Whipping Up Dosas And Planning Happy Shaadis, These Mompreneurs Are #LivingLikeBoss
MEET THE MOMPRENEURS-PART 1
We bring you stories of mommies who have turned around their lives by undertaking the taxing role of entrepreneurship. This is the first among the many stories of gritty mompreneurs we will be narrating in the coming weeks. Today we share the stories of Kavita Arvind and Sana Sood.
Kavita Arvind, Jayakrishna Foods
Kavita Arvind, 33, mother of a 5-year-old girl, became an entrepreneur in September 2015. Her venture, Jayakrishna Foods, is about ready to cook breakfast mixes, home-made South Indian spices and South Indian food.
Kavita quit her job and started Jayakrishna Foods because of her passion for food. She’s previously worked in recruitment sector for 8 years. Her last employment was with Amazon.
She capitalized on the opportunity of the growing consciousness amongst the society towards eating healthy food. The benefits of giving healthy and preservative free food to her child motivated her to start the venture.
Kavita says, “Ready to cook breakfast mix, south Indian spices and south Indian cooked food is easily 100 million annual market in Gurgaon. Gurgaon as a hub for Fortune 500 companies has the 3rd highest per capita income in the country with a hugely diverse population from across India.”
Jayakrishna Foods is aimed at the millennial cosmopolitan couples who love home cooked food. Home cooked food and spices are made with the best of ingredients and ground absolutely fresh. “This market,” she says, “is growing at a rapid 40-50% rate. And, people are getting increasingly squeezed for time to make elaborate preparations at home.” The competition to her business is from home chefs and food aggregator apps.
Kavita started off by making idli batter for consumption within her society. It was the first time anyone in her family was venturing out and she was nervous about handling customers. However, the progress was smooth and fast. Her venture flourished across Gurgaon through social media publicity, on Facebook here.
Jayakrishna Foods has close to 400 customers across Gurgaon. Kavita has tied up with various societies across Gurgaon and streamlined the logistics of the business. The buying is done on a weekly basis, mostly. Quality is the cornerstone of her venture and she ensures strict standards by selling fresh stuff. This means that she is often sold out and has to refuse customers by the end of the day. But, then, at least her customers know that they get absolutely fresh, delectable stuff from Kavita’s kitchen.
Juggling Between Work And Motherhood
Kavita makes sure to start her work early in the morning and works around her daughter’s schedule. Her supportive husband helps in taking care of their daughter when he returns from work and this gives Kavita the necessary time to finish her pending work.
Advice For Aspiring Mompreneurs
Kavita’s advice to aspiring Mompreneurs is to think about what you really want to do and plan accordingly. “Do not hesitate to take help from your family,” she says. She recommends setting small goals.
Sana Hoda Sood, Happy Shappy- Creative Director & PR Lead
Sana Sood, 35, mother of 4-year-old and 2-year-old boys started her venture Happy Shappy in September 2016. Happy Shappy is all about reimagining how Indian weddings are planned. It is an online portal and a pair of mobile apps, making it easier and cheaper to plan a wedding. So, whether, you want a big fat Indian Wedding or a small private affair, Happy Shappy will make sure that your special day is happier than happy.
Happy Shappy has been live now for just over 6 months and has been a part of about 50 weddings till now, and is growing exponentially. Sana was previously working in America in the corporate sector. She shifted to Delhi a year ago. She shares that the need of adding some excitement and the spark of becoming an entrepreneur led to the formation of Happy Shappy.
Sana shares that the wedding industry is a $40 billion market, with a growth of 20-25% per year - completely recession proof. The market is quite big and there are a handful of other players. She adds, “Our business model is quite different from others. Many of these wedding sites tend to focus on inspiration and blogs only -- which we also do, but that's not the crux of our work. At the end of the day, our goal is twofold -
(1) making wedding planning easier and less hectic.
(2) a cost savings for the client - which tends to be -approximately 20% for us.”
Sana and her husband co-founded Happy Shappy after shifting to Delhi a year ago. They were in the US for 27 years. The first learning curve for them was to understand how to operate in India. Working with her husband has been an enlightening experience for her, too. “It is important to keep the egos in check and focus on the business,” she says.
Sana’s background is in International Risk and her husband has worked with the World Bank. She learned immensely about the wedding industry while meeting other players and understanding the market.
Secret To Managing Work And Family
Sana shares that she takes it day by day. She is a frequent blogger and does her writing when her children are asleep. She tries to finish her work when her older child is in school. She laughs when she tells us that there are days when she lets her younger child watch an extra hour of television to meet a work deadline. Also, she stresses the importance of having a reliable help at home.
Advice For Aspiring Mompreneurs
Sana believes that mothers are magicians at multi-tasking. “If you are thinking of starting your own venture then just do it,” she says. “Working for yourself, on your own terms, something about which you are passionate, is extremely fulfilling.” She takes a deep breath and smiles as she tells us the importance of having a life apart from the day-to-day duties of motherhood. She advises to organize your day and prioritize your tasks.