15 December 2019

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Chocolates Day Long for Entrepreneurship

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From the Hobby of Chocolate Making to a Promising Enterprise. Rashmi Vaswani got it right that the art of gifting chocolates are catching among corporates who are fed up with usual gifts- ‘mithai’s’ and dry fruits. They are looking out for unique and different and customized gifting ideas for their clients, especially those with a longer shelf life. And in the market too, there is a huge gap between regular chocolate bars and foreign chocolates.  “There is a real demand for customized premium chocolate category or high end customized products,” she says. It is from this realisation, the journey of Rage Chocolates started climbing greater heights.

The Idea Taking Shape
Rage Chocolates was started as a hobby rather than a business. Rashmi completed her Masters at IMI Delhi and took a break to explore new opportunities. As she was doing so she made chocolates for her friends and family which were greatly appreciated. That’s when the idea that this might actually worked and a business sprung up. “I worked out some packaging possibilities and started Rage Chocolatier with a small stall at a Diwali exhibition” recalls Rashmi. The one corporate order she got from there for New Year has turned her life upside down.

“I used the name Rage when I was much younger and sold handmade gift bags during season time. I loved the name and the meaning behind. It proved lucky so I stuck to the same when I started manufacturing chocolates” beams Rashmi. Rage started as a sole proprietorship concern in 2005 with an initial family funding of Rs.20,000. This was meant for moulds, packaging costs and expenses against putting stalls at some exhibitions.

From Small to Big
“Initially she had help from her sister and they made chocolates themselves and packed them from home. Rage thus started extremely small and grew steadily and slowly. Rashmi says she is lucky not to have financial constraints. “My father is my angle investor and he gave us the initial funding and also got us out of a soup every time we needed while in the first year.” Rage grew very slowly and when the company could afford they slowly added a chef and packaging assistants. “With this slow move we didn’t put financial pressure on the company” says Rashmi. Today they have 2 chefs and 10 packaging assistants on a permanent basis and 8 to 12 packaging assistants on temporary basis during season time. Their clients include several corporate houses including banks, jewellery stores, hypermarkets and more.


The Success Mantra
Rage Chocolate understands customization is a big part of Rage. “We customize the packaging for corporate clients as well as individuals” says Rashmi.  She tells her success mantra: “Well the most important thing in food manufacturing is quality control and hygiene. And we have quality tests and maintain high standards of hygiene and cleanliness at every step”. The next step is maintaining standards in packaging. This turned out to be harder because the manufacturing of chocolates is done at home while paper and boards and all other packaging materials come from various suppliers. But eventually they got it right. They now have standard suppliers for all the products.

According to Rashmi, every day for an entrepreneur is a learning experience. Every client, every order is a new learning. “In my business I feel customer delight is of utmost importance. I think one other thing I have learnt is that timely delivery is very important” Being a handmade product, proper scheduling is key keeping in mind human error and delays that might cause untimely delivery of the product. Such contingencies need to be factored in while giving a client the delivery time. “This again is something we have learnt over time” she continues.

Role of Internet
It is an agreed fact by all new generation entrepreneurs that internet plays a very important role in marketing and development. It’s a great way to reach out to people who are not in physical proximity. “Internet plays an even more important role for us as we don’t have a store” says Rashmi. Rage have a small showroom where they display their packaging but they sell only as per orders. “This ensures fresh chocolates as opposed to hard selling of what we might have made”.

Future Plans
Rage at present has customers across the country but manufacturing unit only in Bangalore. Their clients are primarily from Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore . They also sell in Lagos, Nigeria. They have got into a tie up with an event planner in NIgeria who executes wedding and corporate order amongst other occasions. They have exported to UAE, UK, Hong Kong as well. Their future plan at some point includes a store in a city apart from Bangalore in India. “And we hope to continue expanding our reach and sales to other cities, countries and people” beams Rashmi.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 28 May 2013 13:55 )  

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