These Mumbai students sold 750 DIY cake kits and clocked Rs 3 lakh revenue in 9 months
Elisha Parikh’s passion for baking started at the age of seven and has continued to grow. Her Instagram page, elithebaker, already has 16,000 followers. Her co-founder, Veer Kapur , loves eating desserts, which is why he joined hands with Elisha to launch DIY baking startup Cakeify at their Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) class.
What’s heartening is that a part of the profits from sales of their kits are donated to the Akshaya Patra Foundation.
“Once we knew we wanted to do something with food, the next obvious segment was something dessert-related as that is where our interest lies. We brainstormed and thought of what was missing in the market. Research revealed that people shied away from baking,” Elisha says.
Veer and Elisha, students of Dhirubhai Ambani International School, initially planned to provide only the mix and frosting, but deeper market research and a focus on what other brands were selling led the young founders to a decision: to compile complete baking kits.
The DIY cake kit comes with mixes for an eggless cake and frosting, sprinkles, baking moulds, and a measuring cup (added to the mix only in June). All you need is milk, butter, and oil to finish the cake!
The two students were a part of YEA where they had to meet deadlines and come up with an idea that was unique and something, they were passionate about.
“When one thinks of a ready cake mix, the two names that come to mind are Pillsbury and Betty Crocker. However, only Cakeify provides the cake mix and the frosting mix in the same kit. No other brand provides baking moulds and sprinkles. We have gone one step ahead and even provided a measuring cup as we realised not everyone has the same size of spoons,” Elisha says.
Cakeify is at present available in vanilla, red velvet, and chocolate flavours. The duo narrowed down on these flavours by doing a customer preference survey for four months before launch. They found that these were the most liked and versatile flavours, and favoured by children and adults alike. They plan to launch lemon and coffee flavours in the near future.
The baking kits are manufactured in an FSSAI-approved facility in Navi Mumbai. The packaging is premium and attractive, and kits are priced between Rs 425 and Rs 550. They won the second prize of the YEA trade show and used the Rs 30,000 as prize money and some seed money from their family to start up. They have sold 750 DIY cake kits so far and clocked revenue of Rs 3 lakh in nine months.
A piece of cake
The young entrepreneurs says they had an overwhelming response from customers all over India for Raksha Bandhan and as birthday party favours. The kits make for an extremely attractive gift and have caught the attention of a lot of young mums and teenagers.
During the lockdown, a lot of high-end and new brands came up with DIY kits, but the founders are proud that that “Cakeify came up with this concept first”, without any expert backing. Orders and revenues are mostly generated through social media. They have received rave reviews from popular bloggers, and this has helped spread the word too.
“Cakeify is at present only marketed through our Instagram page. Several bloggers, including Whatmakesappyhappy, luxite, themommynetwork, katdiaries, karishmasakhrani, and diaperdrama, purchased the product and voluntarily posted about it. We also reached out to a few mum bloggers such as Ciaraandmommystyle and Zahra Jani. Our aim is to reach out to more influencers from across India as we begin to deliver all over India,” Elisha says.
Their main support came from the YEA! trade show, which gave them a tremendous launching pad.
Catering to lockdown boredom
Their biggest success was having their product ready before COVID-19 hit India.
“This product was just what people were looking for during the lockdown: something they could do at home safely and also as a family activity. Our maximum sales have come during this period,” Elisha says.
Getting ingredients on time and managing logistics - from the manufacturer to the customer – were the biggest challenges. These were overcome as the lockdown restrictions were slowly lifted in Mumbai.
The young founders paid special attention to their service model to ensure customers “have the best experience”. They are prompt in responding; using delivery apps makes it easy to deliver orders on time.
Cakeify wants to scale by selling online through their own website and on ecommerce sites to ensure that they can easily cater to customers across India. It also plans to introduce new flavours, expand to retail stores, and start international deliveries.