NEW DELHI,26.07.19-I have been holding baking classes for the past 18 years. You will be surprised to know that I have never ever attended any cooking/ baking classes. I learnt all the nuances of fine baking from my mom and later brought in my own creativity. This is what makes my classes stand out. The regular stuff is not on offer.

First, all the courses offered by me are eggless. As you must be aware almost everybody is turning vegetarian these days. Second, these eggless baked goodies are much more delicious, soft and moist as compared to their egg counterparts. These two qualities put together have made my classes very successful.

The courses offered by me are completely professional. Which means, after attending these classes and later with hands on experience, ladies have started supplying from their own homes or have started their own ventures/ bakeries. Most of the ladies who come for my classes are either working or homemakers or professionals who have taken a sabbatical to look after their kids.

As you know, after marriage and kids, the priority of the lady changes. She looks for an opportunity where the family life is not disturbed but also wants to engage herself in a meaningful pursuit. This is where my classes fit in. Apart from exploring her baking skills, she also begins to receive appreciation from her family & friends for goodies that she churns out from a regular kitchen, which people think are available only at star hotels. This gives a boost to her confidence and then she starts supplying from her own home or invests in a commercial venture.

There have been instances where ladies from diverse professions like air hostesses, crime journalists, IT etc came for the classes for the sake of learning something new. But within a year resigned from their jobs, and started their own venture. To them the classes were a savior which made them escape from thankless situations and let them become the master of their destinies. They also employ few other ladies under them to help with the manufacturing process, there by giving a boost to women empowerment as well.

Another example… In the Indian society, a home-maker is never looked upon as a role model either by the husband or the kids. She may be educated and had a high flying job before marriage and kids. She simply loses her identity and is relegated to the background mainly by the husband. Such a lady had come for the classes. Now through sheer hard work and perseverance she has earned a name for herself and is also contributing towards the family kitty. This has raised her status in the eyes of the family especially the husband. He now proudly introduces his wife to his friends and colleagues, whereas earlier he would never even acknowledge her presence. The mom in law, too helps in marketing by spreading the word about her talented daughter in law!!!

Another example… The husband wanted his introvert wife to come out of her shell. He forced her to come for the classes. The other day he rang up to say that not only has his wife learnt to bake new things but also the appreciation that she receives from other people have given a boost to herself confidence. She is now turning into a very successful entrepreneur.

Many such examples can follow, but don’t want to take more of your time.

Till now my classes have been very successful. In the future maybe I would like to start a "Baking Institute" in Delhi. Students come not only from Delhi/ NCR but also Hyderabad, Jaipur, Amritsar, Kenya, Hong Kong, London, Maldives etc. Many of them do not have anybody to stay with, in Delhi, but it is lure of the classes that make them come. Secondly competition is very tough. There are at least 250 cooking classes in Delhi. The students sample and survey several of them. But once they speak to me and visit my website they do not want to go anywhere else for the classes. It is just the almighty’s blessings. I could write a book on the appreciation and feedback that I receive from them. Most importantly they are able to achieve their dreams, which is why they did the classes in the first place itself.

Presently, I have a group of 6 home-makers, who are my students and live nearby each other. So when I have huge corporate orders like 8000 kgs of chocolates or a daily order of 150 cupcakes etc these ladies do the job work for me. I simply do not have the time to involve myself in the manufacturing process. I remain busy with my daily schedule of classes and also am invited by the Management Institutes (Delhi), several Banks to deliver talks on women empowerment and so on.

In short, I aim to make a small difference in the lives of the ladies by making them self-sufficient. So I think I wouldn’t like to leave teaching and start a manufacturing venture. I am proud to say that this is already being done by my students. Moreover there is real shortage of good instructors. Most of them compromise on the quality as cost cutting method. Secondly they are in this field the gain financial independence. Many of them charge exorbitant fees but leave the students’ unsatisfied.

For me, baking and teaching is my passion. And I love to interact with people and do everything possible to make them realize their dreams. As for financial independence, I have got a very supportive spouse. So I am not under any strain to earn a livelihood through my classes. When you are under pressure you seek ways to compromise on your work, quality of service etc. But when you are free to do as you like, you wish to offer more. May be this too has made a huge difference.

As of now I am fine with the responses that I am receiving but any business should never rest on its laurels. Hopefully I wish to have more students and realize the dream of empowering several others.

Believe in your dreams and work consistently towards your goals – This has been my mantra!!


Mrs. Sharmila Sengupta

Mobile: 9560600056