"If one is estranged from oneself, then one is estranged from others too. If one is out of touch with oneself, then one cannot touch others. "
- Anne Lindbergh
“It was my dream to pursue the art of baking so I followed it and see where it has got me today. So always, always follow your dreams!” – Neeta Raj
It is often said that without our family’s support, achieving our dreams and goals is impossible. After all, family is everything, and this is exactly what Neeta Raj believes in. Based in Pune, Neeta is the co-founder of Whisk n Bake, one of Pune’s biggest bakery and confectionery institutes. Whisk n Bake offers a variety of professional baking courses which includes both bakery and confectionery items.
Elaborating on how she came into this field, she says, “It’s actually my husband who has done his diploma in baking and confectionery, I knew nothing about it initially. We started our business from home three years ago, taking orders for bakery products. I learnt by helping him out and when he planned to open Whisk n Bake, he pushed me to get into the business. Now I am immersed in our institute which offers a variety of courses like the fresh cream foundation course, baking foundation course, among others.”
Neeta loves and specializes in making fondant cakes, hence teaching fondant cakes at the institute is her forte. “There are many things that I now know about baking, apart from the fondant cakes. The first cake that I had baked was a “Frozen” theme cake which we had worked on the whole night and then had to deliver.”
Sharing the story behind their institute name, Neeta says, “My husband and I wanted to name it after our daughter but then it wasn’t sounding professional, which is why we came up with Whisk n Bake, which sounds more professional.”
Running a baking institute and looking after one’s family is not something that many people can manage well. But Neeta is not one of those. “I have a very understanding mother-in-law who takes care of my daughter while I am at work the whole day. After I come back home I take care of my family. I have only one daughter so it’s not that hectic but you still have to make a lot of sacrifices when you’re a working mother. But you have to strive to maintain a good work-life balance”, says this superwoman.
For an entrepreneur, growing his or her business is of course the ultimate goal. It is no different for Neeta. She shares, “I just want my institute Whisk n Bake to grow. Now the place is rented, so my dream is to have a place of my own from where I can run the institute. I am working towards achieving it!”
From studying history in college to now running a famous baking institute, Neeta has come a long way. “I was always interested in cake making, but I pushed this thought aside after my marriage and child, due to family responsibilities. So then my husband decided to do the baking and confectionery course in my place, as he realized I had no time to attend the classes. Eventually, he encouraged and motivated me to join as well. Now, he is the one who asks me doubts regarding baking! He is completely supportive of my work and is my constant pillar of strength. Whatever I need, he is always there to help me out.”
Starting a business of your own is never easy. As someone who knows this too well, Neeta advises all the budding entrepreneurs, “Always follow your dreams. This was my dream, and through constant hard work it has come true. Family support is also very important, especially for girls and women who want to achieve their goals. I think there should be some way in which women should be able to set out to make their dreams come true, without any worries or having to choose and make sacrifices. So if your family is supportive, you can do anything.” We couldn’t agree more!
If you can dream it, you can do it. – Neeta Raj