"Sharing Smiles - Chocolaty Way"
Passionate about cooking and giving his own twist to different dishes is what he loves. He's been cooking from a very young age but never thought of pursuing it as a career until recently. "Baking has always fascinated me, especially cakes, which has scope of portraying one's creative talent not only with different recipes but on designing too" says Dipen Nagda.
After spending more than a decade in advertising, it was time to foray into his dream business of cakes and confectionery. The burning desire and determination to serve something different and unique was always on top of his mind.
Bridging the Gap
A thorough market study revealed that this industry was ruled by the unorganised sector. Except for a couple of chains there were not many organised players. Almost all of the cake shops were offering same flavours with a twist here and there but nothing very drastic. There was again a big gap when it came to customisation, there were preset design which customer had to choose from. "Guys i need customisation according to my occasion something unique which can create wow-factor" is the need of the hour. With the trend of celebrating birthdays, anniversaries at mid night hardly 3-4 cake shops offer midnight delivery across mumbai.
Keeping the above gaps in mind, 5th December Chocolatier and Patissier became one of it's kind to provide round the clock deliveries with it's unique flavors and designs.
Every entrepreneur has his own taste of sweet and salt when it came to business. "The decision to start this venture was very instantaneous without any prior preparation. I was not paid for last nine months on job and had lost all my savings in running the home expenses. Drawing a 6 figure salary and jumping into a totally new venture without training about making the cakes professionally was a risk but the determination and fire to do something new and different pushed me to start it. I have learnt the art of making cakes from books and YouTube channel. There was considerable resistence from family and friends but i still continued with the decision."says Dipen Nagda. Specialisation is the need of the hour and 5th December specialises only in 100% Veg Chocolate cakes.
"Chocolate is very versatile but the taste cannot combine with every fruits, nuts and other Flavors. I had to be very careful while preparing recipes of cakes. Lots of help has come from industry suppliers, YouTube, cookery shows and books" says Dipen Nagda.
Apart from manufacturing, looking for customers was again a challenge, that's when Just Dial happened and business started flourishing. With the model of "Only Delivery Services" was catching up and in no time was accepted. Customers started ordering for cakes without even looking for decorations. Well appreciated for their services and cakes they enjoy the rating of 4.8 / 5 on Just Dial.
"Apart from Just Dial, Groupon also gave us much needed eyeballs" says Dipen Nagda
How does the "Delivery Model" work ?
"It's very simple, we have taken optimum use of technology such as whatsapp, snapchat etc. After a 1st time telephone conversation, we send small form for address, date of delivery, time of delivery etc which customers promptly fills and send back and we do the delivery mentioned accordingly," Says Dipen Nagda.
Now their regular customers just ping them and order. "Its so convinient for us to place the order with 5th December on chat or through their App, we just do it on-the-go and they delivery the cake on the venue, even i am very sure about their taste that i don't find any other cake suitable for my taste buds " Says Pooja Malkani - who's been their customer since inception.
Personalised or Customised cakes
Its the in-thing right now, with many customers looking for personalised or theme cakes to match their event. "I am fascinated by science and technology and at 5th December Chocolatier and Patissier we try to incorporate technology and science on designing our cakes. Decorating with LED lights, smoke effect, fire effect on cake etc are somethings which we do. We don't like to repeat our designs and try to give something more in every project we aquire," says Dipen Nagda
Since i was into advertising i can understand client's brief/requirement very easily and design an unique cake for them." Says Dipen Nagda
"The best part about 5th December Chocolatier and Patissier is they have always designed my customised cakes beyond expectations. I just need to tell Mr. Dipen about my theme and he will send designs promptly and execute them upto the mark. I always thought customisation is not possible in half kg cakes but time and again they have proved me wrong." Says Aarti Vedpathak, very regular customer. You can follow them on www.facebook.com/5thdecember
Growth and Expansion
Started as home-baker with mere investment of Rs.2,000, 5th December has come a long way with a small bakery setup and 4 delivery points across Mumbai. They are the 1st brand in this category to have their own App on GooglePlay from where their customers can order directly. The App works on offline mode and orders can be placed on-the-go even if you are not connected.
They are in the process of expanding by venturing into retail shops with their muffins and bar cakes with brand name "2 Good". Even these are unique with no competition currently in the market. Priced at Rs. 10.00 and Rs.12.00 their muffins are worth beyond the price.
They are planning to venture into small towns such as Baroda and Hubli, wherein the potential is more and less of competition.