Robert Frost's immortal lines encapsulate the choices in front of any aspiring entrepreneur:
Two roads diverged in a wood,
And I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.
How did Vikas Khanna make the journey from his grandmother's kitchen in Amritsar to a Michelin-starred restaurant in New York? What inspired Mandakini Gupta to quit her glamorous profession as a television journalist to start her own baking business? It is always easy to choose between a good and a bad option. What is difficult is choosing between a safe (and less satisfying) option and a risky but highly attractive option that one is passionate about. The answer in such situations would be the clichéd but wise saying – ‘follow your heart'.
That is exactly what sisters Priyanka Jayaswal and Sonal Jayaswal did when they started their venture ‘Intriicake'. Both of them were extremely creative and passionate about crafts right from their childhood. It is no surprise then that they are qualified 3D animators and worked together at animation company DQ Entertainment in Hyderabad a few years back. But the gratification of crafting a beautiful piece of art by hand, rather than on a computer, is certainly much higher. So Priyanka, 32, left her plum job with Cisco and decided to pursue her passion for baking and art by combining it in her cake art business. Sonal,35, who was in between jobs after a stint with HP was easily enticed to join her sister, since she too loves baking and cake decoration.
As entrepreneurs, who have been working out of their home since September 2013, the learning curve has been really high for Priyanka and Sonal. I quiz Priyanka on how different working out of home is from working in a commercial space. Priyanka says, “It is completely different. From working with limited space and equipments to dealing with issues like power cuts, there are lots of challenges. But the comfort level, freedom and work satisfaction is higher as well.”
When siblings become co-founders, it is interesting to note if the dynamics change. Sonal says, “We are very close and we make a very efficient team. Family members who share a good rapport can make inspiring business partners too. While Priyanka's forte is the 3D modelling of characters, for which she has the natural flair and patience, I am good at baking and other aspects of decoration and icing. I also handle the lion's share of admin work and social media and client interaction.”
Due to the small team size, Intriicake currently limits their orders to two to three cakes per week. Priyanka and Sonal do aspire to scale up and work out of a state-of-the-art bakery with a bigger team in the near future.
Video credits: Camera person Rukmangada Raja
Video editor: Anjali