Hemali Shah : Ironwomen with a heart of gold.
Updated: Feb 22
Hemali Shah, a lady who inclines to the view 'There's no barrier when it comes to learning'.
Recently awarded with :
Stree Astitva Award 2019
Hastakshar Superprenuer award 2020
Vyapar Jagat Convention Award 2020
"Go ahead with a positive mind, invest minimum to start with a maximum, no need to invest in thousands and big numbers; just start with basic and put in your best efforts.”
Tell us something about your business ?
Ms. Shah is proficient in making home-made chocolates, she further specified “I am a chocolatier, my company’s name is Chocolate House, based in Mumbai. We do ship across India and now we are ready to go global as we have an IEC Code.”
How did you get the concept or idea for your business?
“It all started as a hobby during my vacations, which slowly turned into my profession and passion.”
What was your mission at the outset?
“To reach everyone efficiently, we started almost 3 decades ago, at that time there was no such facility, technology and mothers used to be strict as compared to the cool moms of today. I started as a teenager. I used to spend my pocket money, go to Cyber Cafe, get the pics fixed and upload it on a free server with the help of a friend over the weekend.”
How do you advertise your business?
“Earlier we used to promote through word of mouth, through family and now we advertise through social media, or via email. We now focus on spreading awareness and being visible. Thus, there is a lot of difference between earlier and current phase of our business.”
What are your company's goals?
Ms. Hemali Shah's embodiment of the statement “Better late than never”, with a societal view of the betterment of females especially those from the slums and marginalized region, she aims for their holistic development. She wants to be an inspiration for the females and believes that all females are born multi- talented. She further specified that “I have an all-female team and aspires to empower and make them self-reliant.”
How many employees do you have?
“The number of employees ranges from 1 to 10, it depends on the order and the workload.
I am here because of my employees; with their support, I get good orders so I rely on my team.”
What are your responsibilities as a business owner?
Mrs. Shah has to deal with multiple responsibilities; such as coming up with innovative ideas to make a stand in the market, formulating strategies to overpower the machine-made chocolates and coming up with ways of business expansion.
She further stated, “Although the machine-made chocolates are cheaper, we give you a much better product which is free of preservatives, freshly made with love on special order just for our customers.”
So, she proudly said that “We are ready to face the competition with ready-to-eat chocolates”
To whom do you attribute your success?
“I attribute my success to my family. It is the family support that beholds you where you are. Thus, it is the family support, my team and hard work that keeps me grounded and attributes to my success thus, pushing me to do better day by day.”
How is your business different from your competitors?
“We prepare fresh orders, free of colours, artificial flavours and essence. With an innovative approach towards our work; we have a lot of chocolate variants like Dark, Milk, White, Sugar-free, Vegan, or Organic; moreover, we also have a collection of pan-flavoured chocolates such as Maghai, Banarasi, Calcutta.
I insist on homemade stuff whether I make it or outsource it from someone for example homemade powder and the use of Gulkand in our recipe. So, innovation is the key.”
She has a flexible production method so as to cater to the individual customer needs and thus maintaining a personal touch with her clients.
Have you ever turned down a client?
“Yes, I have turned although I feel bad about it, but there are times when you have to take a call, one such incidence was due to my family issues because of the paralysis of my father-in-law.”
If you had one piece of advice to someone who is just starting, what would it be?
“Although I have taken classes and taught many. There is no barrier to learning chocolate making or learning what you like or love.”
She suggested, “Go ahead with a positive mind, invest minimum to start with a maximum, no need to invest in thousands and big numbers; just start with basic and put in your best efforts.”
Interviewed by - Arushi Dang
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