Pune’s Megha Bafna wanted to do more in her life over her full-time job and her personal responsibilities towards her home, child, husband, and her in-laws. However, her medical issue led to weight gain, and in her quest to create a healthy lifestyle for herself, Megha ended up turning into an entrepreneur helping many people get healthy and is now making Rs. 1.5 lakh a month from her home-based salad business.
Megha has been living in Pune since her childhood and got a degree in commerce from the city. She soon got into real estate in hopes of becoming financially independent and has been working for the past 15 years. However, her work and personal life led her to gain a lot of weight. She shares, “One of my legs is shorter than the other and I had to undergo many treatments to strengthen my weaker leg, but certain mistakes in my treatment forced me to be on bed rest for over 18 months when I was in 9th class, after my son’s birth. I was gaining weight on account of all these reasons.”
Since Megha wanted to get healthy again but couldn’t do much physically, she decided to start including salads in her diet and would pack them for lunch at the office. Her recipes were so interesting and different that her colleagues would gorge on them too. The entrepreneur in Megha recognised that there was quite a demand for such salad and decided to experiment and her husband and in-laws were ecstatic and supportive of her idea.
In March 2017, Megha shared posts on social media with pictures of her salads, and soon she had over six orders. Her first investment to buy material and packaging for the orders was only Rs. 3500, and that’s when her brand ‘Keep Good Shape’ was born.
“People loved my salads so much that the orders started pouring in, all because of good reviews and word of mouth. I have not spent a single penny on promotions,” reveals Megha. She shared that while junk food is easily available, healthy and delicious salads are quite expensive or not always readily available. Megha wanted to fill this void and started with five varieties of salads, now she sells over 27 varieties, constantly making changes in her recipes to make the salads healthier and tastier. What started with six orders from her home’s kitchen, has now blown up to over 300 orders on a daily basis with over 30 employees including helpers and delivery staff, and a small workshop.
Megha shares, “The company’s monthly sales are crossing Rs. 4 lakh. The coronavirus pandemic had affected my business earlier but now it is running smoothly.”
However it wasn’t all a bed of roses, when the government banned plastic Megha switched to using aluminium foil to package her salads which led them to be soggy and unappetising, and her orders went from 300 a day to just 50. Megha then turned to reusable plastic containers, which were a little expensive, but ensured that the salads remained fresh.
“Eventually, I gained my previous sales back and even trust of the customers,” says Megha.
Despite earning lakhs every month from her salad business, Megha does not have any desire to leave her day job where she works from 10 am to 7 pm as she loves her job and believes that she can manage her job, salad business, and home with ease.
Megha shares that she starts her day at 5 am, preparing salads to ensure the orders are out by 10 am. The delivery boys pick up the order at 10 am, and Megha makes her way to work. On her way back home, she picks all the materials required to make orders the next day. As soon as she comes home she does the basic prep for her salad business and gets on with her homely duties, only being able to sleep after 12 am. She admits that she is a little sleep-deprived but enjoying the well-rounded life she is leading.
“Although my routine looks hectic and one may think it is frustrating, I am enjoying doing all the things that I am doing. And I believe every woman should do something in their life even if it is something very small. They should not be restricted to their kitchen only. If I can manage time every woman can,” adds Megha.
Megha expressed gratitude towards her husband and in-laws who support her and she believes because of their support she is able to wear many hats successfully. Currently, Megha’s salad business is running successfully in Pune, and she hopes to expand to other cities too.
This story is submitted by Bilal Khan and edited by Alfea Shaikh.
If you like this story, share it and spread positivity. Tell us your views by writing in the comment box below. We read each one of them.