One of the perks of being a child is the limitless creativity that we possess. Every day we try our hands on new things, fail, learn from them but learning never stopped. No one could ever limit the horizon of your dreams. As we grew up, few we ceased to exercise the creative part of our brain and we limited our horizons as we cut off our imagination and zeal to learn.
Here is a student who loves to experiment with skills. Her subtle love for learning new things made her tryst with baking. In conversation with Vikitha Patel on her prowess in baking and the tale behind her venture Cake O’ Clock by Vikitha.
Tell us about yourself, your background and your previous ventures.
I am Vikhita Patel, a 21-year-old Gujarati residing in Kochi. I am currently pursuing my MBA from SCMS School of Technology and Management. I am a person who loves to try out new things. I find great joy in mastering a skill, be it stitching, baking, make-up, dancing, or drawing. I have found my ways to keep myself not idle and one of it has led to my business.
How did you fall in love with baking? When did you realize that this was your passion?
My rendezvous with baking started when my mother learned to bake a cake from a distant relative. With a few video recordings, we baked one ourselves with all the basic ingredients and that turned out well, though the icing was a disaster. An Instagram advertisement about baking and icing rekindled that passion as I professionally learned how to make the dessert. Being from a joint family, I had many occasions to bake a cake and that helped me hone my skill of baking. A random idea that occurred to my mother about commercializing this passion led to my business that took shape during the lockdown of 2020. Since then there has been no turning back.
What are the products and services that you deliver?
Being a vegetarian, my initial orders were mostly eggless cakes. Though that was a worry, responses from clients were encouraging that I expanded the horizon of our products to cupcakes, donuts, jar cakes and cake sickles. Currently we deliver them with customisation and the products reflect the creative side of my client’s needs.
What are some of the challenges you faced while setting a career in this field? How did you overcome these?
Business was something new to me and the initial days were filled with self doubt of whether I would be able to deliver my services well. For understanding the potential market for the products, I had to do a bit of research about the demand of cakes in the locality and various other bakers who deliver the same. Delivery was huge issue in the beginning, though we tackled it well and now we deliver them at their doorsteps. Being a student, time management is another issue. Keeping up to the current trends is crucial to the business
How do you reach out to your potential customers? And could you brief us about the work that goes behind the final product?
Reaching out to customers is a task even now. We have had mainly word of mouth publicity, and we maintain a good rapport with the existing cutomer base. Keeping upto the standards in each order I receive plays a major role in decideing whether they recommend it to their acquanitances. Social media has been influential. Many orders I receive are from those who saw the Instagram Stories from our handles.
I try to see each order that I receive as a unique project. Care is taken to get all the required specifications from the clients and customisation is made according to their needs. It takes time deciding on the design and the materials of the various elements incorporated in the cake. Every order that I receive is special and I get to learn much from every one of these.
Do you have a role model you look up to? If yes, what are the qualities that you admire of that person? If no, then why?
My mother would be my role model. She is the person who introduced me to baking and even though she is not into baking as a profession, her zeal for trying out new things inspire me. She knows to manage tasks and time well. When there are moments when academic load along with the business overwhelm me, I try to replicate what my mother does into my routine. I have always admired her creative mind for she helps me in designing the cakes too.
What else do you pursue outside of this? And how does a regular day in your life look like? What is your schedule?
I am a full time MBA student. So most of my day is engaged with academic activities. I took up baking as a passion to pursue by the side. Even with a schedule loaded with assignments, presentations and tests, I make it a point to take some time off the day to pursue my passion for baking. My day is occupied by classes and it is in the evening that I prepare the deliverables for the orders I receive.
What are your future plans?
My future plan would be to expand my business and increase the customer base. I would like to try new creative things for the venture. I look forward to upgrading my skills for I believe that learning should never stop. I derive inspiration from many artists. So I wish to see myself one day in their position and would indeed be delighted if I could see my story inspire someone else.
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