At 57, this woman started her own business and is popularising her range of Satvic mixes through LinkedIn
In the world of Instagram and Facebook marketing,may seem an unlikely platform to promote a business. But Jamana Mahajan has not always followed the conventional path in life.
She started Satvic Foods at the age of 57, following a conversation with her son Viraj, a day before her birthday, expressing her desire to do something of her own and taking off from her interest in food, especially mixes and masalas.
Her family, comprising her husband, son, and daughter-in-law, rallied around her, and, in a span of just three months, helped her launch Satvic Foods.
Life has not been easy for this Ujjain-based homemaker. Her daughter Garima was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and passed away at the age of eight.
“At that time, we did not have the right information or guidance on how to treat our child. Initially, doctors did not even have a name for what she was suffering from, leave alone giving us treatment guidance. And it took a toll on me both physically and mentally,” she says.
Jamana was depressed for decades following Garima’s death, though her family stood by her as she coped with the trauma of losing a young child.
A conversation that led to a business
The heart-to-heart conversation with Viraj in June this year has brought a 360-degree change in life.
Raised in a family of 12 siblings, Jamana started cooking when she was very young, inspired by her mother, who took over the reins of the kitchen, making sure everything was functioning smoothly and in order.
“After moving from my village to Ujjain after my wedding, I continued making mixes and masalas at home, following in the footsteps of my mother. The desire to start something on my own was always there, but I was not motivated enough to pursue it,” Jamana says.
Once she was convinced about the idea, her only thought was to sell her products in the colony they lived. However, Viraj assured her that she must dream big and set about procuring a food licence, registration, GST licence, and the requisite lab approvals before launching the products.
A published author and a content and marketing specialist, Viraj had moved back to Indore during the lockdown from Mumbai and made it his mission to fulfil his mother’s dream.
“It took us around two to three months to procure the licence and get the lab approvals because we had no information about the guidelines. We started testing the masalas within the family before launching them to the public,” he says.
Narrative around food
Satvic Foods was launched on September 17 with 12 products on its website and via a LinkedIn post.
“Our idea is to build a narrative and unleash a stream of stories centred on my mother, her journey, and Satvic Foods. Our first post on LinkedIn reached 1.3 million people and has garnered over 22,000 likes, a reach quite unexpected,” Viraj says.
Satvic’s first product is Golden Milk Masala – a milk mix comprising 20 ingredients, including saffron, dry fruits, melon, and pumpkin seeds, rose petals, pepper and more. Other popular products include Sambhar Masala, Pav Bhaji Masala, Garam Masala, Protein Powders, Herbal Immunity Tea, etc. All products are made according to Jamana’s specifications and following all COVID guidelines.
Satvic Foods received around 200 orders in less than a month, but Jamana does not believe in putting “money first”. She is happy with the slow but steady pace and is also donating the profits made during Navratri to the animal welfare organisation in Mumbai.
A recent week went by without any sale.
Jamana wrote on LinkedIn, “On the week of the launch, we already had over 40 orders ready to be packed and shipped. But when we hit zero orders for three consecutive days, my son was a little worried. But I was on cloud nine as we had a call with one of our customers from Tamil Nadu, who said she loved our Kadak Chai Masala and Indian Sambhar Masala. I never started Satvic Foods keeping sales or expenses, or profit in mind. This is not for me! My priority is to make and serve homemade food to all of you.”
Jamana believes some days are definitely going to be wrong, and sometimes they might hit triple digits, but in the end, all that matters is “how happy their customers are”.
The products are priced from Rs 349 onwards. They come in eco-friendly glass jars that are easy for refrigeration and have a better shelf life. They are shipped pan-India free of cost.
Apart from posting pictures on Instagram and Facebook, Jamana and Viraj are using only LinkedIn to “educate” and interact with people on their range of products.
“It’s easy to put your story out there on LinkedIn as there are too many related products on Instagram. Over the past month, I have seen my brand stand out on LinkedIn, and I hope the interest will translate into sales,” Viraj says.
The duo is also seeing diverse patterns of ordering. “We have people from Tamil Nadu ordering Sambhar Masala and Kadak Chai Masala,” she says.
With a year to retire, Jamana’s husband will join the business full-time while Viraj and his wife help with packing, invoices, and bills. It’s a family operation in the true sense of the term. So far, they have invested around Rs 5 lakh into the business.
Jamana plans to launch Paratha Masala, Aam Papad, and cake mixes soon.
“Age is just a number; I learned that from my mother, who would cook effortlessly for many people at the age of 82. Whatever I learned about hard work, it’s from here, and I’m sure this will make Satvic Foods profitable overall,” Jamana says.
Edited by Teja Lele