By Soham Ghosh:
I was morbidly obese as a teenager. It was only when I clocked 120 kg on the weighing scale that I realised I needed to change my lifestyle or risk getting serious diseases. Thus, my journey towards a different lifestyle began, and I started eating healthier and working out. Around the same time, I went on to study hospitality at Institute Of Hotel Management, Kolkata, and The Oberoi Centre of Learning and Development. But I really missed junk food and wondered why consuming healthy food had to necessarily mean compromising on what I loved eating.
So I gave up my secure job at the Oberoi, and decided to start No Junktion as an online food delivery service and Kolkata’s first ‘concept health food brand’ that makes healthy junk food! Trust me, this isn’t a marketing stunt. A lot of people ask me what ‘healthy junk’ means. With advice from nutritionists, we have developed a category of food that’s made with healthier ingredients. They also help us tailor our menu and tweak the items for people who suffer from diabetes, obesity or heart ailments. We have done this keeping in mind that we can strengthen our vision of a healthier tomorrow, and also give customers food that excites them.
In order to further promote health and wellness, we have also collaborated with a psychological wellness partner, a yoga partner, a zumba partner, a combat sports partner, and others. At a minimum cost, our customers can get an exclusive loyalty card that gives them access to our collaborators. They can also get personalised mentoring and training. When I look back at our journey, it is heartening to see how far we have come. Within a span of two years, we have been able to expand our services and open the No Junktion Bistro, that can seat up to 28 diners.
According to me, a business should concentrate more on earning money through sales, and not on raising money. There is nothing better than building a brand by ensuring your customers’ loyalty. We are self-funded and self sufficient, and are confident of raising capital at the right time.
I also believe in the importance of a good team. Whenever I’ve hired a chef, I’ve never judged them only on the basis of their skill set. I understand it’s my job to train them – and so, what I’ve always expected is the eagerness to learn, a positive attitude and the willingness to adapt to change.
There are many people who want to start up. To them I’d like to say: sure, it’s not easy, but money is the least important thing that you will require. Starting something of your own requires investing each and every part of yourself in the business. Entrepreneurship has been a beautiful and life-changing experience for me. There is nothing more fulfilling than doing something that you love – and more so, if it has a positive impact on someone else’s life. Entrepreneurship sounded very cool to me before I started. Today, I think it is not just cool but also noble.
You may be lonely in the beginning and there will be bad days – but you need to push harder every day. Move out of your comfort zone, stay true to your vision, hustle and make it happen. Build something that matters, and most importantly, be passionate about it!