Bakery is one of the largest markets of the food processing sector in India. The Indian bakery industry offers a plethora of opportunities for growth, innovation, and career prospects. Due to this very reason, over the years, there has been a noteworthy surge in entrepreneurial endeavors in the sector. While home baking was an easy resort to chase one’s dreams, digital disruption coupled with the pandemic-induced social distancing norms have further boosted the sector. Consequently, home bakers especially females have been able to transform their hobby into their profession as well as monetize their ventures. As per Mastercard’s reports, India currently ranks 52nd in the index of women entrepreneurs. It can be aptly said that the bakery segment is the most popular and go-to business idea for females as it gives them creative freedom as well as the convenience of working right from their homes at flexible timings.
A Paradigm Shift: Women Covering The Journey From Homemakers To Professional Home Bakers
Chef Alisha says, “Passé are the days when the bakery was just associated as a hobby. The sector is now emerging to be empowering for women and is giving them opportunities to carve a career path out of it. There has been a paradigm shift from women being addressed as homemakers to home bakers and women entrepreneurs, all thanks to the bakery market. The concept of home baking has given birth to women entrepreneurs not only in the urban areas but in the rural as well as remote areas as well.”
The women community has been participating in the bakery entrepreneurial race with equal zeal and fervor. The female entrepreneurs are dropping their inhibitions to pursue their passion for baking. Breaking the typical societal norms that males are the bread earners and females belong to the kitchen, women entrepreneurs are in fact building a career right from their kitchen’s bakery section! From cupcakes to assorted popsicles, cheesecake to customized fusion delicacies and bakery items, the sheroes are leaving no stone unturned to satiate the country's sugar cravings with their hand-crafted masterpieces.
The Rise Of Female Bakery Entrepreneurs In India
Females have explored their passion and are turning it into a profitable business. They have been stepping up the ladder of success and are securing opportunities in what was once a male-dominated segment. Be it a variety of bread, cookies, trendy cakes, customizable cupcakes, the women are whipping, whisking, and baking efficiently.
This rise in the female bakers in India is just a testimony of the fact that women can be both ambitious and homely, that they can successfully handle both career and home. Harnessing the potential of technology and social media and putting their interest and skill to best use, they have making the most out of the opportunity to give a professional touch to their skills of baking. With more females entering the space, the sector is becoming diverse and inclusive and is also moving towards gender equality.
Female bakers put in their love, care, heart, and soul along with the so-called ‘motherly instinct’ that is inherently present in every women. Delivering within the timelines, offering diverse variety along with the scope for customization and personalization at unimaginable levels has led to a significant surge in the demand for female home bakers.
All one needs to kick start their venture is basic skill level, a good hand at baking, passion to invest time, efforts, and finances into the field, along with effective networking and word of mouth publicity. The females are pros at all these tasks and hence have been able to successfully initiate their baking entrepreneurial roller coaster ride. The shift in consumer’s behaviors and preferences for home bakery businesses due to their attributes of hygiene, customization, and trust has further pushed females to move ahead in the field of the bakery.
The Government’s Support To Women Entrepreneurs
Even the government has been offering the much-needed financial assistance to the community of women entrepreneurs who can leverage it for setting up their small businesses in the bakery segment. This includes TREAD, Mahila Udyam Nidhi Scheme, Annapurna Scheme, Cent Kalyani Scheme and Bhartiya Mahila Business Bank Loan. Furthermore, it was just recently that the Indian Army collaborated with an NGO and established a bakery in a remote area of Jammu and Kashmir as a part of the non-profit organization’s women empowerment programme.
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The Future Roadmap
Presently, out of the 58.5 million entrepreneurs in India, nearly 14% are women as per a former Sixth Economic Census 2014 report by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation. This implies that out of 58.5 million businesses, 8.05 million are owned by females. However, as per the Edelgive foundation report, businesses owned by women entrepreneurs are projected to surge by a whopping 90% by 2026. Bakery being one of the largest segments of the Indian food processing sector; it can be rightly said that women entrepreneurs in the sector will continue to rise and shine in the times ahead as well.
Breaking the stereotypes, females are taking the leap and are acquiring a prominent position in the bakery sector. Women are now empowered and self-sufficient with their skills and the Indian bakery segment is a prominent example in itself. Various agencies such as The National Skill Development Corporation and leading bakery educational institutions are providing quality training for students especially women in baking and are helping them in stabilizing themselves financially while going ahead with their passion.
The high-end pastry schools and academies are also emerging to be a viable educational option for home bakers that polish their baking skills and help them build a profession out of their passion. With the present progressive scenario of the women community in the bakery industry, the future for female home bakers indeed seems to be promising!
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