Time to shuffle the order of your seating…if you may…
Any questions so far? Seriously?? I will answer them later…
For 1st Year Food Science & ManagementM. O. P. Vaishnav College for Women,Chennai By M Mohamed Ali
A brief introduction My name is M Mohamed Ali. I am a Business Graduate in Marketing and Finance. I moderate an online based food community called Chennai Food Guide. We have over 5000 members and interact with most of the F&B Service operators in Chennai. Due to the experience above, I also have a Consultancy Firm that offers Subject Matter Expertise to business that requires them.
The reason I am here To give an insight about the various aspects of possibly starting a food business. For the 1st year students of Food Science and Management. I am supposed to give my experience of past 11 years and highlight the same across to you, so you can be possibly motivated to take the leap into Entrepreneurship.
Conditions for this discourse It must have been a long 20 day course. Tiring and boring. I will try to keep it as lively and interactive as possibly. NEED YOUR HELP – MY CONDITION. I get bored easily. Tend to snooze off. So every time I raise my hand, I want all of you to shout real loud:
A few questions… What is the reason that you have chosen this course? Does any one in your family and or friends operate their own food business? If so what and how? How many of you have an idea of owning your own food business someday? If so what and how? What do you think is required to start a food business?
Theory states that you require Experience – SME Excessive Cash/ Capital EntrepreneurshipNeed the above to start a business. What is this Ship? Anyone??Wiki explains it as the act of being an entrepreneur, which can be defined as "one who undertakes innovations, finance and business acumen in an effort to transform innovations into economic goods". The most obvious form of entrepreneurship is that of starting new business.
How to get about entrepreneurship? First and foremost we got to have CLARITY. After graduation some of you want to work, some of you want to do higher studies, some of you want to work for some time and then do your higher studies and some would like to start your own business straightaway. For one to be successful in Business one SHOULD have, I repeat SHOULD have relevant WORK EXPERIENCE. This is the beginning of CLARITY Hence work experience is a must! WHOO RAH!!!
More on CLARITY… For one to have better CLARITY we should be aware of our own Capabilities and Limitations. This reminds me of a Greek Proverb KNOW THYSELF – Which suggest one should know completely about one own self. With the above you should be able to map the following What you want to do? Where you want to do? When you want to do? & How you want to do?
Some more on CLARITY… Remember that one achieving CLARITY doesn’t happen overnight. Some times it evolves completely into something else. It is a lengthy process – one has to be on it constantly. It is a journey – one has to travel it. Always our end objective should be in our mind. WHOO RAH!!!
Reality Check… You must be aware that you are not in School anymore. No more spoon feeding of your Curriculum. You are now classified as Young Adults who have a bright future to look forward to. For the above the much preceded CLARITY IS AN ABSOLUTE MUST!!!
The Predicament The food industry is one of the most vibrant and promising industry – so says the market reports, industry analysts, family, friends and the list goes on. The industry itself is Vast, Huge and Immense – The category is infinite. For us to be successful professional/ entrepreneur in today’s competitive environment we need to be multiskilled and at the same time a specialist where we always have an edge over the others. It could be in the form of a talent and or skill.
The Predicament continues… Amongst the afore mentioned Chaos the successful business women/ men should find their bright space under the sun. Once you are successful, people will try to copy you and take your share. WHOO RAH!!!
The solution To manage the challenges mentioned above you have to innovate, differentiate yourself from the others and move forward. This is the only way forward if you have chosen this path in todays let alone tomorrows super competitive world. The competition will be plain and simply CUT THROAT!! If you are not confident of handling these kind of stress level it is better you choose an easier way. Let me remind you the necessity of CLARITY of all the issues above mentioned.
Rest of the solution Recollecting on what I have mentioned earlier; Knowing you capacity and limitation – you should DECIDE and FIXATE on What YOU WANT. Once you have decided, the only direction should be forward: Take the plunge! Breathe it!! Enjoy and live every moment of it!!! Trust me, if you do the above the journey ahead will be easier!!!
Once upon a time When we graduated out of school, neither did we have clarity nor we were taught its importance. Many of us in my generation took it up to the wind for opportunity. I know a friend of mine who studied Bio Tech and now is a senior faculty in a Animation College. My another friend studied science and is a senior editor in a renowned newspaper firm. WHOO RAH!!!
Reality Check You are not from such a time or situation. You have better opportunities of pursuing what you have been academically qualified as a profession or business. Bitter truth: “You better work hard to get what you want else you will be forced to like what you get!” So you have to decide what you want and WORK for IT. CLARITY: WHOO RAH!!!
The Opportunities in Food Industry Manufacturing Food Beverages Retail Restaurant Bakery Grocer Services Certification IT Enabled Services
To have better CLARITY Talk and interact to people working in the industry or specific division you are interested to know more. Read and research through resources such as the internet which is a huge resource and can give you a good insight., Example: Forums, etc., Always try to WORK towards topics/ subjects/ areas which really pulls you in – which interests you. QUESTION: Which is the single thing that you would love to keep doing day in and out, without getting bored? Imagine having that as your JOB/ BUSINESS and you make money like that – The MOST IDEAL JOB/ BUSINESS
PASSION The part of “Know Thyself” also includes you knowing for sure what you LIKE/ LOVE. Things that YOU have a PASSION for – Which, when one interacts with, they should be able to feel the deep PASSION you have for on the subject – BURNING DESIRE, But with CLARITY. If the above is there in your Basket – You being successful is a matter of time and time will come for those who work true and hard. PASSION – PASSIONATE – WOOH RAH!!!
Recapping and moving on We have CLARITY We have PASSION These two are the BASIC INGREDIENTS for the SUCCESSFUL Business With CLARITY you will also have derived What, Where, When & How – So your GOALS/ OBJECTIVES are set. Next is your acquisition of RELEVANT WORK EXPERIENCE. Gathering EXPERIENCE is a MUST as it will further give you: CLARITY, CONFIDENCE, SUBJECT MATTER EXPERTISE.
Moving on Some of you might have resources which might want you to start a business straight away without any prior experience. Depending on your luck – you might succeed or fail. REMEMBER: LUCK FAVOURS THE PREPARED Money is Hard Earned and scarce – It is difficult to come by – So when you START you better be sure it works.
A little bit further BUSINESS requires a lot of training Its just like Sports, where we see Athletes training, Cricket Players training Even Actors/ Actress train Chess Players train TRAINING of the MIND, BODY and SOUL for BUSINESS is the KEY. This can be partially imparted to you by RELEVANT WORK EXPERIENCE. WOOH RAH!!!
Consolidation We have CLARITY, PASSION & WORK EXPERIENCE. These put together will give you CONFIDENCE. When you build CONFIDENCE and accumulate it, something funny will happen. People will start approaching you for ideas, professional opinions, and the list will go on. Soon it will start piling up and Mr. Opportunity will start knocking on your doors. This is a time when you need to exercise CAUTION and choose what you need to do with CLARITY. Depending on your level of CONFIDENCE you are ready to START THINKING about starting a Business – Welcome to the beginning of Entrepreneurship!!!
Possibly the most important Business is all about the money. WHOO RAH Entrepreneurship is all about running your Business You MUST HAVE a SOUND working knowledge of how the money works as a fuel in running your Business – This will be partly acquired by you when you have gathered REELAVNT WORK EXPERIENCE.
An Entrepreneur needs SME – Subject Matter Expertise Relevant Work Experience Financial Knowledge Finance to start the BusinessSome of the biggest challenges faced in the Industry Limited skilled and consistent Manpower Example: Manufacturing – Factory workers are becoming scarce, Retail – Stewards and waiters are becoming more expensive and not worth the salary they are getting paid, Services – Good quality is becoming more scare and expensive.
Other challenges Sky rocketing real estate cost Increased competition Increase in cost of Raw Materials Shortage of Electricity Increased cost of Operation Challenge from government or rather people governing us List is endless… NOT MEANT TO SCARE YOU, BUT THAT IS THE BLATANT TRUTH WOOH RAH!!!
What does this all mean? Doing Business is not for the Faint Heart. Only some challenges are mentioned in here and there probably would be more. If you think you CANT, then there is every possibility that you WONT. With my Experience – I often ask myself is it worth all these. I say aloud YES!!! Beyond all these Challenges there is infinite potential and when you start achieving the same the Satisfaction and Freedom you get is worth all the CHALLENGES. There is a space for each and everyone of you under the Bright Sun!
More on challenges Most of you being Women – are further challenged by the society and the community in which we live and thrive Gender Discrimination comes in many announced and unannounced form. It is not easy being a Woman Entrepreneur. The ratio of Men : Women is terribly skewed, because many women rather avoid the same. Most of you are expected to be in the family way within a matter of couple of years – And family will take a lot of time away which is a very careful balancing art to Master.
Some successful women in theBusiness Mrs. Indira Nooyi – CEO of Pepsico – Apparently she earned Rs 85.00 Crores as Salary and or Benefits for the year 2010 – 2011. The Chauhan sisters – Directors of Parle Agro – Their consolidated family turnover is over Rs. 3,500 Crores. Mrs. Tarla Dalal – A famous Indian Cook Book author and immensely successful website Ms. Anjum Anand – Another famous TV Presenter and Cook Book Author – We have seen in Discovery’s TLC. Mrs. Chandri Butt – Who used to do a lot of workshops based out of Chennai
Advantages in having your ownBusiness You can decide based on your Capacity and Limitations how much and how you want to stretch yourselves – Flexible on time. Be your own Boss – No one to answer, except the one above. Provide employment opportunity to others Contribute to society and the country If clicked right – make quite substantial MONEY!!!
Some ideas To begin a Business, its always better you begin small, s0 you can have better control, manage easily, and easier to assimilate your experience. Every Business has a learning curve. It takes time to settle down. The degree of the curve varies from person to person depending on how Pro Active and quickly you pick up the process. Today all the information is available through technology and if its not available, technology can still point us in the right direction on where it is available. Doing a Business is no longer a secret – everything is available online.
More on the ideas For your computer at the leisure of you home, you can get all the relevant information you require In this situation and off late Businesses have become very Dynamic. Existing Channels of doing Business are slowly but steadily being replaced by modern and or innovative Channels. Todays Home Bakers are able to sell their products online. They don’t require a physical shop to do so anymore. WELCOME TO SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING! WOOH RAH!!!
The trend Today who is not in Facebook? Anyone here?? How many of you have FB in your Phone? How many of you often check your status every hour or so? The way its going, it will be as if you are not in FB – You don’t exist in real life anymore. EACH AND EVERY Product we see are promoted in FB A question for you to think – Who advertises for FB? This is very much the future in which all Businesses will be set in run – FB, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest. This is something you NEED to run your possible future Business.
Chennai Food Guide - CFG In 2005 CFG was founded in Orkut It was basically a network of people from different backgrounds who came together for the love of good food in and around Chennai. By 2008 – 2009 – It became so popular it was awarded as the best Food Community in ENTIRE ORKUT Community Group in the World. It had around 5000 members then and soon moved into FB. Right now we are present in FB, Twitter, YouTube, Google Groups and the latest Pinterest.
More on CFG Using this Social Media Platform, People from all different walks of life discuss at large on all the aspects of food, its business, the laws prevailing, discuss and debate which is the better and the interaction is endless. It has always fascinated F&B operators who we work with right now, such as ITC Group, GRT Group, Residency Group, Burgundy, Crimson Chakra, Marry Brown, Kiwi Kiss and the list is endless. We also support and help develop home based food business such as Bakers, Biryani Makers, People selling Home made pickles, etc.,
Some more We conduct workshops centering around food, such as Food Photography, Baking, Barbecuing, Jungle Survival and the list is endless. All are centered about food in and around Chennai. We have graduated nearly 100 people in the last 2 years or so. We also covers small shops, mess, and road side establishment. The reason I am talking about CFG is that it is a brilliant platform for yourself to keep abreast the information on what is the most happening food business in Chennai. It lets you network with some of the top specialist. Your active participation will enhance your knowledge in the Food Industry. I highly recommend you to get active in the same.
CFG MISSION AND VISION Mission: To increase the awareness of existing and new F&B operators and their offerings to the general public. To increase the qualitative offering of all F&B offerings in and around Chennai by creating more awareness and increasing the benchmark. Vision: To be sought out as the most unbiased and in-depth resource for all food related queries and interactions in and around Chennai.
Some more tips Networking is a very important aspect of professional growth – so learn to do it. If you are an Entrepreneur, you need to learn to do so. It will immensely help you to tap all resources possible. Honesty and Integrity is a Value that you SHOULD NOT compromise on. It will define you as a person who could be dependent and that is what your future customer, banker, partner, associates wants. This industry is a service based industry and some claim it to be “Thank Less”. People say it is a very difficult to satisfy everyone. I say if you have satisfied the most of the people you have already on the right path. With PASSION and Due Diligence you can work into fine tuning and trying to satisfy as many as possible. REMEMBER: There WILL be trouble makers who thrive in troubling others. Brace yourself for meeting them WOOH RAH!!!
Pretty much the End I think that pretty much sums up what I wanted to deliver across to you. Probably for the last time today: WOOH RAH!!! I will take in as much as questions as possible. NOW!!!
The End – But rather the beginningfor you "Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school.“ - Albert Einstein With the very little time I have spent with you, hopefully I should have sparked something in you, With the time you will be spending in this institution that spark should ignite a flame of desire to be successful. Thanks to one and all for your kind patience and time and for the last time: WOOH RAH!!!
Contact:In case you need any help for whatsoever in the FoodBusiness please feel free to be in touch with me on:email@example.comLook us up in Facebook: Group Search:Chennai Food GuideOnce again, Thank you very much!!!