There is a famous quote by Emerson that goes- â€œNothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.â€
Mitali Tandon, our young entrepreneur today has oodles of enthusiasm and it easily shines through when you speak to her about her venture â€œMorning Freshâ€.
Remembering her early life, Mitali tells us that she comes from a family with strong personalities; both her parents are successful entrepreneurs in their respective industries. As a child, Mitali was always encouraged to work with her hands and be independent. In high school, she got her first taste of entrepreneurship when she joined the â€˜Young Enterpriseâ€™ group; an international program that encourages students to develop viable business ideas and create a sustainable business model. She was the operations head for the enterprise, responsible for sourcing materials and coordinating with other teams to deliver the final product to be marketed. She and her team were later selected to go to Seattle, the USA on an exchange program to visit other schools who had successfully undertaken similar projects, to share their learnings and ideas.
Since then, Mitali realised the impact that you can have and the adrenaline rush that comes with seeing your ideas come to live. She started to experiment with ideas and execution and as she grew up, the degree of experimentation evolved to larger scales and also to include the community in a more meaningful way. She helped kick off an education program at Tihar Jail and added to their curriculum development, she also initiated â€˜Shop For A Causeâ€™ a community based concept that deals with the re-distribution of resources and â€˜Burger Riotâ€™; a fun and young fundraising platform that encourages friendly competition and interaction between restaurateurs and food enthusiast alike, where all proceeds were donated to charity.
Speaking passionately about her business, Mitali reveals that Morning Fresh which she started in 2015 is a young and active business that is growing consistently and continuously. The product is a concoction thatâ€™s a much-needed pick-me-up for those impossible mornings after. â€œOur aim is to make as many customers have the first-hand experience of Morning Fresh, as possible. Nothing works better than making your customer your brand ambassador and so far we have received an extremely positive response. We will be retailing out of the top bars and restaurants in the city and also at liquor outlets to make it as convenient as possible for our customers to get their stash of Morning Fresh.â€
Being busy round the clock is a given when youâ€™re an entrepreneur and MitaliÂ makes light of it by saying that she Â feels like Flash, the superhero! Every night she puts down her to-do list for the next day and when the sun rises, itâ€™s boom boom- action time; being in as many places in as little time as possible to get the maximum done in 24-hours. She is usually up by 7:00 am and heads to the office, then she drives all around the city for various meetings, takes a short break to jump into the pool and get her exercise and then sets out again in the evening to meet up with restaurateurs to
Speaking of challenges faced in her business, Mitali categorises them under three major heads: Product, Consumers and being a woman entrepreneur.Â She feels that the USP of her product- Â the fact that it is the first of its kind and an entirely new concept to the Indian market has been both an advantage and a challenge. They had to do a lot of primary research to gauge consumer behaviour and market size prior to putting together their business plan. A lot of back-end scientific research and extensive product development was also required including testing and finalising formulations. She adds, â€œWhen it comes to consumers, with Morning Fresh we are really addressing consumer mindsets, so part of the challenge has been to educate customers about the product USPs and to have it successfully included into their routine/everyday life. Having said that, it is an optimistic challenge that we are actively working towards by constantly setting the context of the product to the customer and ensuring that it is easily available. â€œ
Mitali informs us that being a young, woman entrepreneur in the F&B space has been challenging. She feels that women in business are judged too quickly. â€œI remember visiting the first liquor outlet that we started stocking Morning Fresh at and I spent an entire weekend, along with sales promoters, talking to customers and selling the product. All the staff at the store were male, including our promoters and they were shocked and found it odd I think like I was out of placeâ€, she recalls. However, when customers started coming into the store to start asking for the product themselves, things settled down and they realised that Mitali was there for serious business.
Mitali thinks and talks like a hard-core entrepreneur, â€œI think you just have to be determined and believe in yourself. If you have got both those set in your core, you will always find a way to stay focussed on the positive things and find a way to make it work. Challenges then become part of your everyday working routine and I mean, if you arenâ€™t challenging yourself at every level â€“ how will you grow?â€
Like most start-ups, Mitali vouches for word of mouth as the best bet when it comes to acquiring new customers. She thinks that with a product that is new to the market and new in concept, you are most likely to listen to/take the advice of a trusted source, then an advertisement you have seen in the media. It makes sense then that they are consciously making an effort to make the product available in ways that will stimulate word of mouth. One aspect of this is by being visible at certain kinds of events like Kitsch Mandi, SteppinOut Food Festival, Strawberry Fields etc.
Mitali advises other aspiring entrepreneurs to â€œBelieve in yourself, spend time reflecting, get your hands dirty, and donâ€™t be afraid of making mistakes, of dreaming big, of doing something wildly different. Put on your favourite pair of pants and go conquer the world!â€
A deeply positive person, she believes that difficult times are a part of the business growth process and the key thing to do when you are having a really bad day or going through difficult times, is to give yourself the mental space you require to regain objectivity. She has found that Â the best way to do this is to get a little bit of exercise.
Her go-to is always the pool. Itâ€™s where she feels recharged, relaxed and when she comes back to address any difficulties, she finds that she is able to handle them much better. Alternatively, a short weekend getaway also helps re-charge her batteries.
â€œDo the ordinary things extraordinarilyâ€ thatâ€™s Mitaliâ€™s favourite quote and she lives by it. She observes, â€œI think everyone is quick to put you in a box and ascribe certain fixed traits with your personality. eg. the funny guy, the workaholic, the smart one. You often miss out on all the small pleasures and detail that go into everyday life. Very little attention is given to those who do everyday tasks in an extraordinary fashion.â€
Young Mitali is inspired by music, art, the ocean, real stories, travelling, silence, dancing, eating a great burger, her grandparents. â€œItâ€™s impossible for one single thing/person to inspire you, the world is such a vast, alive and complex being â€“ we have to find ways to actively contribute to it and live in it so we can constantly work towards making it better than it isâ€, she reflects.
With a drive and enthusiasm like Mitaliâ€™s, Morning Fresh is sure to scale great heights. Team storified.me wishes her roaring success in all her endeavours.
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