The Young Entrepreneur describes her efforts at achieving her dreams to Yourstory –“With a dream and ambition as tall as her height, a 23 year old set off to pursue what she felt was her passion and eventually, her calling. Hufrish Gandhi was very clear from the start that she was born to delight everyone’s culinary instinct. Her instinct just about allowed her to train professionally at Hyatt, InterContinental – The Grand and Oberoi for a few years, before she set out to start her own venture E.A.T.T. (Experience at the Table). In the last few years, E.A.T.T. has grown from strength to strength.”
E.A.T.T. (Experience at the Table) is just what she says it is. Hufrish states their distinctive experience saying “Home cooked, customized and fresh food supplied at very competitive rates and offered with numerous varieties that we constantly innovate with, is E.A.T.T.'s biggest USP or differentiator! We hardly repeat items in our menus.”
Hufrish borrows a page out of Aesop’s fables, specifically the one about the tortoise and the hare. Her motto for growth is “Slowly and steadily, try and hire more cooks, train and nurture them, sync them with E.A.T.T.'s philosophy of providing unmatched culinary experiences and then gradually shift out of the home kitchen into a rented place of my own, from where I can operate independently.”
For some entrepreneurship is a dream, to some a vocation they fall into, Hufrish believes it’s a calling. She explained why she became an entrepreneur saying “Because my passion and calling used to wake me up in the middle of the night and shout out, "why are you wasting your life? Be your own boss, start your own stuff, take the risk in order to grow". And I did. A 9-5 computer and desk job is not my cup of tea. Making interesting snacks for you WITH your tea is what I'd rather be doing...”
Hufrish learnt the ropes very fast and found that she needed to grow some abilities to be successful. She says “The biggest challenge for me so far was to inculcate the patience and skills within my hasty-self while training my cooks. My second challenge was to gain the confidence and trust of my clientele b'coz they always wondered how a 5 ft 2 inches high girl would run her business effectively, while also cooking up tasty and healthy food. I'm glad I rode over both these hurdles smoothly.”
She learnt her lessons, but the most important one was to understand how her culinary skills were not the “be all and end all” of her entrepreneurial endeavor. She rues her mistakes saying “To think that I would succeed in my business only because I could cook well!! I gradually learnt that managing a food business had so many other sensitivities involved. It also had so many business logistics, finances and image-management that went into it. My first year was disastrous because I wasn't prepared for the whole package in its entirety. I gradually learnt the ropes. Yet everyday is a new learning!”
E.A.T.T. was born with the help of her parents. Hufrish thanks them and recalls “They offered to set up my whole kitchen and fund other miscellaneous expenses out of their savings.”
With her parent’s blessings and her knowledge of the culinary arts Hufrish has discovered the taste of success. She reports “E.A.T.T. has grown from strength to strength. From 1 amateur assistant, I now have 3 professional cooks. From 3 family members as start up clients, I now cater to 25 full meal clients + daily new clients that come in through word-of-mouth publicity and recommendations. In the last 3 years, the business has doubled in numbers and refuses to stop.”
Hufrish gushes about the qualities that she values in her organization and appreciates “The sincerity and passion of my staff and vendors in the business and above all, the trust and liking that E.A.T.T. as a Company has garnered over the years.”
“No awards yet, only rewards! Customer delight and praise is a reward I consider lucky to have got so early on in my career.” exclaims Hufrish.
Hufrish finds her entrepreneurial life invigorating and says she will never tire of it. She says “The thirst to innovate in my menus, the hunger to keep clients asking for more, and the drive to keep the business growing. The thrill that comes with taking my own decisions and being responsible for both, the right and wrong ones keeps me waking up to my job, every single morning!”
By next year we can expect E.A.T.T to be at least double its present size in terms of clientele, resources and infrastructure... “To delight as many customers with home-cooked food, every single day, is my vision for 2010.” Says Hufrish
An average Indian woman is a good cook, and you will agree Hufrish is no average anything. Yourstory believes that she will be cooking up a storm and hopes she keeps perfecting her recipe for success in the years to come.
The Entrepreneur within the culinary expert advises “When you stumble upon that thing, called "Dream"...don't just roll over the pillow...if its really what you want to do, wake up and smell the coffee...and go ahead and pursue it! Make your dream, your job....it will become your Dream Job!”