From being their own boss to managing their college schedules, these teenage entrepreneurs are fonts of creativity, grit and guts, finds Tamanna Shah
Handmade Love (kreative_charishma)
In 2015, Nidhi Chajjer and Jinal Sakaria, Graphic Design students from Ethiraj College for Women, translated their love for designs into a venture called Kreative Charisma. Being in the business of handmade gifts, they make everything that spells bespoke gifts for special occasions. They specialise in making explosion boxes, bottle lamp, personalised newspaper, magazines, greeting cards, five senses gift and letter frame.
They follow a strict quality control process. Before the final design of any product, they verify the soft copies and confirm with clients. Their motivation, they say, comes from customer feedback, which spells all their fulfilling moments.
Like most start-ups they faced challenges too. But one of the most difficult orders was “creating an explosion box with six boxes inside it. The delivery was due within three hours of the order placed,” says Nidhi, adding that they constantly innovate their products. Learning from their experiences, Jinal says, “The only advice to college students who want to become an entrepreneur is — always be confident.”
Baked with goodness (thebrowniebinge)
“People like to spend money on good food without feeling guilty and if they don’t feel satisfied with it then it’s a total waste,” says 19-year-old Ankitha R, owner of The Brownie Binge. She started baking at the age of 17 but was passionate about baking from childhood. Over the years, she has baked a variety of sweet goodies. Family support and encouragement from friends goaded her to set up her business of baking.
Ankitha is pursuing her BSc in Home Science from Women’s Christian College. In the initial days as an entrepreneur, Ankita strived to balance college and her start-up. She was unfazed by the deadlines that both aspects of life demanded. “I’m happy with the outcome,” she says.
She believes that one must constantly innovate and putting this belief into practice, she introduced brownies in jars, as pops, truffles and cakesicles. She also ensures that all her desserts have a nutritional twist so that people eat healthy. Her nutella protein bars, she says, are popular among her regular clients. When she is not studying or baking, Ankitha scours the Internet for baking ideas and trends. She plans to come up with different offers so that potential clients can buy her goodies at affordable prices. “I’m really thankful that my family is very supportive and guide me in every step.” Like every business, Ankitha had her share of ups and downs, too. “I believe in the trial and error method, so it’s okay to make mistakes and learn from them.”
Her advice to the young entrepreneurs: “Work hard, give your best. Don’t feel disappointed when something has not been done according to how you had planned. Good things take time. Surround yourself with people who motivate you. Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.”
Celebrating life (makeeithappenn_)
“It makes me happy to see someone else happy and that›s why I chose to become an event planner,” says 17-year-old Ishika Mehta, who is studying BBA at Stella Maris College. Ishika believes in bringing people together, in celebrating life, and in this relentless effort, she creates and innovates ways to make every event a memorable one. Her Instagram page ‘Make it Happen’ reflects her life philosophy.
“The problem with most people is that they don’t know what an event planner does. Some think event planning is expensive. The main aim is to keep customers happy and give them the best as per their needs,” she shares. Enlisting some of the most important skills needed in this field, she says, “In this field, planning, organisation, creativity, knowledge about events, punctuality and dedication are crucial skills.”
Ishika has to often travel across the country to organise events. The competition in the event planning industry is steep. She believes, “It’s not about competition it’s about giving her 100 per cent. I balance my studies and business. I have learned to manage time. It helps me give equal importance to personal and professional life. My mother has always been my motivation and my support system.”
“Face your fears, know your goals and challenge yourself every day to do better. Do what you love and plan accordingly,” is her advice to aspiring entrepreneurs.
A perfect Design (esthete.in)
Allow your passion to become your purpose and one day it will become your profession. Following these words, 19-year-old Tamanna Kinger started Esthete. It is a design brand, which designs and makes customised notebooks, phone cases, posters and mouse pads.
Tamanna is a student of MOP Vaishnav College for Women, pursuing Bachelors in Electronic Media. Her Instagram page, ‘Esthete’ is her main point of sales and all her products are available for sale across India. “I am a media student. And I love design. So, my business helps me improve my college work, too” says Tamanna, who had to walk the rough road, initially, to find appropriate vendors.
“Besides having the understanding of design, in this business, amateur entrepreneurs must also know how to use social media to sell their products,” she says. Her most satisfying moment is when she gets the perfect design for every product, but “Being an entrepreneur has reduced my time with the family,” she shares. Her advice to budding entrepreneurs is — follow your passion and never give up on your dreams. Age doesn’t matter, designs speak for themselves.
Two 19-year-olds have set out on a mission to address people’s skin-related concerns using home remedies. Aditi Mardia and Dikshi Singhi, students of MOP Vaishnav College for Women pursuing a degree in BBA, are in the business of skincare. They set up Heavenly Essence in 2018 to help people get rid of acne, dark circles, and other skin conditions. Before setting up the venture, Aditi and Diksha experimented in creating different kinds of soaps using natural ingredients like multani mitti, aloe vera, neem, rose petals, lemon and honey, coffee, oats, goat milk, and charcoal. All the skincare products are handmade and chemical free.
“We are yet to face obstacles and challenges. Being an entrepreneur is about juggling a lot of tasks,” says Aditi, adding that their families have been a pillar of support. They attribute a large part of their success to the name of their venture. The positive feedback and returning clients keep them motivated to provide the best to their customers. The measure of a single ingredient gone wrong would mean recreating the product, which involves extra cost.
Their most exciting moment? When they got an opportunity to exhibit their soaps at MOP Bazaar, and they received a lot of appreciation.
Juggling business and academics is now their routine. “Anyone with little or no money can aspire to become an entrepreneur if you are keen,” shares Dikshi. While they do have plans to make the products available to a global audience, they are focussed on getting a foothold in the Indian market.
NOTES TO REMEmBER
Anyone with little or no money can aspire to become an entrepreneur if you have the willingness
The only advice to college students who want to become an entrepreneur is — always be confident —Jinal Sakaria
Work hard, give your best. Don’t feel disappointed when something has not been done according to how you had planned. Good things take time. —Ankitha R
Follow your passion and never give up on your dreams. Age doesn’t matter, designs speak for themselves —Tamanna Kinger
Face your fears, know your goals and challenge yourself every day to do better —Ishika Mehta