“There are two places always crowded, and one place, kind of compliment the other’s business. Any guesses Suba? Let me give you a clue, there is ‘pun’ intended,” smilingly asked Chaitali.
This conversation occurred when I met her a year back to discuss brand strategy and content architecture for the new product company she launched.
We laughed out loud when I kept guessing and giving some random answers. Very few business-meetings become very close to my heart, that day was one among those few.
“Hospitals and Eateries Suba. I often wonder the connection between the crowd in the Fast Food Joints, Restaurants and Road Side Vendors with the increasing crowd in the Hospitals.”
Indeed thought – provoking. I personally believe that I become what I eat. The food has an impact on the way the hormones act and so the reaction in the physical, emotional and mental health.
Chaitali Chauhan, ChefD
Chaitali continued, “I munched on the reasons why do we eat out. If you think hard, many times we get bored to cook variety as it involves buying the ingredients. Either we may not find the right ingredient to make the dish or buying in bulk where ¾ go waste after we cook the new dish once or twice.
Eating out is an easy solution, right? I continued to munch on and wanted to find ways where one cooks whatever he/she wants without worrying about spending too much. This solution should be definitely healthy, cost-effective and easy to cook too.”
My curiosity doubled at that moment.
Before we move on, few words about Ms. Chaitali Chauhan, Co-Founder, ChefD. Chaitali, mom of two handsome boys, is an Engineer with solid Industry experience, took a break from her career when she had her first kid. Being a creative person, born in Gujarati family, as the tradition encourages, Chaitali has done various artworks in clothes. Using such skills, she founded ‘Silk n Fusion’ focusing on upcycling, designer clothing arena; she re-started her career journey when her first son was around a year old.
Due to various reasons and when she had her second boy, she had to close the business. However, the learnings were huge during the tenure.
The thought about food and diseases kept ringing in her mind and led to a beautiful entity. I listened as she continued after a deep thought for few seconds.
“Such thoughts kept lingering my mind, I came across an experience when I was in a local grocery store. There was a young girl, looked like a college girl, talking over the phone asking about various ingredients. She looked as if she had never done any cooking. I volunteered to help her gather the list of things she wanted. While interacting with her, I realized the situation these millennials are in.
Many men and women in this digital world do not even know certain ingredients like hing, turmeric exist. They do not know how to identify and differentiate various lentils, oils, and other ingredients. I must say that I was stunned.
I was equally stunned when I heard Chaitali’s experience. Food is an integral part of any culture to exist and survive, especially Indian way of cooking is considered healthy worldwide.
Recipe Kit, ChefD.in
“That is when the idea about ChefD came into existence. ChefD solves a basic problem – that an average working family faces today – having access to a healthy and delicious meal.
You check the menu on our website. Choose the one you wanted, check out by adding the numbers and complete payment process, you will receive the recipe kit within the allotted hours.
Say, you order Bisi Bele Bath’ kit from our menu, you will receive the ingredients including the fresh vegetables neatly numbered, packed along with the easy to follow recipe card. You just have to follow the instructions in the card and cook,
Viola! Home cooked, healthy meal is ready. You need not have any formal training in cooking. We make you a Chef.” Proudly said Chaitali.
ChefD has become a familiar name among young working professionals and budding Entrapreneurs.
I met Chaitali again last week in order to gather more information to share with my beloved readers.
“Congratulations Chaitali, I am happy to see ChefD benefiting many out there. Can you please brief about the few challenges you faced initially? How did you overcome such challenges?” I asked.
“Sure Suba. With ChefD, I wanted to do everything right from the beginning. I had experience handling various issues during ‘Silk n Fusion’ days.
That’s the reason I joined hand with Mr. Uday Rathod who has tremendous experience in managing multiple businesses. Right from product design to Quality, whatever concerns and queries I had, I sought help from the right people. I learnt to define the concerns and seek the right help from right professionals.
I appointed an Auditor who helps with Finances, Uday for Strategic decisions, you for content architecture, of course, my husband Kirthi who is my ‘go to’ person for all concerns and guidance. I decided to take one step at a time, but do it right at the first time.”
Chaitali Chauhan, ChefD @ Awfis
I was impressed with the way she has been building the company confidently, steadily and strategically by investing in professional support and seeking help in the right way from the family.
“That is indeed brilliant strategy Chaitali. It has been one year, right? Is there any specific challenge you came across in recent times? If so, how did you resolve it?”
“Oh, yes Suba. Even though I have managed Accounts, Finances during my corporate and earlier Entrepreneurial journey, there were hiccups I faced with the introduction of GST and all. ChefD being a product company, handling the cash flow was very challenging, especially since our entity is a bootstrap.
And, as I was taking a keen interest in managing the finances of the company, I realized that in today’s times, it is also very important to manage personal finances well; the right structure and methodical planning is key here.
And, this quest led me to join the APC channel of Kotak Group of Companies and I completed the 6-day course at Kotak Life Insurance Company. I am now a licensed Financial Services Consultant for Life and Health Insurances, studying towards getting licenses and being able to handle other financial products. And now, not only
I am able to manage my Finances well; I also guide people in managing their finances and investments. Every day is a learning but I am highly confident about my positioning now.”
Recipe Kit, ChefD Menu
What is one thing that you would like to tell women on a career break or those who want to start something new?
“It is never too late to start something that you love. Keep an eye on your goal that you want to reach. Remember, only your actions can make things happen. And, as I read somewhere……If you find a job you love, you never have to work a day in your life.”
Profound Indeed! I wished Chaitali and ChefD the very best! I also spend quality hours looking at different recipes, the numbering of the ingredients, clear instruction, and most importantly, ChefD takes good care of the packing. I am sure, ChefD will make the world best chefs at each household and develop a healthier Community!
Seeking help strategically is an art. Do your homework well, Invest right to get professional guidance, ask right questions to gain family support. Win over this World” – Suba Lakshminarasimhan, Founder, SLN Brand Studio.
About the Interview: ‘Words of Wisdom’ Interview with Ms Chaitali Chauhan is an initiative for ‘Women Contentment Program,’ a Mentoring program for women.
Ms. Suba Lakshminarasimhan, Founder director, SLN Brand Studio conducted the interview. Women Contentment Program (WCP) focuses on elevating the lives of Women by helping them create a new career, get back to the career after a break, develop Emotional & Social intelligence and build a Personal Brand.
About the Company: SLN Brand Studio offers Consulting, Mentoring, CXO Resume Writing and Corporate training Solutions. Aiming at building the personal branding and career growth opportunities for working professionals, Students and Women with a Career Break, SLN Brand Studio has developed numerous customized solutions such as SPBQ, SVEP and SWCP.