Don't Wait For The Light At The End Of The Tunnel, Just Light It Up!

By Ms. Mrinal Sharma and Ms. Sadhavi Ashwani- Baba's Beans


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Beautiful Minds - 'Wings of Inspiration'
 
Mrinal is a professionally trained Bharatnatyam dancer, trained under Padmabhushan Guru Saroja Vaidyanathan, she admires her craft and enjoys working with children and training them in this graceful Indian art form. She has a budding passion for photography and loves to captures her interpretations through the lens. She also volunteers at a Delhi based NGO; Society for Education and Economic Development and helps women by facilitating micro finance loans and in training them for better community management with the resources they acquire via these loans.  
 
Sadhavi on the other hand, is a music aficionado and is currently cultivating her desire to be able to create music, exploring the rhythms of percussion on the African Djembe. She is an ardent reader and is passionate about writing. In the quest to keep cultivating her mind she nurtures her keen interest in social and political theories by teaching young individuals as (Visiting Faculty) an Assistant Professor in the Department of Applied Arts at FMG institute Noida.  
 
These two distinctive individuals intersect at the junction of mutual love for coffee.  “Baba's Beans is the glorious offspring of our burning passion for coffee, where coffee could- easily be juxtaposed with 'addiction'. By the virtue of belonging to an agrarian economy, Our vision culminates in the trade of one of the finest crops grown in India”. 
 
 
Give us an insight into your business  as to what came into that you started up with Baba's Beans ? 
 
Having grown up drinking instant coffee invariably makes coffee a very dear ingredient of our lives. On our first ever visit to Coorg, we navigated ourselves to a coffee estate in Madikeri. We introduced ourselves to the estate owner and in response to our enthusiasm to be amidst coffee plant, silver oak trees and pepper vines he warmly hosted us over a cup of mouthwatering hot cup of coffee; brewed with coffee grown on that very estate, for an insightful conversation about this magical crop and its spell on the world. This was our first and the best ever introduction to an authentic bean to cup experience. These experiences sparked magnetic attraction to the crop and lead us to decide we wanted to explore the trade.    
 
After visiting a number of plantations, both in Coorg and Chikmagalur, we mustered a substantial amount of knowledge about the crop. We learnt our basics by visiting plantations and believing sincerely that no question is stupid, although that is certainly not what a lot of planters thought. We stumbled upon professional courses that facilitated a proper rendezvous with the crop and refined our raw bulk of information and understanding. The most romantic experience we had with coffee was our first interaction with a lab roaster. To witness the live transformation of the green bean into beautiful shades of brown while understanding and controlling the flavors and tones, to be equipped with the ability to maneuver this transformation in this living being was an experience that we still hold closely to our hearts. For, it was then that we had fallen head over heels for this mischief of a crop.
 
What are the obstacles that you have faced in your journey ? 
 
It would have been inevitable for us to have reached this junction in the journey without fighting a barrage of obstacles that presented themselves to us in different ways at different times, but none that left us without a valuable lesson and an onward surge. Whether it was a bad investment, a bad experience or a bad quarter every ounce of difficulty elicited a powerful survival instinct out of our passion driven souls, compelling us to hunt a way out. It is honestly the conquest of these constant hurdles in the long run that makes the entire journey so much more fruitful, and with enough fire in your belly you can pull through no matter what.  
 
The two of us understand the intersection of our individual world views as the genesis of this venture. Baba's Beans is the offspring of our humble endeavor to make an impact, leave a footprint in the bigger scheme of things. The trade of one of the finest crops grown in the country is the manifestation of our vision to impact lifestyles with our interpretations of Indian Coffees. It is an extension of our love for the theatre of economies and our urge to sow a fruit baring seed in the soil of the society.
 
Do you feel women should be financially independent? Do you manage your finances on your own ? 
 
‘Wealth’ says Ayn Rand, ‘is the product of a man’s capacity to think’, which we liberally interpret as a lucid take on how being financially literate can empower or capacitate one to further his or her own individual human goals. Financial independence is not something to debate about, it is a survival skill that every rational human being, institutionalized into any given society and any given context must inculcate. 
 
Money intriguingly is a valuable instrument that can teach you a lot. Being financially independent must not be a gender specific concept. Women can no longer be relegated to the periphery of the patriarchal systems that we have grown up in. Being financially independent can empower women in nurturing self-worth, build valuable decision making skills and cultivate a sense of self dependence and self-sustenance. Which are only stepping stones for to them to be able to explore their creative freedom to carve out more opportunities and further their own human potential and aspire for a better control over the uncertainties in the future. 
 
We most certainly manage our finances on our own. The entire process of running a venture for profit becomes futile if you don’t manage your own finances. It is important to understand the worth of every penny spent and every penny saved.          
 
What advice do you have for young women entrepreneurs so that they can be successful in their business ?   
 
Don’t wait for the light at the end of the tunnel, Just light it up! 
 
From the small stack of experiences that we have had, we would suggest take the plunge if you feel for something direly in your heart. Persistently work towards your goal and always keep the bigger picture in mind. Whether or not you have the entire list of skills required to pursue something but if there be a burning desire to pursue it, then be prepared to learn and learn you will. 
 
In order to keep growing as an individual and as a venture you must be in love with the process of what you seek to achieve, for that is when success becomes merely a measure of your growth relative to the past and acts as a guiding force for the future.
 
SUCCESS MANTRA : 
 
We havn’t summited our climb yet, however in whatever we have learnt in the journey is : 
 
1)  Be solution oriented, always try and be a part of a plausible solution.  
2) Learn to measure and assess your own  impact and be resourceful as individuals and as ventures. 


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