“It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen.” – Scott Belsky
And, on the same plethora of zeal, we present to you a young heartthrob who is constantly making a difference in the industry of happiness i.e. Food while introducing an innovative set of hacks at your doorsteps blending with his expertise in the world of mechanical engineering.
Well, coming across passionate entrepreneurs in 2017 is another wondrous task due to ranging start-ups, the growth, and the failures. To stay intact during such a neck to neck competition, Shubham has surely earned an edge with consistent hard work. People from all the walks of life are growing keen and inclined towards achieving something of their own. Starting an innovative phase, which will eventually let one’s soul experiment, indulge, and kick start out of the league; is genuinely the foresight one looks for, each day.
On a bright sunny day of November 27, 2017; The team of Colored Ink got the chances to meet the man behind “Being Chef”, over a cup of coffee. We cannot express the happiness and enthusiasm we had while jotting each and every aspect he presented. It wasn’t distinct, rather amazingly catchy as to how a 26-year-old kick-starting life making such a commendable stature.
Swatii – Well, I couldn’t help myself to know what the man holds behind his heavy name? Nonetheless, I awkwardly wish to start with “Who is Shubham Maheshwari?” <While raising my voice in a pure awe>!
Shubham – (With a subtle smile and confident wit)
A common man, hails from the Pink city, with a simple yet effective notion. Make a day different rather than following the same monotonous routine. I believe in taking risks rather than staying behind the curtain of comfortability. In the early stages of life, I was pretty shy, someone who would keep on solving the mathematical equations which were the basic idea of fun. Moving on, during the preparations to enter into a top-notch college, I suffered a backlash due to the health and couldn’t score as expected. Finally got into MNIT but this time I had a vision of trying distinctness. From day one, I became one of the active members of anything and everything coming my way. Exploring the other traits of my personality made me realize what treasures we hide and it just needs a mere attention. Hence, the journey started while evolving and involving myself in “India Against Corruption”, writing research papers, taking part in Fashion shows, trying my luck in dramatics, and what not.
Swatii – Impressive! Taking a point from your description – You mentioned how one should make a day different! How would you like to throw the light upon the same?
Shubham – See, I will give you an example! You have 30 bucks with yourself, you will either choose to commute while sharing an auto and spending 10 bucks, further spending 20 for someone who is waiting to eat food. Else, you can spend the entire 30 over a relaxed commute. The choice is yours as to what you wish to do and what gives you that level of satisfaction. Negotiating with a roadside stall can make a difference to some, and eating in a five-star giant the other. It all depends on what you do and how you perceive. The difference lies within you. You just need to find a spark each day and make sure to work at it constantly. Things will automatically fall into place. The basic point where a person lacks is the capacity they have and the undermining they do in regards to the same. We all are capable enough to add a star. Point is who can really make a difference and work towards the same. It isn’t easy, it can get boring, people might nudge you, but you need to stay intact to your own choices. That is how you grow, and that is how you work.
Swatii – Commendable! Well, talking about the initial stages of your career, we got to know about your involvement in ZS. Being one of the top management consultancies, how was the working channelized and what made you leave it in just a few months right after joining?
Shubham – I always had that extra knack to speak for something different. And, I was searching for it from the very start. To start something of your own all the more adds a difference in your life and that is how I manage to make myself, whatever little, mediocre, or huge I stand today.
Coming on to ZS, we were starting our final term of the college and people were tensed for placements. I was working and involved with the ideation during that time popularly known to be “India Against Corruption.” Something which was starting to make a difference, meanwhile, ZS came on Day Zero – The first day of the final year of our college life. It was one of the hyped companies on the campus. After clearing the online examination, and some 3 to 4 rounds of interview, I got through. During the time, I was yet thinking about the plan/passion which could be the reason for the difference I keep on talking about. Well, I joined ZS after finishing my term and after some glowing and exciting 8 months, I had to leave. One instance changed the life and I started with my passionate startup “Being Chef.”
Swatii – Curious! And, what was that one instance which made you leave ZS and start “Being Chef”?
Shubham – Ahh! That is one heck of a story. To start with, after 3 months of joining ZS, we friends were killing our times usually. Somewhere around 3 in the morning, we all had that instant desire to eat something. No one had an expertise or even a tinge of an idea regarding cooking a dish, yet we managed to open up a YouTube video while following the recipe exactly the same. Now the catch came when the narrator mentioned a spoon of a particular ingredient, and we did the same only the sizes differed and so did the taste buds. Although, the preparations took such a toll that we ate it all while enjoying each bite. I even remember cutting my finger while chopping and dicing the onions. Also, there was this one friend who got some burns while applying “Tadka” to the entire dish. It was fun but it had to have a simpler tool for the toddlers like us. No matter the entire experience was truly worth it.
There I kept on rethinking as to what went wrong and what needs to be altered. There must be millions out there facing the same situation each time but unable to express in some way or the other. I will shoot another example in support of the same; If one has to prepare a pasta fulfilling two people, the one-time ingredient would cost a whopping amount, plus being an Indian preparing it in the upcoming months become an impossibility due to frequent outings and homemade local delicacies, hence, the ingredients suffer an expiry date and Woah you have just lost some bucks which is an add-on in many such experiences. To cater to such a loss, we have tried to provide the ingredients at your doorstep according to the need and demands which is an add-on to the servings.
I wanted to bring a route to the working women and other such people who could use the hack. That was the time, I left the job, took an interest while studying the entire industry, conceptualized the ingredients and patterns, the working, and other such noted variables required. I, further, shared the entire idea and didn’t get the appropriate response. Yet, I wanted to induce structured engineering in the food. This was the time when I wanted to utilize the entire studies I pursued theoretically to be optimized practically. How about minimizing the wastage while making it all a point to have a satisfactory meal right at the doorstep, either making the ingredients, or hot served veg food. Well, the vision is clear, and who can stop if the passion drives you to work each day! <Giggles>
Swatii – I am truly enchanted with whatever you mentioned! Coming on to the name “Being Chef”; how did it strike you? Also, where do you see yourself 10 years down the line?
Shubham – Well, your start-up is just like your first baby. You try to find the apt of all the names from all the possible places in your reach. While I was searching rigorously for the names, two of my dear buddies, Vatsal and Rahul, started to help me in the same. Initially, I wished to get a .com for the website just to make the global reach a possibility. Whatever we picked already had a registration and further we agreed on the idea of Chef at door. Yet, the meaning got a vague instance thinking the Chef will go door to door; which wasn’t the correct motive. Furthermore, after digging more in the ocean, I finally agreed on “Being Chef” and there we got the name finalized. It was launched after a 3 level of beta version inspection and review. From the initial stages, everything pulled us beautifully and there wasn’t a single knack making it impossible.
We have a box which has a process ( recipe card ) where anyone would be able to make food in 8 steps. Basically, the box is a kind of a chef in itself. We are a sustainable company just a bit of ahead of our times in terms of the subscription-based models. The adaptability is pretty adamant yet we are being favored by a lot of people in terms of orders and easy to cook or deliverable food.
Swatii – Impressive again! Coming on the vision, what is that one motive you wish to accomplish through “Being chef.” In the growing competition, nothing has received a sort of individuality or enjoys a monopoly, what makes you different in the industry which is so favored in terms of startups and every day rising joints?
Shubham – Well, frankly, we would like to make the life simpler. In much broader concept, waiting for someone to cook for you, according to your given time, without even a day off is impossible. But the food requirements are on the daily basis, hence we are preparing a model where no one has to face a hunger backlash ever again. I really wish to make it a one-stop solution. There are only 4 to 5 major vegetarian food chains working in India, and the kind of concept, ingredients, daily/occasional meals, or any other food-related requirement; I am waiting “Being chef” to be at the top amidst any such.
Swatii – All our wishes for the vision. May you reach heights. Well, we are much eager to know about your team!
Shubham – Well, I am glad you asked me the question. We have one of the strongest advisory boards with us. Ranging from Start-up background to designing background. Including the industrialists who are helpful in making a proper parable in relation to techniques; a proper nourishing channel giving us the basis of food and nutrition. All the members of the advisory board are pretty intact from past 3.5 years. We have people from finance and operations, as well, and some of the leading names in the economy, too.
Swatii – What do you think about the competition faced? Do you get a bit fizzy at times in regards to the same?
Shubham – Swatii, when we talk in terms of creating, building, evolving any department, competition is always an add-on. See, it is a free economy and we fight daily to make ourselves stand at some point or the other. Monopoly has its own say. Yet, competition is always healthy. When we take an example of commuting through Air, it has got so easy and comfortable after the competition started to hit. Same is with the industry I am chasing, the more the competition, the easy to grab the ingredients. It will certainly hit economies of scale and that will again act as an add-on. See anyone can try to steal a concept but not the innovative idea you tend to create and apply at each point.
Also, we are planning to have physical stores pretty soon. That is in the process, although! And, I cannot express my excitement.
Swatii – Woah! That is thoroughly admiring. Well, spinning the bottle I wish to touch upon your involvement in the moments and organizations like *People for People! * What is the entire idea behind the same?
Shubham – A conversation about People for People is always a heartfelt one. Precisely, it took a birth while I was a part of India Against Corruption. We were engaged in the movement, coordinated it but due to some of the delicacies, it got diluted. We were much enthusiastic to introduce something which will engage people in something similar, hence we launched the same – “People for People.” It is a platform where people come together and try to connect on a larger scale. We have a pretty simple way of working where the volunteers come together and work for the noble causes according to the time scale they have! The other part includes NGO’s, self-help groups, and similar organizations strengthening the entire working.
Apparently, the entire idea constitutes a helpline number which acts as a single point of connecting. Whatever problem anyone has can contact us directly and we shall act upon the same. It is a kind of satisfaction to work on this inclination.
Swatii – Woah! Can you please share an incident or two which you remember regarding the calls you got during the tenure regarding the difficulties you faced? I cannot wait to hear!
Shubham – I have tonnes. Yet, I will limit it! <Giggles> Somewhere while getting the calls we got the inside view of the NGO’s. Not even 20percent were into genuine working rather a mode of converting black to white. There are times when we are inquired for B+ blood group, which is one of the common ones to get. Yet, during adversities, the specific needful is always added in terms of money. At times, we get the calls with respect to child labor. While trying to work at the same, things again get difficult because few of them deny at the last moment as well.
Dealing with such a society is difficult but we wish to make it possible because there are millions out there needing us particularly.
We also wish to establish something as a parallel learning platform for people who will be needing a specific skill development with studies. Eventually, it will help them to earn and learn together, in spite of working in a sector much distinct, suppressing, and unwanted.
We tried to incorporate it into some schools too. Though, government school didn’t act that supportive. There is a lot of resistance and it is far more difficult to unite each one.
Swatii – That has some upper level of hard work you are putting in for the society. Less are the people in this age plus in these times to think with such an inclination. Kudos! Do you wish to extend a word of advice for the upcoming entrepreneurs?
Shubham – Swatii, I have seen a different trend in today’s world. While delivering talks in several colleges, I have just come across a single fact; most of the people are into something just for the sake of being in something. Risk taking isn’t an issue, rather running behind people just because others are achieving is! Get into something because you feel passionate about it, not because you wish to show to the world. Entrepreneurship looks greener outside. Basically, media has also created a bubble which is pretty hard to diffuse, the rosiness is picturized.
People even wish to get into a start-up because of a failure in the job, or a non-satisfactory income; I would like to say, do what your heart asks you to with a blend of knowledge rather than working on something which isn’t even satisfying your inner self. The point is if you have an idea and something to look forward to with a passion, give it straight 4 to 5 years and it will be at your best, given that you perform the correct way.
The point at the end is we all work for the inner peace. You won’t get the zeal for working at a long pace if you keep on working for money and not something which will extend a spark in the longer run. Leave your comfort and start because that will matter at the end.
Swatii: Beautiful! After touching each and every facet I would really like to know the importance of food to you.
Shubham – <Chuckles>Necessity. Keeps you alive and the most important part of your lives. Also, it will give the best experiences during the mood swings.
Swatii – And, who is the inspirational source behind such a man with so much of depth?Shubham – My family! I am glad you brought this. Swatii, I came from that background where my mother did her Ph.D. after 10 years of marriage. My dad is a qualified Chartered Accountant and a power pack source of energy. Dad has a systematic notion towards each and everything and it makes me learn to the core. My maternal Uncle – Rajeev Maheshwari is an IIT graduate and one of the strongest pillars I have come across. He is a tycoon who is now managing 15 companies and earned a name for himself after leaving well-settled job 17 years back. He is someone who has provided employment on a mass scale; without any supports or references. He is surely one of the charmers of my life.
With that, all my friends and family – Whatever best I can take from anyone turns to be my inspiration.
Swatii – I am elated! Moving on to the final step; What one piece of advice you would like to extend? Also, how would you scrutinize the effect of plagiarism?
Shubham – Plagiarism! Well, this is something you cannot stop. It has been practiced for centuries and will be practiced till centuries to come. Before every dawn, there is examining dusk waiting for you to bow down. Keep your head held high and move with pride. Be motivated and stop thinking ruckus. Things will turn for the best. Eventually, that should be the life’s motto.
An advice which I can really extend revolves around, do not sleep with a regret. “I would have been the happiest if I would have ever taken a chance.” “Life would have been different.” These things are merely the starters. Life starts when you hold your purposes and stay clear of the thoughts. Whatever has happened is in the past. Either do something to correct that or move past it. But do not regret in the coming days saying a chance would have had made a difference.
On this note, we ended the blissful chit chat with the Man himself. Less are the entrepreneurs who deal with such an amazing vigor and enthusiasm making an aura much more attractive. We not only present our gratitude to the young and energized blood but also our best wishes for all the future endeavors.
“As they say, you do not have to find people to motivate you, motivation comes right to you when you need it. Such was the conversation with the Founder of “Being Chef. Mr. Shubham Maheshwari!” – SwatiiChandak