Success Stories:
Her Story Her Way

Brief Introduction about yourself and tell us something about Sweet Symphony?  
I come from a family of artists; both my mother and father, who practiced art for many years, provided me all the inspiration I needed in my growing up years. I am, what I’d like to call, an accidental cake artist. I had not tried baking till 2013 and cake art till 2014. But once I was introduced to it, I was hooked. I completed the City and Guilds Diploma course in baking at Lavonne in 2013 and by the time I was done, I had friends coming up with excuses to have me bake for them. I was spurred by their encouragement and looked to improve upon my skills in the world of caking. I learnt flower making in sugar and that truly was my calling to this wonderful world of Sugar Craft. The desire to express myself in this art form is what truly inspired me to start Sweet Symphony. My USP is stunning cakes that are adorned with life-like sugar flowers – cakes that one would find hard to put a knife through. To me, what goes on the cake and in the cake are equally important – they should look fabulous and taste even better. It is not enough to just make exquisite and life-like flowers, their arrangement on the canvas that is the cake matters too. With my background in the fine arts, I am able to visualize the end product early on and present it in the most attractive manner, just like I imagined it. That is the critical element in turning out eye-catching cakes over and again, not unlike other art forms.

How can someone start the same business as yours in terms of investment?
I am a home baker and cake artist. I have not gone out of the way to make specific investments other than the tools and material that I need to create my cakes. My most treasured possessions are my Kitchen Aid stand mixer, the various veiners, moulds, cutters, edible petal dust and lustres I use in making my sugar flowers and cakes. Getting all the required tools and material for making exotic sugar flowers in India has been challenging. While now there are some people who import these and sell them locally, the initial few months I had to persuade friends to pick them up for me on their foreign journeys. My only marketing devices have been Facebook and word-of-mouth. There are several likeminded people in the digital world to provide the encouragement and support.

Please share your future goals.
Since I am still in the early stages of this expressive art, I want to learn from the great masters – Alan Dunn and Robert Hanes; take this skill and passion to reach new heights in creativity and expression. The cake is now my canvas and I want to paint it with a myriad of colours and art forms. Nature is beautiful and replicating something from this abundance in sugar is what I want to continue doing.  

What's your opinion about whether women can have it all?
Of course Women in today’s world can have it all. The men and the society at large in today’s times are very supportive and encouraging towards women who want to have the best of both worlds – work and family.  

What piece of advice would you like to give to the aspiring youth who wish to pursue their dream of becoming an entrepreneur?
Be focused and dedicated towards your goals rather than just get into the mad pursuit of making money too soon – like it has been told so aptly in the movie, 3 idiots - success will be yours if you focus on excellence - it just has to bow down to you!

According to you, what are the top three essential skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
I feel that time management, good PR and keeping abreast with new developments in one’s field are the three most essential skills required for one to be successful.

How have you managed the work-life balance and has the family been supportive?
I have a very supportive family and get the space and time I need to practice my art. Since I have grown up kids, not much is required in terms of attention and in whatever little supervision is required, my husband helps out. Besides, my family has been my best sounding board and most honest critics. Since I practice from home, it becomes easier to balance the two.  

What can best empower the women of India– education, politics or business?
All of the three are essential tools which will lead to empowerment of the women of India –and we are slowly but steadily getting there!