This Mumbai-based housewife prepares her entrepreneurial dream by speaking to celebrities like Katrina Kaif, Janhvi Kapoor

Juhi Pahwa, 31 years old admits she ran away from three different jobs before she even got her salary. For the MBA graduate from Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS) in Mumbai, a desk job was never really enough.

Juhi had always imagined opening a restaurant, but it was only a dream because of the capital involved in starting a restaurant.

But, as they say, where there is a will, there is a way – and Juhi has found a unique way to channel his inner entrepreneurial enthusiasm through The best frenzy – a home bakery business offering gluten-free and vegan cakes and desserts.

Founded in 2018 in Mumbai with health conscious people as its target audience, it has an elite clientele including Bollywood celebrities like Kiara Advani, Katrina Kaif, Jacqueline Fernandes and Rajkumar Rao, among others.

Juhi Pahwa, founder of The Better Binge

A fortuitous start

A year after her wedding, Juhi baked her first cake in 2017. Her husband’s late grandfather had a sweet tooth but was not allowed to consume refined carbohydrates and sugar. Juhi decided to experiment with healthy ingredients to make her desserts, and to this day she sees him as the mastermind behind her business.

Scouring YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest for healthy recipe ideas, Juhi quickly became adept at replacing ingredients with healthy alternatives – jaggery for sugar and jowar flour in place of refined all-purpose flour.

“I was learning new things every day at work, and I still do. At first it was a disaster, but over time I started tweaking here and there, reading a lot of international blogs and learning how to replace, because each sugar has a different effect. type of texture and each flour has a different level of absorption, ”she tells HerStory.

After registering the trademark in November 2017, the next four months saw Juhi embark on backend work such as branding, logo design and packaging, and finally launched the operation commercially during International Women’s Day in March 2018.

At a time when the keto diet was a raging trend, The Better Binge was one of a handful of brands offering ketogenic desserts. Juhi has been riding the wave getting some of the most suitable ingredients, including sweeteners and sugar-free chocolates, imported from the United States.

Luckily, her cakes reached Bollywood actor Swara Bhaskar in the first month of operation as a gift from shoe designer Aprajita Toor. And the rest, as they say, is history, as news of The Better Binge quickly spread throughout the Bollywood network.

Juhi has also tapped into the influencer marketing space by sending cakes to influencer moms and bloggers for promotions and hosting exhibitions in Bandra to increase her clientele in her own neighborhood. The self-taught baker now has an impressive presence on Instagram, where she offers a wide range of cakes.

“My premium cakes are priced at Rs 3,500 per kg, while normal cakes are available at Rs 2,000 per kg. It’s because I’m targeting people who are willing to invest in their health and aren’t afraid to shell out extra money, ”she says, adding that while the target audience hasn’t changed, she expands. now products to meet all income groups. .

While its elite Bollywood clientele offers plenty of mileage and visibility, Juhi ensures that attention to detail is the same across its product line.

(From L to R) Kiara Advani, Katrina Kaif and Janhvi Kapoor with The Better Binge cakes

Market opportunities

According to Juhi, many brands big and small have branched out into healthier alternatives, and gluten-free recipes are just a click away. She says it’s because people are increasingly embracing veganism as a way of life, giving new impetus to businesses like hers. According to the International Market Analysis Research and Consulting Group, the Indian bakery market itself reached a value of $ 9,626 million in 2020 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.8% from 2021 to 2026.

However, Juhi believes she has yet to see the final step and advises those looking to start baking and home businesses to follow that initial spark.

While refusing to share financial information, she says the brand has grown at a phenomenal rate as she continues to cook in her home kitchen. “I earn in a month what I earned at the start in the first year,” she jokes.

While The Better Binge currently operates on a pre-order only basis in Mumbai, Juhi plans to enter the retail segment across India over the next few years.

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