Saturday, 14 April 2018

Nothing is more Loyal to Entrepreneurship than Failure

'Nothing is more loyal to entrepreneurship than failure' quipped Ishita and Nidhi when asked to summarise their startup journey. It emphasised that failures are an integral part of a startup. 

Ishita Raksha and Nidhi Upadhyay are co-founders of 17 Sugar StreetA Gourmet Dessert Studio, Patisserie and Artisans Bread 
Boutique in Hyderabad. Within a short span of time, they have 
made a name for their venture.

Both Nidhi and Ishita belong to the first batch of Bachelor of Business Administration (Class of 2013), whom I taught at IBS Hyderabad. Both of them took active part in college events. 

I am reminded of a guest lecture in 2011 for the BBA class. The speaker Ms Rohini Mukherjee, Chief Policy Officer of Naandi Foundation energised the class by asking them what would they like to become after doing their BBA. The responses were jotted down on the white board. Guess what was Ishita's response? She wanted to become a Chef. See the picture below where Ishita is seen thanking the Guest Speaker. In the background, the word 'Chef' is scribbled on top of the responses.

It goes to show the clarity of thought and focus in a teenager's mind. Here is another picture of Nidhi in the same event. A picture of concentration- wonder if she knew the photographer's presence in the class! Nidhi now handles the marketing part of the venture very confidently.

Batch-mates Ishita and Nidhi later teamed up together to launch their venture 17 Sugar Street. Their clients want to return again and again because of variety and quality of their cakes and other products. 

They have shared their entrepreneurial journey with us in a short video. Please jack up audio volume while playing the clip below.

Excerpts from Ishita and Nidhi's story:

Has your entrepreneurial journey been as exciting as you had expected it to ​be?
Entrepreneurship, more like a ship that sailed only to conquer the shore and with you, the captain of the craft. The experience so thrilling it sucks you in. Oh, so fancy! Thrilling yes, but far away from reality.
You get to be your own boss but what people never told you is that you will also be your only loyal employee for life. It is definitely not a cake walk, but then again anything worth having never came easy. Irrespective of how long your nights at work may be, being an entrepreneur is probably the best decision we as a team could make.

What are the key challenges in your venture and how do you plan to overcome it​? ​
Having to establish a successful entity in one of the busiest industries of all time, with constant increase in competition in the F&B industry businesses are set to rise and fall just over a meal.
With the constant fear of a dessert business going sour, we push ourselves every day to constantly innovate. Not just in terms of products & services but also how we deal with our clientele.

Eds: Here is an example of constant innovation by Ishita and Nidhi. The Rasmalai Cake-- Fabulous Fusion-- Layers of soft & moist vanilla elaichi इलायची sponge cake and a rich rabdi रबड़ी mousse with chunks of rasmalai रसमलाई , loaded with pistachios. Isn't your moth watering already? 

What is your message for present students who want to take the entrepreneurial dive​?​
Management jargons, heavy theories and age-old philosophies don’t all go waste, but the real-time drama doesn’t have a set script. Never shying away to learn something new even from sources we might consider subordinate in nature is crucial. 

Building a team and understanding one’s own shortcoming, balancing it with someone else’s strengths only makes you stronger. 
Work life balance is key, but it is safe to say you can forget about that for the initial phases. Nothing is more loyal to entrepreneurship than failure. Your business will be your baby, agreed. And no parent would like to see their child fail. But it is important to realise that even though you and your business as entities are linked, a disappointing venture doesn’t make you a failure.

Their venture has been featured in the media many times. Here is a 
short clip.

Readers may recall the previous story in this series titled 'I wouldn't trade entrepreneurship for anything else'. It was Anjali Raj who has set up 'I Love 9 Months'. Anjali too belongs to the same batch as Ishita and Nidhi at IBS Hyderabad. Who could predict that three teenagers from the same batch would soon become entrepreneurs! 

Ishita and Nidhi's story is part of the series titled 'Proof of the Pudding'"The proof of the pudding is in the eating" goes the old proverb. For a teacher like Ghumakkad, what is the pudding? 'Pudding' for a teacher is his/her graduating students. Then how  is this 'pudding' in the form of former students, to be 'eaten'? 'Eating' can be symbolically equated with the placements or performance of former students in real life. 
This series of stories is about Ghumakkad's former students who have become entrepreneurs. Most of the 2500 or so MBA, PGDM and BBA graduates taught by me have taken up a job. By embarking on the challenging path of entrepreneurship, few of these former students have proven the proverbial pudding beyond doubt! Who are these ten entrepreneurs? Are their business ventures diverse?

Their enterprises may not be huge, but they have followed their heart. They have pursued their passion. It was such a pleasure to reconnect with these former students and to learn their success stories. Thanks are due to each one of them for sharing their journey after graduation.

MBA Graduation
Business Area
Venture Name & Location
MBA(HR) IBS(2010)
Career Coaching
HRscope Consultants, Patna
MBA(HR) IBS (2010)
Entertainment/ Theatre and Performing Arts
XpressionZ, Bangalore
MBA(Mktg) IBS (2012)
Image Consultant, Corporate Trainer
Tualmagis, Mumbai
MBA(Fin) IBS (2012)
Designer Soaps- manufacture and supply
Soapatite, Indore
MBA(Mktg) IBS(2013)
Designer Apparels and Accessories
Preksha Jain – The Fashionate, Kolkata
BBA IBS(2013)
Healthy Mother, Healthy Baby
ILove9Months, Kochi
BBA IBS(2013)
A Gourmet Dessert Studio
17 Sugar Street, Hyderabad
Sriram Gundepudi
Employability Skills Training
Digi Freaks,Hyderabad
PGDM(Fin) VVISM (2016)
Digital Marketing, Web/App Development
Aresol India, Visakhapatnam

Readers may also browse two related stories posted earlier:
Can Startup Management be taught?
Social Entrepreneurship- Learnings

Thanks for browsing.
Last two stories of these passionate entrepreneurs will follow. Stay connected.

     - Harsh-the-Ghumakkad/14th April 2018

#StartupIndia #WomenEntrepreneurs #ProofOfThePudding #IBSHyderabad #17SugarStreet #GhumakkadHarsh #GhumakkadHB #IshitaRaksha #NidhiUpadhyay #Entrepreneurship