Came across this really inspiring post on OpenCoffeeClub. A couple of college (hostel) girls and their tryst with entrepreneurship.
This is the story of two students in University of Delhi. Happy studying Statistics and Literature with bit monotony was their life. ‘A’ was really passionate about cakes and chocolates. She could bump into any bakers at any hour of the day. It was the only thing she cooked with lots of grace while she was at home. And ‘S’, her dearest friend loved experimenting and encouraging ideas. ‘A’ baptized her virtual Bakers store as “Indulgilicious” with the slightest idea of this coming true. Then comes A’s cousin, the enthusiastic, the illumination and an entrepreneur. ‘A’ blabbered her dreams (Indulgilicious) to him, which would have happened sometime in the future she was not sure about. But her cousin, so like himself, became really serious about the whole thing and they had a long discussion on the same issue. ‘A’ was big time inspired and full on motivated. Then what?
She chucked an internship at a high profile Mathematical institute, lost every chance of recommendation by them, then blown by friends and so on. ‘A’ told ‘S’ about the whole scene and ‘S’ was very supportive, encouraging and even more excited than ‘A’ and promised to be an equal partner in the new business which did not exist. It was 27th Feb 2011 and the idea commenced.
Guys, I am talking about nobody else but Anchal (myself) and Shagun, from the neighboring hostel and a friend since graduation (we are post graduates nowJ).
Unbelievable it was! I and Shagun sat the next afternoon to plan out things including the recipe, dishes, etc. None of us were aware of business techniques, so please excuse my non technical writing here. Out for shopping, no money, weird plans, nothing on papers…. we bought every ingredient and dishes required. Fortunately my hostel had a microwave, so things seemed to be easier.
PN: We paid extra 12.5% at every store to get the bills. We were loyal to our customers as well as government rules. Second morning of March on the Shiv Ratri, we baked our first cake as a trial. Trust me, I was shit scared but Shagun was optimistic about the taste. And, the taste turned out to be awesome… BUT…. the cake was as hard as a stone. I was very depressed but Shagun was in good spirits and then we realised that the microwave we had used didn’t have the “Convection” mode which is used to bake cakes. Let me list a few more problems we had faced:
- We planned to buy an OTG, and checked Tata Croma and finalised the model. But we didn’t get permission from the hostel authorities to keep an electrical appliance.
- Renting a flat was the next idea. Though expensive, we still had to stick to this because there was no other way. Grishma supported with financial help.
- Getting in touch with property dealers and assuring electricity and water throughout the day was really tough.
- Meanwhile, our friend Shweta came up with the idea of baking in a cooker. Awesome idea, we bought a cooker too.
- Hotplates in hostel could have been used but the regulator was not working.
- We sneaked in a gas cylinder in Shagun’s hostel room finally to carry on with our plan.
We also bought chart papers and colours from Nayi Sadak, Chandni Chowk, sim card, mobile handset (borrowed from a cousin). We made teasers by 10th of March but we had to slow down because of my mid semester exams and my parents trip to delhi and then further delay on account of Anna Hazare’s fast which was supported by Shagun. Came 8th April, when we had put up the teasers on the under graduate hostel boards with the help of Puja and Rashmi. Messages started buzzing in on our new number. People were pepped about the name… then we had put the posters, we covered all undergraduate college hostels of DU in North Campus.
Then happened something which none of us had expected….. Calls started coming for orders. God, calls after calls…. we became too busy overnight. We also made a delivery at 6am for a Stephen’s girl. Amazing time it was, we managed to cover the entire cost we had incurred……From buying stuff to taking calls, baking cakes to washing utensils, managing stock to delivering cakes and to handling finance and so on was done by me and Shagun. In all probability we have put our final semester exams on stake here, we await the results.
Colour code followed by us was PURPLE and SILVER. We made cake boxes using purple-silver handmade papers.
The idea behind Indulgilicious was simple; we aimed at HOSTELERS who wanted homemade cakes to be delivered at their doorsteps @ reasonable price. It was a pain that we ourselves felt being out of home in a hostel world for years. We were successful in delivering the same and feedback from most of them delighted us, this motivated us to continue working.
After the initial stint, constraints like finance, space and an end to college life stopped us from continuing the same. As of today I am working with an analytical company now and saving money every month to come back with a bang. Shagun is likely to start preparation for civil services exams.
Last few months made us learn a lot in terms of organising, planning, time management, firefighting, jugaad etc. Those really were the most adventurous days of our life. We promise to come again and serve the hostellers to re-live our 5 years of hostel life … forever.
Waiting for the dream to come true soon….
Anchal & Shagun