Medha is a professional baker and a restaurant consultant. However, as a child, she never aspired to be one...she was studying to be an accountant. But accounting and taxation never fed her creative soul and hence, she chose to pursue her passion in baking and here she is now, an accomplished baker and a well known name in the Indian pastry circle.
Read on to know more about her and her definition of success.
Tell us a little about yourself. What do you do professionally?
I am a professional baker and a restaurant consultant. I have been doing this since the past 10 years and I enjoy every minute of my work.
It actually started about 12 years ago when I was studying to be an accountant. The numbers and taxation didn't excite me and I felt that I was snubbing my creative side, which was something that I didn't want to do. So, I gave up accounting and decided to pursue something what I truly enjoyed - baking. It gave me the ability to experiment and be creative. I could try new things and I absolutely enjoyed the 'freedom'. I was happy, and hence, it was the perfect career choice for me.
Besides work, what do you enjoy doing?
When I am not fuelling my creativity while baking, I like doing other things that let me express myself. I enjoy painting and often paint my table ware. I recently painted a table at home, which was a fun experience. I do a lot of art and craft projects as well which also act as a stress buster.
Is there any childhood instance that has shaped you?
There are two instances that I distinctly remember as a child, which have shaped me.
The first one was when I was in class 7, my mom fell unwell. I had to help out in the kitchen, and that is when the experiments started. I never found cooking to be a task that I had to complete because 'it had to be done'. I liked my time in the kitchen! I enjoyed trying new recipes and garnishing food in different ways. I think it was this phase that made me fall in love with food.
Another instance, which I distinctly recollect, is a cooking contest that I took part in during school days. I made a delicious preparation and garnished it with carrot top. Even though my dish was excellent, I won the second prize. The judge mentioned that one reason for the same was the carrot top. 'The garnish needs to be edible too', he said, and that hit me and stuck with me. Now, I ensure that anything and everything that I put on the plate is edible - tasty and edible. It is one of the core values around which my baking revolves.
What does success mean to you?
Success is an ongoing process. It is about challenging yourself everyday, in different ways. For me, success is setting up different projects and succeeding in them, keeping in mind the resource constraints. It could be about making a chocolate figurine in Mumbai's hot and humid summer or creating a recipe that fits the client's brief...every instance is a challenge. Success is about setting these goals, achieving them and experiencing the joy that then follows.
What traits would you recommend young women to develop to be able to succeed in today’s world?
Nothing is easy - be ready to put in a lot of hard work and effort. It could be mental or physical, but success needs a lot of effort. There is no free lunch ever!
Believe in your core values and stick to them; your values are what differentiate you from your competitors.
Take the time and effort to understand your customers. Go one step further and take the effort to educate your customer as well, which builds trust and partnerships.
Success is not a sprint, it is a marathon and needs persistence and endurance.
Ethiko salutes the spirit of a creative woman!