Entrepreneurship Orientation Programme on Catering Business

event-photos The Entrepreneurship Development Cell (EDC) of the college invited Ms. Reshma Bhatia, who has been running a successful catering business in the Vasant Kunj area of South Delhi to share her success story and provide an orientation to the students on the opportunities and challenges of 'Setting up a Successful Catering Business’.

This orientation programme was held on November 5, 2014 from 12:40 to 1:30 PM at the Computer Centre of the college. There were over 80 participants including students who had earlier participated in the Entrepreneurship Potential Assessment Quiz as well as women from the neighbouring Kair village interested in exploring the opportunities for becoming entrepreneurs.

In her presentation and interactions, Ms Bhatia was very candid in explaining both the steps required to be taken and the important principles to be adopted. "The catering business is one of the most lucrative and profitable home based businesses with a high potential for expansion and growth”, she said. “It is both financially rewarding and fun since each catered event- whether birthday parties for children, lunch for the offices and schools, company dinner parties, wedding etc.  –  is a new experience of interacting with a different groups of people, striving to meet their expectations and learning from their feedback”, she added.

According to Ms Bhatia, catering business can be started on a very small scale and gradually expanded. To start with, one must have a weighing machine, mixer, cycle and a delivery boy along with the basic ingredients and utensils required for cooking. Initial marketing may be done by distributing leaflets to the households in the neighbourhood. It will be also a good idea to visit offices like those of banks to get lunch orders in bulk.

She emphasised the importance of  maintaining consistency in quality as well as in the taste and appearance of the food items. Based on her personal experiences, she pointed out that many others had tried to copy her business model but failed as they were not able to maintain the consistency in quality. The quality and taste of dishes served by them varied with the different cooks employed by them from time to time. She had on the contrary created a standard menu for every preparation, which ensured that her food tasted the same every time.

She also explained the need for meticulously adhering to time schedules. Proper time management must be done so as to ensure that the catering services were right on time without even a minute of delay. Another aspect, which she discussed was the need to offer the right choice and combination of menus to suit the occasion and cater to the taste of the clients belonging to different age groups.

Participants showed great interest in the presentation and asked various questions. One of the students asked if she can start up the catering business on part time basis. Ms. Reshma responded that there were excellent opportunities for doing it in  part time or a full- time. However, one must be consistent and strictly adhere to timings. She also pointed out that catering is a demanding work, requiring stamina, ability to work under pressure, and excellent interpersonal skills. Success will greatly depend on the reputation. To build a good reputation in the business, one should be willing to work hard and possess the ability to work under pressure. This kind of entrepreneurial business is definitely growing and becoming more popular with people of all income levels.

The interactive presentation was followed by a video clip showing a lady making chapattis with a great speed.

In the end, Ms Bhatia also offered to provide opportunities for the students to work as interns and gain practical knowledge and experience of doing the catering business. A number of students showed interest and registered their names for availing of the internship training.

The programme was organised by Dr. Rachna Mohan, Coordinator, EDC, with the active support of EDC members Ms. Seema Gupta and Mr. Himanshu Arora