Success Stories:
Her Story Her Way

-Shruti Agarwal, Founder and Owner, Baking Pleasures   Something about yourself and your startup Baking Pleasures
I’m Shruti Agarwal, 20, a student and a bake-a-holic based in Kolkata. I’ve been baking for the past 4 years and it’s something that I’m really passionate about. ‘Baking Pleasures’ is an outcome of a lot of love and encouragement from my family and my best friend.  

What ignited the spark in you to start Baking Pleasures?
A foodie and a perfectionist are two words that describe me the best. Being a foodie myself, I know the happiness one gets on eating stuff which not only tastes, but looks great too. The obsession of creating beautiful and lip-smacking indulgences that make people smile inspired me the most.  

Any expansion plans for your start up?
I don’t really believe in long-term goals. I like to go with the flow and grab the opportunities that come my way. I set short-term goals and thrive to achieve them. Current goals on my list are to introduce more items for our customers to choose from and improving further on the ones we already offer. However, I do plan on expanding from a part-time home baker to a full–time baker after I graduate. I believe that with a dash of innovation to old traditions, phenomenal ideas are generated, and I wish to use these ideas to make ‘Baking Pleasures’ a grand success someday.  

What's your opinion about whether women can have it all?
I’ve always believed in what Marilyn Monroe said “Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.” All they need is an opportunity to have it all. When I picture myself 5 years down the road, I picture myself having it all – a flourishing business, a supportive family and ample quality time to spend with the people I love. It depends on what ‘having it all’ is defined as for each of us.  

What piece of advice would you like to give to the aspiring youth who wish to pursue their dream of becoming an entrepreneur?
My mantra is “Passion is the key to success”. The only piece of advice I’d like to give is that always trust your gut. Do what you love and love what you do. If products of a high quality are delivered, people will come back for more. Good things spread like wild fire. I think the only way to know what one is capable of, is to take a chance.  

According to you, what are the top three essential skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
I think passion, communication and strength are the most essential skills. Being passionate keeps us motivated to be better and dedicated to our goals. We should always be able to communicate well, to others as well as to ourselves, intrapersonal communication helps us find what we really wish to achieve. And lastly strength to take chances and strength to be able to cope with failures and rise again is very essential.  

How have you managed the work-life balance and has the family been supportive?
I have to do nothing to manage my personal and professional life. My profession is my passion. My family and friends are my support systems, who have always encouraged me to follow my heart and chase my dreams.  

What can best empower the women of India– education, politics or business?
I feel education is the best tool of empowerment for women in India. Because education not only inculcates literacy, it also builds up confidence and as we all know, the best thing a woman can wear is her confidence.  

Words for IWIL. Thank you IWIL for this opportunity. Such initiatives are a boost of encouragement and a great platform of exposure to budding entrepreneurs like us.