Ghar ka khaana, three magical words, synonymous with mother’s love and memories of home, is what defines the Ghar Ka Khaana tiffin service started by a mother–daughter duo in Chandigarh.
For young working couples, bachelors, and students in PG’s who are away from home and craving for ghar ke khane ka swaad, this is the answer to all their cravings.
From a journey that started in 2010 with five tiffins in Chandigarh, it has now grown to a full-fledged business with Gagandeep and her mother, Jaswinder Kaur, supplying 350 tiffins everyday. The venture has grown simply by word of mouth, and Gagandeep proudly shares that they have got 90% repeat customers without an app or a website.
Gagandeep started the tiffin service at the age of 21. As a student living in a PG, she was cognisant of the problems students and working professionals face when it comes to good, healthy, and tasty meals.
This along with the desire to engage her mother in a hobby after her father’s death pushed her to start the tiffin service.
She hails from a lower middle class Sikh family from Ambala. She completed her schooling in Ambala and moved to Chandigarh for her B.Sc. Her father’s illness pushed her to start working during her second year in college to support herself and her family. When her father passed away, she brought her mother to Chandigarh and from there started the journey of Ghar Ka Khaana tiffin service.
Most young people her age would have given up, but she is dogged and determined. In the early days, her usual day started in the kitchen with her mother at 5 am. She would head to work and during lunch deliver tiffins on her Active. She would before heading home pick up the tiffins and then help her mother in the kitchen and attend to other things that required her attention. The day that started at 5 am would end at 11 pm in the kitchen.
“Everything is difficult before it is easy and we should knock each and every door” is what keeps her motivated.
Her mother is her backbone and also her ideal. She shares, “Whenever I was in need, she always stood by my side like a strong pillar. If she in her 50’s can wake up at 5 am and work the whole day why should I have any second thoughts about waking early and working hard.”
The mother and daughter share a special bond. “My success as a human being is because of her. Yes we make sure we spend time with each other.” Talking about challenges, Jaswinder and she face as women she retorts, “Women are taken seriously and equal by the world if they take themselves equally serious. This is my personal outlook. I get influenced by karma, our hard work has paid back and I have learnt a lot from my own mistakes.”
“My biggest challenge and loss till today is and I think will always be is my father’s death. Life is tough without him and it’s equally sad when he is not there to see us growing. It makes me feel shallow sometimes. But I have learnt that we cannot get everything at the same time. God keeps something with himself,” she says with a sigh.
At the business end, they faced challenges such as maintaining variation in food, breaking monotony, and sticking to the business model without getting washed away by big players. “Our hard work and positive approach is what kept us going. I think we survived all these tides because of the trust and love our customers have extended,” she says with a positivity that is infectious.
Gagandeep started her career as a counsellor, she went on to work in the education sector and is now working as an assistant manager, sales and marketing in a on demand beauty services startup. Over the years as things have become sustainable, she has managed to hire more people.
She has 10 members, including her mother who still does the cooking, one co-cook, two to three helpers, four delivery persons, and one accounts manager.
“Earlier my vision was to continue it on my own and see if and when it sustains. Now after 5 years of taking it up as a hobby, it has given me tremendous results. I think I am ready to take it a step ahead and grow it with more pace, to grow substantially and organically.”
Using her experience in business development and marketing to her advantage she aims to reach new heights. “My aim is to replicate the model instantly in next six months in NCR and Ludhiana, both are high potential markets for us, and un-tapped markets, where we can get high traction from the first month and then to grow inwards capturing, Punjab, Haryana, NCR, and Jaipur in a short span. We are looking ahead to join hands with like-minded people who want to grow in the field and work jointly towards a common objective. As we believe we have got the engine ready, now only we have to plug and play, we know what works well, and have experience too …, so now we are ready to fly high!”
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