Success Stories:
Her Story Her Way

-Sharmistha Pal, Founder and Owner, The Little Devil's Cake Shop   Brief Introduction about yourself and tell us something about your startup?
Hello readers...I am the owner, receptionist, Baker, sourcer, designer and delivery person of The Little Devil's Cake Shop!! Yea, in other words, one man...oops woman army! I am home based Baker and cake decorator from the east of Bangalore. I quit my decade old corporate job of a Risk Manager to satisfy my creative urges and lead a professional life on my terms.  

How can someone start the same business as yours in terms of investment?
Since this is a home based business, initial investment is directly proportional to your risk appetite. You can keep costs as low as possible by using household equipments, etc. It's very easy to scale up operations later on.  

Please share your future goals.
Currently I am very pleased with the work life balance that I can maintain, as I can select and reject projects at my will. I plan to expand my market share of clients steadily but slowly.  

What all challenges did you face in your professional journey while starting Little Devil’s Cake Shop?
The most important drawbacks of being a home Baker and cake decorator is the competitive market. We have to continuously face underpriced products from other home bakers who does not take this work as a profession. A similar challenge is always present from the chain and local bakeries, which can provide cheaper (if not better) products as a result of mass production. Another challenge are the clients and our Indian taste pallet, which is still in the process of understanding that Cake decoration is an art and should be appreciated likewise.  

What's your opinion about whether women can have it all?
I have it all!! A healthy and happy family, a steady income and a peaceful state of mind. Not to obnoxious bosses and no notorious Bangalore traffic jams! On a different note, "having it all" has a different meaning for each one of us. And only an individual can find what that "all" signify for each of us. Once found...strive to achieve it.  

What piece of advice would you like to give to the aspiring youth who wish to pursue their dream of becoming an entrepreneur?
Make sure you are in the game not only for the money. Only start a project if you believe in it and have a passion for it. Otherwise, it will not hold your interest for long and may end up in a disaster.  

According to you, what are the top three essential skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
One...Passion for the product or service...Two...complete knowledge of the product or service... Three...Open to ideas and changes  

How have you managed the work-life balance and has the family been supportive?
I maintain a very strict work-life balance as I select the projects that I work on and for how long. Hence, money has been a secondary factor but I have never short changed my work. Initially, my parents and in laws were disheartened to learn about my change of profession as they were unable to comprehend my logic. But my main source of support came, and still continues, from my husband, sister and my little son.  

What can best empower the women of India– education, politics or business?
What women need most today is financial independence. Successful Business will bring independence from financial slavery, respect from others, more say in every scope and boost self-confidence.