Deepika Singh from Alore speaks to Bake Me CEO and founder Kirti Singh, a PR consultant & mompreneur in the food space.
To the uninitiated, mompreneur is a neologism for moms who are entrepreneurs and hence experts at multitasking.
Alore: Can you tell us about Bake Me?
Kirti Singh: Bake Me is a child-friendly DIY baking kit that lets little chefs at home understand the joys of baking. The baking kit comes loaded with a recipe, set of instructions, premium quality ingredients, essential tools and secret tips. We have kept in mind the youngest kitchen helpers and designed these kits around their needs and interests. Our range includes more than 15 recipes for now and is sold as standalone kits, subscription boxes and mini kits.
The idea is to teach children life’s essential skill in a fun way. It is a great way to spend some constructive time with parents in the kitchen and is a great Parent – child bonding activity sans the screen time. It also makes for a fun and creative DIY gifts for young girls and boys.
Alore: How did you envision Bake Me?
Kirti Singh: One of my friend’s 4-year-old daughter is extremely fond of baking, so seeing her enthusiasm I wondered if there was a commercial product for kids like her. I was looking for a product that provided a joyous baking experience to kids and parents without the parents getting harrowed about ingredients and special baking tools.
To my dismay I did not find any such product in India. (There are a few of them in United States, United Kingdom, Indonesia and Australia).
Intrigued, I started researching and talking to people about the need of such a product and received a resounding response affirming the need. It took about a year to come out with Bake Me, with its designing of the look and feel of the brand, recipe testing and photo shoots etc. We took another three months for the Bake Me website for which we decided on the white labelling option to save time.
We started Bake Me in May 2017 via our e-store and started receiving orders immediately. Two months later we started retailing at Modern Store – a niche super market in Delhi. We came out with a new product offering – Bake Me mini boxes – primarily cake pre-mixes & a budget friendly variant of Bake Me standard kits.
We are currently omnichannel, retailing on Amazon India, BabyChakra a popular kid’s product marketplace, our own website, brick and mortar store presence and do event activation across India.
Alore: Why do you think customers will love Bake Me?
Kirti Singh: Bake Me is a novel concept that is targeted towards kids and beginners around creating quality time with family. It’s a first of its kind product in India. It is a great bonding activity for parents and kids and the recipes are very easy hence making baking less daunting. The idea is to have fun while baking the goodies and later enjoying fresh baked stuff at home. This simultaneously provided a sense of achievement to the kids.
Alore: How different is it from its nearest competitors or how do you think the competition is in India right now?
Kirti Singh: There is no such direct competition, unless we may take Betty Crocker or Pillsbury which come under pre-mix category as our indirect competition. We pride ourselves at Bake Me on being fanatic about quality, ease of use and fun being the guiding force.
Alore: Where all can we find Bake Me today?
Kirti Singh: Offline we are present in Modern Bazar Delhi, online we are present on Amazon, Baby Chakra and our official website www.bakeme.in
Alore: With Bake Me being omnichannel, did you have in-house technological competency for the e-com presence or did you use a third party to build one? How was the experience?
Kirti Singh: We are using third party for our online partnership. They have a huge consumer base, we are relying on them to reach out to our target audience. We invest majorly in online marketing and influencer engagement which is working for us. For now, we have used white labelling for our website which helps us save time and avoid technological challenges.
Alore: What has been the biggest challenge in your journey with Bake Me so far?
Kirti Singh: Baking is in its nascent stage in India. It’s relatively difficult to educate people about DIY baking kits and its USP of quality time with family and its role in family bonding. Once the consumers are aware of the product features, we see the sales.
Alore: What has been your fondest learning since you started Bake Me ?
Kirti Singh: The fondest learning has been to not count chickens before they hatch. I had planned a lot before starting and had kept unrealistic milestones, so I had to revisit my initial thoughts and change it to a more realistic approach. I also have to keep on repeating to myself to not plan to scale the business before 3 years.
Alore: How supportive is the current scenario in India for mompreneur? – in terms of paperwork, bank documentation, licenses etc
Kirti Singh: Though I worked on Bake Me with the bootstrapped model, I’m aware that Indian women have certain additional benefits such as entrepreneurial loans without collateral for up to a certain amount. However, in terms of licensing and documentations it’s a standardised process – no gender bias or benefits.
Alore: As a mompreneur how do you maximise your day & ensure its productive?
Kirti Singh: Apart from being an entrepreneur, I am also a mom, and a senior consultant with a leading PR agency of India. I divide my day meticulously, mornings are for my daughter, noon for my PR agency work, evenings again for my daughter and at night I spend at least four hours on Bake Me.
My social life is almost non-existent as a result but then it’s a legitimate sacrifice for a greater good. I do maintain a to-do list on my phone and check it by night if I completed all my tasks. Yet to explore tools.
Alore: Would you like to tell us about your initial core-team?
Kirti Singh: I’m the planning and execution in-charge. I’m involved in the phases of ideation, product conceptualisation, events and activation. The recipes are done by Sana Nair who is also the founder of a renowned bakery in India, The Mellow Yellow co. The logistics and accounts are taken care of by my husband Sangram Singh. We started as a core-team of three and outsourced other capabilities and functions to third parties.
About Kirti Singh:
Kirti Singh started Bake Me as a passion to stimulate kitchen activity for kids and beginners. She wanted parents to have something fun to do with kids that was a do-at-home family activity in urban high paced lives. She is a mom, wife, founder of Bake Me, Social Media expert and also the director of client relations at Crosshairs Communication. Prior to all this Kirti was a fashion and luxury correspondent with Hindustan Times.
You can reach out to Kirti here