Meet the SHEROES - Simran Multani
A self-taught home baker Simran Multani started her own enterprise Ovenderful, almost a year ago In parallel to that, she is an independent HR consultant and has worked for 11 years in Advisory services with large firms. Mother to 1 human kid all of 23 months, and two Indie canine kids, apart from baking, she loves reading as much as shecan and writing poetry. She loves the mountains and the many visits to the cafes nestling in the hill stations have been the inspiration to create the classic and simple old-world flavours in Ovenderful.
Tell us more about yourself.
I am a mother to 1 human baby of 23 months, and 2 adopted Indie canine babies who are 3 and 10 1/2 years old. In between my work on Ovenderful, a couple of freelance projects and the kids, if I can find time, I love to catch up on my reading. I enjoy writing as much as baking and reading, and have published English poetry in some journals in India. I believe that I am a mountain person - The many visits to the cafes nestling in the hill stations have been the inspiration to create the classic and simple old-world flavours in Ovenderful. One of my great motivations for baking are for fundraisers that focus on generating money for abandoned and injured animals - as of now I have baked for Indigree Angels Trust, Help & Heal Animal Trust and Precious Paws Foundation. In order to share my learning, I kickstarted baking classes at an NGO Search Years, in Gurgaon, to create a line of vocational training, for 12 girls.
What was the idea behind starting-up Ovenderful?
Ovenderful started as a baking blog just so that I could chronicle my experiences and recipes as I began the journey specifically to make goodies for my husband ! It grew into an entity of its own as people beyond the regular circle of family and friends started tasting my bakes. Even then I didnt give it serious thought in terms of building it as a home baking enterprise. Last year November, when my son was turning a year old, I felt that becoming a mother was a defining moment in my life, but it wasn’t the only defining moment in my life. I was many things and I will be many things , was many roles and will be many roles, before and after becoming a mother. I think I was at the brink of reaching that point when I turned to Ovenderful with a vengeance and gave it a new lease of life. With a small baby and a full-time job, undertaking an entrepreneurial venture was very difficult since it needed me to ensure that the momemtum and discipline was sustained. But as I look back now, it seems to have worked out very well despite the upswings and downswings.
What is work life balance to you?
I read an article a while ago about how there are three not two elements here - its about managing a work-life-passion balance! In my case, with Ovenderful, the line between work and passion has disappeared. One of the reasons I left my full time role was due to the fact that work - life balance was a challenge given a small baby. While organizations pay lip service to workplace flexibility and how it is important for employees to have a wholesome life, few actually create cultures that help employees particularly new mothers, to manage this balance effectively. Even as an entrepreneur, it is certainly not easy to manage this balance, given that you need to do each and everything single-handedly. But by focusing on dividing your priorities into the essentials and non-essentials and trying to create small windows of time for different aspects of life, I think this balance can be managed.
What are your future plans with ovenderful?
My plan is to build Ovenderful into a brand that is not about fancy cakes for big occasions - the idea of Ovenderful is to remind people about the fact that "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”. When I read the history behind the old-fashioned, classic bakes it brings forth stories which celebrated small moments of life as it was without any frills- family time was about all about chatting over endless slices of a double chocolate cake, harsh winters became bearable because of a warm apple pie, quiet time with oneself was just about a cup of tea, a great book and a choco chip cookie and catching up with friends meant sharing a lovely Swiss roll or cheese puff !
In addition to that I want to at some stage, open a mountain cafe, which provides wholesome and freshly baked classics which are losing their charm amidst the glitter!
A message to all SHEROES out there.
Well, my message to all SHEROES goes back to one of my favourite quotes - “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” I say this to myself more frequently than I admit to ! All SHEROES are living examples of this in more ways than one. I think when we find that one aspect that creates a thread between our heart, soul and mind, we should develop and leverage it to make it our life's passion.