For Prem Vora and Dinkita Gandhi, getting into the chocolate business was the logical step after they had such a huge demand from their own friends and family.
Dinkita, loved making chocolates and yummy bakes for all her friends “We were travelling back from our college industrial Visit to Jaipur and I shyly offered some of my chocolate to my friends who absolutely loved them and that was where it all started,” she says.
It progressed to demands for a birthday cake made by her and no one else by close friends and that was when her best friend and entrepreneur at heart Prem Vora suggested she should put her stuff on sale! “This is exactly how the entire thought of having DIP (DI- Dinkita and P-Prem) Chocolates, Cakes and More started.”
“Initially, we dint know how to go about it and each mistake was an invaluable lesson for us,” he says. “We started only with making chocolates, further progressing to creative gifting ideas and bakes. Today in a span of one and half year we provide, chocolates, cakes, customized gifting, creative gifting and occasion wise hampers too!” adds Dinkita.
So, what made you expand beyond chocolates and why such a diverse range or products?
Prem: Initially we did get orders for chocolates but we realized that if we wanted to survive and grow we needed to have niche for ourselves. Something which others could not provide and at the rates at which others couldn’t provide. For us every creative diversification was a necessity to attract more clients, otherwise survival in such a huge market is impossible.
It is said that starting young is a benefit but, for the two of you who started DIP even before you completed your graduation how has the experience been?
Dinkita: Prem completed his graduation the year we started but I was still in my final year and it was very difficult to manage everything. There were times when we had overflowing orders and end-semester exams, those were the days where we wouldn’t have survive if our families hadn’t pitched in. My strongest support was my mother who would stay up for days on end and helping me complete orders on time, so that it wont affect my study schedule.
Prem: We started out so young we were completely raw to the tricks of the trade, I remember loosing a great customer just because I kept the same calculation for a single piece and a bulk order quoting magnanimous rates for a bulk order, even without realizing where I am going wrong.
Since it is a home based business how do you manage to market your work?
Prem: Initially we were happy with whatever orders we got from our friends and relatives but slowly we started feeling the need for expansion, that is where social media helped out. We simply put up a Facebook Page showcasing our products and had an immediate boost to our business. You wont believe it, but today 70% of my sales are driven by the Facebook Page. (https://www.facebook.com/dipchocolatescakesnmore)
Dinkita: As newcomers we had no financial backing or security, so for us managing our ingredients, in the money we had was difficult. That time if you would have asked me to pay up for marketing I would literally have laughed on your face, but with social media we have grown leaps and bounds in a short span of time which I am sure was impossible otherwise.
If I were to ask you, your mantra to success what would it be?
Dinkita: Success? Well there is a long way to go before we reach there! There is so much more we need to achieve, but yes to survive against all odds, it’s the sheer perseverance and hard work that pays.
Prem: Exactly! you can’t give up and you can’t let failures effect you. There was a time where we had no orders for a long time and it seemed like we would have to shut shop once and for all, but instead of giving up we just increased our marketing activities and with the good will we had achieved, we just asked a few friends to share our pictures on their Facebook Timelines. It took some time, but now we were back with a bang!
A few last words for our readers?
Prem: Believe in what you do no one else matters!
Dinkita: Love what you do, because it makes it easier to face the low’s and enjoy the high’s.