08 December 2019

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B Rama: The Lady Confectioner

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Need and interest is the perfect combination for an individual to notch the zenith in the trade. While need sows discipline, interest fuels innovation. This makes for the genesis behind B. Rama’s adorable accomplishment in her confectionary business in Bhubaneswar. Today Lolita’s muffins are regular Tiffin that mothers trust to feed their children with. Adopting to nourish her home and business herself, she has experienced the nuanced facets of life which has but made her excel in both. That a woman is gifted with innate entrepreneurial prowess which if harnessed aptly opens doors of opportunities is what she tells in a tete-e-tae with Moumita De Roy.

I cherish my memory of the days when I was a green horn in the business. It was in 1999, when starting baking muffins for the school children, completely out of my love for children and to meet the extra expenses of the family. Scurrying here and there I tried to manage my home and business. I remember those days when we fell asleep in the garages at night. Although it affected lot of exhaustion yet I myself looked after my children as well as my business. The business was limited to supplying cakes to only my closed ones. Nevertheless, they were days when I picked up lessons of life and business every moment.

I started the business in our garage with an OTG oven which has now expanded to using multiple large ovens especially designed by my husband as per our need. I enjoyed cooking which helped me to experiment new recipes as days rolled on. After two years the business took a commercial turn when I started catering lunch and dinner packets also. Now, six people work in my confectionary. I also sell the sundry snacks and tiffins like hot dogs, pizzas, dosas, golgappe, biscuits burgers and upama in my outlet called Lolita’s

How did you manage to get the financial aid for the business?

I din’t take loans to start off the business. Till today the savings that I had invested to start is circulating in the business. My husband who now lends a great managerial hand in my business has always been supportive and encouraging in my venture.

You are an established women entrepreneur now. But in the yesteryears, women and business together was given a cult status. What is your take in this?

Unlike today when women entrepreneurship is a celebration, in my days, it was not accepted socially as well as commercially. But lending a deaf ear to those criticisms helped. Today I am respected and applauded for my achievement.

How do you manage to  balance both business and personal matters?

Both my children were in their primary classes when I started the business. These were years I considered to be of foundational significance to their upbringing and that a mother’s guidance and love could not be substituted by a crèche or nanny. I had to take care of my old in-laws too. So time was tough but I could manage to overcome all hurdles because I was flexible to plan my day as per the need, I dint grudge and most importantly I kept a fighter’s attitude to stay put.

What is your view on today’s women entrepreneurs?

They are strongly individualistic. At times their individualism which is more reflected in their career drives them to give secondary priority to their household. But I think the challenge is in setting the balance right without neglecting either.

Your products stand out in the market with a steady demand. What makes them unique?

I don’t copy paste recipes. All my products are my original recipes that are not available elsewhere. They have a flair that is borne out of my sincerity and self-vowed commitment to serve the best to my customers. All the cooking and baking are done by me. I pay a lot of attention to hygiene of cooking and packing. Most importantly I don’t compromise on quality although it is difficult to dole out good stuff at the same cost at the face of unmanageable inflation. I keep a marginal profit to make them saleable to a commoner.

What is your share of experiences as an entrepreneur?

I don’t have any complains against life although at times I regret not being able to read. I love reading and stitching. My social life and traveling is reduced. But all these are compensated by the inexplicable satisfaction that my business graces my life with. What I have learnt from my experience is that trust can hit you badly. So think twice before trusting anybody.

What is your message for the aspiring women who want to make it big in business?

Initially, there are a lot of problems. That is natural because we venture into an untrodden path. Confidence and I-can-do-it attitude make great difference and help overcome the glitches. A beginner should not expect much profit in the elementary years and focus on the long term development of the business by investing time, patience and learning. Evolving by learning from the day-to-day experiences is incredibly resourceful. Without thinking about what the society thinks, they should persevere because it is what they want to do. Let intuition lead you to your dream destination.


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