“I’m a health-freak sweet-tooth!” Ummm.. Sounds contradictory, right? Well, not really. Ovenderful (or rather a business with a soul) is a niche e-bakery and a social enterprise that specializes in healthy, inclusive and organic bakes, with one eye on the oven while the other on addressing social concerns.
“I recently prepared some special diet biscuits for some people who are undergoing treatment for cancer to help their immunity levels. The focus is on 3 things primarily – To ensure that I regularly use my skill for an overarching community purpose; Focusing on classic bakes that have become a forgotten art-form in the midst of fancy cakes; Developing healthy & organic bakes which use various Indian ingredients”, says Simran Oberoi Multani, Founder, Ovenderful.
With a range of vegan, gluten free, dairy-free, lactation-friendly, diabetic-friendly, nut-free, eggless, butterless bakes, Ovenderful has something for everyone in its oven.
Excerpts from an exclusive interaction with Simran Oberoi Multani:
Background of Promoter
I am the Founder and Chief Baker of Ovenderful, and Founder for Ovenderful Mom Bakers Community, an almost 10,000 member strong group focused on healthy baking.
I am an award winning healthy-baking blogger (2017) – Women’s Web, a women’s community and platform carried out the Orange Flower Awards where I was the 2nd Prize winner for Food Blogging, through public voting and jury evaluation.
Before turning Ovenderful into a commercial venture, I worked for 11+ years with global organizations in Human Resources Advisory and Research, for Asia Pacific, such as Hewitt Associates, PricewaterhouseCoopers. I work actively on freelance projects on Diversity & Inclusion, Women Returning to the Workforce now.
The journey so far!
Ovenderful started as a baking blog and evolved when I took baking classes for 12 girls from close by villages at the NGO Search Years, Gurgaon. Then, I combined my love for baking with my concern for old, injured and abandoned animals to bake and raise funds for some NGOs like Indigree Angels Trust, Help & Heal Animal Trust, CARE Animal Rescue Shelter and Voice of Stray Dogs.
Then I started exploring differentiators to set me apart, the kind of baking I enjoyed –That’s the feel of simplicity and clean-eating that I give to clients. So Ovenderful is niche and yet inclusive –no one is excluded because of their dietary constraints or food preferences. That’s where it is now.
Strategic Alliances & Partnerships
Ovenderful has a strong digital media which drives the strategic partnerships, marketing and sales. Apart from having an active marketing approach using the social media channels of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, Ovenderful is now part of many credible e-commerce ventures such as Ithaha ( Homemadeonline.in), Masalabox.com and Qtrove.
Besides that I have my own website and a healthy baking blog that are doing very well with the kind of attention both have received. I look forward to growing on both these aspects.
The future, as you see, 3 years from now in terms of scope & scale of your business enterprise
It is currently in the nascent stages of growth and development, considering that it became commercial in November 2013 in an informal and very small scale. Since then 2014-2016 have been years of exponential growth on brand association and awareness amongst a wider audience primarily through digital media. A basic level website has become operational early this year.
In the next 3 years, it is mainly ready to scale up faster and I am parallel getting some core aspects like the FSSAI registration / license done. Given that I have a toddler and I want to manage my business as well as my time with him in a balanced way. I am working on a staggered approach to scale up. My business mentoring program with the Cherie Blair Foundation has helped me tremendously to align the sales channels and assess the financial and operational aspects in a better way.
Key moments of reckoning in business life
Ovenderful is an extension of me – what I believe in, live by, and hold dear to me. And that reflects in all my bakes as well as the manner in which I interact with my customers/potential customers. It does not operate like a business which mass produces bakery products and I don’t intend to structure it in that manner.
So, key moments are related to client testimonials and messages – especially when it comes from someone whose small son, with a severe food allergy, enjoys a birthday cake that I baked keeping his allergies in mind. Or a lady who wanted to find a healthy alternative that will increase her immunity after chemotherapy and I baked special diet biscuits for her. Those are the key moments!
The feelings on getting the first big order / contract for your company
Being ecstatic is one way to look at it and getting overwhelmed is another. Orders which have been to the tune of over 5000 biscuits in one go have also come my way. That was the first big one. I think the first feeling I had was about saying that I can actually do it – single handedly with a small oven. That I will manage to do it no matter how much time and effort it takes. And I think that’s the grit or determination that has taken me on this journey in a better way.