This 22-year-old wants you to eat gold for healthier lifestyle, here's whyDivya Chandra
Celebrations in India are incomplete without sweets. When sweets are combined with edible gold – the result is exquisite. Aishwarya Goel combined sweets and gold to create luxury and high-end gifting options through her venture Swarn Amrit.
“Gold is not just the most expensive food in the world, it is an elixir of life. Our mission at Swarn Amrit is to expose the extraordinary blend of India’s two most prestigious pillars of cultural heritage – sweets and gold – in the form of an exceptional assortment,” says 21-year-old Aishwarya Goel.
Based in Gurgaon, Swarn Amrit was started in 2014. With Aishwarya at the helm, there is a small but committed team of more than 50 artisans that fuels Swarn Amrit. The company has a core team which looks forward to strategic planning, marketing, and creativity.
“Gold is considered to be the symbol of wealth, success, and beauty. It also carries apparent healing power and is famous for its numerous health benefits. Edible gold was considered a luxury and was consumed by emperors in the past. With modernisation, the ritual eventually died. I wanted to revive and repackage this tradition to give people a unique and luxurious experience,” says Aishwarya.
Gold offers multiple packaging and gift customisation options that add another element of matchless luxury teamed with a responsive and personal customer service in the current setting.
Aishwarya comes from a conservative Marwari family. “My dad is a businessman but neither I nor anyone in my family ever thought that I will pursue the same in future. After my graduation, I realised that I have two options either I live up to the expectations that others have set for me or I pursue my very own dream. I have always believed that once you make a decision the universe conspires to make it happen,” she says.
Since childhood, especially in the business community, she has observed people worshipping gold. Over time, she realised that there were two main components for every celebration and festival: the giving and taking of gold in different forms and sweets. She wanted to join the two together and create something new. Since then the curiosity to study and understand the importance for gold had increased for Aishwarya.
Born and brought up in Delhi, she went to Amity University to pursue her engineering. While at Amity, which had an incubation centre, she began experimenting in different arenas. And even after completing engineering she realised that the idea of crafting and selling edible gold was always at the back of her mind.
Aishwarya knew that operating in a niche market and selling her idea to a world would require a lot of time, thought and planning. But she did not let it hold her back. She went ahead and started up.
Making a single delicacy with edible gold requires a lot of precision and artisans spend at least 15–20 minutes just to make one single delicacy. The edible gold is created from the pure gold that is available in its raw form. The edible gold that is used is 24 karat and it comes with a certificate of authenticity justifying its purity.
Although edible gold has a very long shelf life, they strictly follow the concept of “made-to-order” as it tends to loose its shine if kept for a long time after combining with any sweet. Therefore, everything is freshly prepared and nothing is kept in stock because of security issues as well.
Appointments are booked either through their website or over the call. Since they are not into retailing, they visit the prospect personally to do a sampling process depending upon the required taste and event type.
Each delicacy is exclusive in its own way and comes with a story behind it. Their recent launch is ‘24-karat Gold Brick’ which is an edible version of a pure 24-karat gold bar that comes with a copyright and the customer’s name/brand name on it.
“We have got immense appreciation from our customers. Their first look to our delicacies is always ‘jaw-dropping’ as everyone gets awestruck with the whole look and feel of it. Since it was a novel, unique, and a new concept, we didn’t expect it would grow this well. Our customer base has increased four-fold since inception,” she adds.
For a business like Swarn Amrit, one needs to be very careful with the production. Aishwarya and her
team strictly follow the principle of ‘zero-error’ in all matters related to production. Since it’s a totally new concept, acceptance of the same is also one of the things that they work upon.
“Since the initial days of my career my life has been full of challenges – whether it’s convincing my parents to trust my dream or managing time between engineering and my startup, or convincing the investors to trust my abilities and the desire to make it happen. Nothing could have been easy if I wasn’t enjoying it. I always knew the journey that I have chosen is not going to be a cakewalk so it’s better to enjoy each moment of it. Why can’t we enjoy failure or rejection? For me my support system has always been my attitude towards anything and my family who gave me a set of wings to live my dreams. If you always take everything as a learning experience there is nothing termed as challenge.”
Motivational speaker Sandeep Maheshwari, CEO of ImagesBazaar.com, did a philanthropic investment of an undisclosed amount in Swarn Amrit at the ideation level just when Aishwarya graduated from college.
Aishwarya points out that often in the startup ecosystem there is this belief that until and unless you are not an IIT or IIM graduate or you don’t have a corporate background, you cannot get funded. “But when you are true to what you want then nothing can come in the way of it,” she says.
To a new year
She shares some of the important lessons she has learnt over the years:
-The “okay I will give it a try, but I don’t think it will work” attitude always fails. If you believe in something and you are sure about it at your subconscious level, take a decision, make a logical action plan and go and get it. A go-getter attitude is a must.
-Never follow any unethical way in business. Your honesty reflects in your work that makes people come back to you again.
-You need to be a great influencer. If you are an entrepreneur, your communication skills matter more than your technical knowledge.
With that she signs off with her plans for 2016 – “I see Swarn Amrit to be the first choice of people when they think of any luxury edible gifting product.”