Business of baking: How Pune-based Bakedemy is helping home bakers grow
The COVID-19-led lockdowns saw many turn to their kitchens and put on their chef hat. From banana bread to mug cakes and sourdough bread, baking gained traction among the young and old alike. In fact, home bakers leveraged on the trust people had in them over ordering from outside, to grow their businesses like never before.
Going by this same trend, Pune-based baking instructor and founder of AnyBodyCanBake Sonia Gupta, along with her husband and Co-founder Amit Gupta, started training aspiring bakers online through classes organised by HomeBakers.
“We noticed an emerging pattern in the market where home bakers, with little no training, had started selling the video recordings of making their cakes,” Amit tells YS Weekender.
“However, these videos were of inferior quality and had begun creating mistrust among bakers and learners. We discussed the gaps in the market for potential home bakers, merits of online learning, and how we could create a comprehensive learning programme for home-bakers,” he adds.
Through HomeBakers, Amit got in touch with the platform’s founder’s (Anjana Lath) business partner Mohan Lath.
To address these market gaps and emerging trends, Mohan and Amit got together to create a comprehensive learning programme for home bakers. The duo founded Bakedemy, an online academy for home bakers, on August 16, 2020.
The Pune-based baking academy provides a 360-degree learning programme, focusing on the essentials of baking, cake decorating, and the business of baking. “Our aim is to help home bakers in India build a sustainable business at a cost that makes learning available to almost everyone,”Amit explains.
Meet the team
Amit (44) is a digital marketing expert based out of Pune. He has more than two-decades of corporate experience in the recruitment, sales and marketing sectors. Mohan (40), on the other hand, is a London-based entrepreneur. He is also the Founder of NriDealExpert.com, and Co-founder of AdviceMe.Health.
Bakedemy’s team of experts and professionals, who teach the programme, include former Oberoi Group and Leela Hotels Chef Avijit Ghosh, celebrity chef and Founder of Palate Culinary Studio and Academy Rakhee Vaswani, Asia’s Best Chef 2019 Abhiru Biswas, international sugar artist Anjali Tambde, food stylist and photographer Alok Verma, and famous home baker Jessica Geogre, among others.
The founders invested Rs 7.5 lakh initially to start the platform and the 90-day programme.
Bakedemy launched its first online course on professional home baking and cake decorating for aspiring bakers with little or no experience. The course trains candidates on baking, decorating, licensing, setting up of a baking business, marketing, photography, and pricing, among others, that home bakers need to set up a sustainable business.
Candidates go through an online 90-days professional training conducted by the country’s best trainers, chefs, and cake artists. “This enables equal opportunity of learning, irrespective of the location and budgetary constraints,” Amit says.
The founders claim that Bakedemy’s course fee is one-tenth of that of the alternatives available in pastry academics. The baking academy charges Rs 15,995 for the course.
“The aggregated market value of the individual modules is over Rs 1 lakh, and there is no comparable course in the market in terms of the content and duration,” Amit adds.
The course is divided into 30-modules, and each includes 90-minutes of pre-recorded videos from trainers, supported by more than 30 hours of live question-and-answer sessions with the trailers.
“Students access videos as per the course schedule and their convenience during the programme on a learning platform, complete the test online, and submit their assignments,” Mohan explains.
According to Expert Market Research, the Indian bakery market was valued at around $7.60 billion in 2020. The market is further estimated to reach $12.39 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 8.5 percent between 2021 and 2026.
Bakedemy competes with traditional pastry academics such as APAC India (formerly known as Academy of Pastry Arts), Lavonne Academy of Baking Science and Pastry Arts, and Institute of Bakery and Pastry Arts, among others. “We also compete with cake artists who run baking and cake decorating businesses,” Mohan adds.
However, Bakedemy seems to offer a differentiator. It claims to be the first Indian online academy that brings award-winning chefs and baking artists under one roof.
“Ours is currently the most comprehensive training programme that an aspiring home baker can find in the market. The students get the best of the knowledge, technique, and guidance from multiple faculty members all from the comfort of their home,” Mohan explains.
Since the launch of the first course on October 26, 2020, over 325 students have enrolled in Bakedemy. Of these, 225 bakers have already completed the course. The academy generates revenue from fees and through industry partnerships.
Bootstrapped since inception, Mohan reveals that Bakedemy has generated over Rs 50 lakh of revenue since its launch. “We aim to grow at a rate of 40 to 50 percent, year on year,” he adds.
Going ahead, the company plans to integrate an internship programme in partnership with industry players, affiliate with a university or education body, and launch an advance course for existing bakers.
“We also plan to introduce a subscription plan for unlimited content on baking and cake decorating masterclasses,” Mohan says.
Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta