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Lavanya Bahuguna

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Batter And Dough, This Mumbai Teen’s Story Of Turning Her Baking Hobby Into A Business Is Quite A Show!

  • IWB Post
  •  June 9, 2018

Earlier today, I gave a sweet treat to myself. I phoned 15-year-old Kyra Jashnani from Mumbai who runs a small baking business from home. I wanted to learn what drives her to spend additional hours baking and delivering orders across the city after school. Because, honestly, when I was 15, I wasn’t even sure who I wanted to be whilst trying hard to become what others assumed I could be.

Kyra was only 10 when she developed an interest in baking. During school vacations, she would visit her maternal grandmother and notice how delightful the experience of baking was for her. Little by little, she began taking lessons from granny and in no time, learned to make cakes, cookies, cupcakes, and brownies.

Kyra Jashnani

Once she (and, her granny) thought she’s mastered the skill (she made a strawberry sponge cake), Kyra began presenting her delicacies outside the home. “My first client was my friend Mishka who ordered cookies for her birthday. Actually, it was supposed to be Trisha who long wanted to order but somehow got late. So technically, it was Mishka who was my first client,” the innocent one drops the detail.

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During our conversation, Kyra remembered how, in school, her friends wait for her to open the cookie box that she often carries. She says, “On my birthday, I made 20 cookies and in a jiffy, the box got emptied. And then a similar thing happened during the school picnic, too. It makes me happy that so many people admire my talent.”

As she had planned, it was only this summer that Kyra finally launched her brand ‘Kooky by Kookie Kompany,’ hence taking orders of homemade cakes and cookies. The little girl is so excited to reach her breakeven within a couple of months and be able to return the investment amount she took from her mother. “I took Rs. 50,000 from my mom to buy baking equipment so as to bake more than 500 cookies at one go. Once I earned enough through the orders, I immediately paid the borrowed money to her. Even though she refused to take it, I insisted on keeping the financial records clear. I don’t like why, in the Indian society, parents just give away the money to their kids and totally forget about it. How do you think we’re going to become responsible individuals if you don’t teach us the value of money right now,” she questions. Today whatever money she earns, she diligently saves it.

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From baking her first cake in a steel dabba and nailing it to maintaining a full-blown baking set-up at home, Kyra has definitely come a long way. The school doesn’t interest her much and so, with the encouragement of her parents and teachers, she’s decided to pursue a professional course in baking after high school. “I want to be a Pastry Chef. I’m planning to enroll myself for the Diplôme de Pâtisserie at Le Cordon Bleu London Pastry School,” she shares.

While I find her thoughts and business excellence on point at such a young age, I want to take a moment to appreciate her doting parents who’re encouraging her to pursue the dream. According to Kyra, not for a minute did they doubt her potential or progress when she put forward her desire to be a full-time baker.

Kyra's parents

Kyra’s parents

Apart from them, the young entrepreneur wants to thank her English tuition teacher who is her ultimate support system. Kyra concludes by saying, “There are times when I have to skip the classes because I have an order deadline. My English teacher is the sweetest human on earth for she lets me follow my passion and also takes an effort to conduct extra classes for me. She tells other kids how proud she is of me.”

(pictures are Kyra’s own)

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