, we should focus on eating healthy and staying fit”
Healthy food has become a fad nowadays. Everybody is following random diets without realizing that everyday cooking can become so much more healthy simply by following simple tips and tricks. Rather than following random diet plans, we should focus on eating healthy and staying fit. If I can learn to cook, ANYONE CAN COOK.
N*****Wow..... awesome experience of yours and an inspiration for all us...keep up the good work...all the best...