A Sweet Revolution: India Sweet House’s Journey to Redefine the Dessert Experience

A Sweet Revolution: India Sweet House’s Journey to Redefine the Dessert Experience

Admin

Published on May 3, 2024

In our conversation with Shwetha Rajashekar of India Sweet House, discover how a deep passion for authentic Indian sweets drives their ambitious plans for growth and environmental stewardship.

Shwetha Rajashekar, Co-Founder and Director of Communication, Branding, and Design at India Sweet House, has carved a niche for herself in the entrepreneurial world after more than a decade in the corporate sector, including tenures at Goldman Sachs and Tesco. Her entrepreneurial journey began with her role as a founding team member of Unventured, an experiential travel company specialising in bike, hike, and dive tours across India and Southeast Asia.

In addition to her work at Unventured, Shwetha co-founded Transact Dairy with Vishwanath, overseeing operations and customer interactions. She also leads sales and marketing at Transact Building Corp, managing their various residential and commercial projects. Another innovative venture she co-founded is Transact Holidays, offering guests a unique experiential stay at Karma organic dairy farm. Here, visitors can engage directly with the dairy farming process—from feeding and milking cows to observing the delivery of fresh milk to the kitchen of India Sweet House through automated systems.

At India Sweet House, Shwetha aims to establish a globally recognized brand known for its nostalgic taste and superior quality, driven by her all-woman team. Her ventures reflect a commitment to providing unique, quality experiences across various industries.

What inspired you to start India Sweet House, and how does it differentiate itself from other confectionery brands?

The inspiration for India Sweet House stemmed from a profound desire to revive and celebrate India's rich culinary heritage. Recognizing a gap in the market for genuinely authentic Indian sweets and savouries made from the purest ingredients, I was driven by memories of the traditional delicacies prepared by my family during my childhood. My aim was to share that same joy and authenticity with a broader audience, using only the finest organic ingredients.

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India Sweet House distinguishes itself in several ways. Our steadfast commitment to organic ingredients is fundamental. It all begins at Karma Farms, our dedicated organic sanctuary, where we source the freshest milk, ghee, and khova. Our passion extends beyond just offering popular favourites; we explore and revive forgotten recipes, uncovering culinary treasures from various regions of India. This commitment to authenticity is complemented by our farm-fresh sourcing, efficient production methods, and the warm hospitality present in each of our stores. Our extensive menu features over 200 traditionally prepared delicacies that capture the diverse flavours of India. From delightful desi snacks to melt-in-your-mouth halwas, each item is crafted with meticulous care. Moreover, the allure of these traditional flavours reaches beyond Indian borders—we proudly share our sweets and savouries with enthusiasts in the USA and Australia, allowing a global audience to experience the enchantment of Indian culinary art.

Could you elaborate on the significance of using organically farmed ingredients and how Karma Farms plays a role in ensuring the quality of your products?

Organic ingredients are the cornerstone of everything we do at India Sweet House. We believe they not only enhance the exceptional taste and quality of our products but also foster a healthier, more sustainable future. Organic farming eschews synthetic pesticides and fertilisers, allowing the natural flavours of our sweets and savouries to truly stand out with a purer taste. Research indicates that organic produce may contain higher levels of certain nutrients and antioxidants compared to conventionally farmed alternatives. By choosing organic ingredients, we aim to provide a healthier indulgence for our customers. Moreover, organic farming practices support soil health, biodiversity, and water conservation. By sourcing from Karma Farms, our dedicated organic haven near Bangalore, we contribute to a more sustainable food system.

Karma Farms is integral to the ethos of India Sweet House, deeply embedded in the quality of our products. Our healthy cows roam freely, and a state-of-the-art milking parlour ensures we collect only the freshest, purest milk, which is a fundamental ingredient in many of our delicacies. The farm adheres to rigorous organic standards, eliminating harmful chemicals from our ingredients. The organic milk, ghee, and khova harvested daily are quickly transported to our kitchens, ensuring the freshness and quality that define our offerings. By emphasising the taste, health benefits, and environmental responsibility of using organic ingredients, and detailing the pivotal role Karma Farms plays, we highlight our commitment to quality and sustainability.

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Women's empowerment seems to be a core value at India Sweet House. How do you ensure that your female employees feel supported and empowered within the organisation?

At India Sweet House, fostering a supportive and empowering environment for our female workforce, which numbers over 100 strong, is not just a value—it's a fundamental pillar of our organisation. We are committed to empowering women by nurturing their talents and fostering their growth. We believe that investing in our female employees not only enriches their lives but also strengthens the fabric of our company.

This collaborative effort is central to our mission as we work together to revive the legacy of Indian sweets and savouries. Each handcrafted delight we produce is a testament to the skill and dedication of our team. Through empowering our female workforce, we are not just creating exceptional products; we are building a more robust and successful future for India Sweet House.

With over 200 traditional delicacies on your menu, how do you strike a balance between preserving tradition and embracing innovation?

At India Sweet House, with over 200 delicacies on our menu, striking a balance between honouring tradition and embracing innovation is essential. Traditional recipes form the foundation of our offerings. We adhere meticulously to time-tested methods and techniques that have been perfected over generations, ensuring the authenticity and depth of flavour in our sweets and savouries. We are also committed to reviving forgotten regional recipes, bringing these culinary treasures back to life for a modern audience, which allows us to expand our menu while staying true to India’s rich culinary heritage.

Understanding that palates evolve, we occasionally adjust sugar levels or portion sizes in certain recipes to cater to contemporary tastes, ensuring a delightful experience for all. While our recipes remain deeply rooted in tradition, we embrace innovation in our presentation. We provide beautifully designed and convenient packaging options, making our treats perfect for gifting or indulging at home. By honouring tradition while embracing innovation, India Sweet House offers a taste of India that spans from familiar classics to rediscovered gems, weaving a vibrant culinary tapestry that’s presented with a touch of modernity to satisfy today’s discerning palate.

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Could you share some insights into the process of rediscovering and reviving forgotten recipes, and how you decide which ones to feature in your offerings?

The world of forgotten recipes is a realm brimming with hidden flavours and stories awaiting discovery. For me, reviving these culinary gems is a source of continual excitement. The revival process begins with extensive research. I explore historical cookbooks, delve into regional archives, and consult with culinary experts and home cooks throughout India. This rigorous approach helps me uncover a plethora of forgotten recipes, each with its own unique history and cultural significance.

Engaging with local communities, especially the older generations, is vital. These interactions spark memories and yield invaluable insights into traditional cooking methods and ingredients that have been used for generations. Grandmothers and family cooks are often guardians of cherished recipes passed down through the ages, offering a precious glimpse into the past.

With a treasure trove of rediscovered recipes at hand, the selection process is critical. The criteria are straightforward: taste and authenticity are paramount. The revived recipe must be delicious and true to the essence of the original dish. We prioritise dishes that highlight unique flavours and traditional techniques, ensuring that each bite offers a taste of history.

Regional representation is equally important. I aim to reflect the diverse culinary landscape of India by featuring forgotten recipes from various regions. This approach ensures that our menu provides a comprehensive journey through the vast and vibrant world of Indian cuisine.

Practical considerations, such as the availability of ingredients and the feasibility of large-scale production, also influence the selection of recipes for broader distribution. The journey of rediscovering forgotten recipes is driven by a deep passion and curiosity. By incorporating these culinary treasures into our menu, I not only honour India's rich culinary heritage but also provide a unique and enjoyable experience for our customers. It's an opportunity to savour a taste of the past, presented with a modern twist to suit today’s discerning palate.

India Sweet House has expanded beyond India to international markets like the USA and Australia. What challenges did you face in this expansion, and how did you overcome them?

Currently, India Sweet House serves customers exclusively in the USA and Australia through online orders, as we do not have a physical storefront at this time. This approach allows us to focus on crafting and delivering our exceptional sweets and savouries directly to our international clientele.

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In what ways do you engage with your customers to understand their preferences and continually improve your offerings?

To deeply understand our customers' needs and preferences, we have implemented a comprehensive engagement strategy at India Sweet House. Each week, our directors personally visit our stores to engage in face-to-face conversations with customers, gaining direct insights into their experiences and expectations. Additionally, each store is staffed with a dedicated floor walker who interacts with customers throughout the day, collecting valuable real-time feedback. We also offer a detailed customer feedback form, encouraging customers to share their thoughts and suggestions. All this feedback is meticulously analysed by our management team to identify trends and opportunities for continuous improvement in our offerings. This multi-layered approach ensures that we remain closely connected to our customers and responsive to their evolving needs.

With the growing global trend towards sustainability and conscious consumption, how does India Sweet House incorporate environmental practices into its operations beyond organic farming, and how do you educate your customers about these efforts?

At India Sweet House, we're dedicated to satisfying your sweet tooth while minimising our environmental footprint. Our journey begins with organic farming practices at Karma Farms, our dedicated haven near Bangalore, where healthy cows roam freely, and sustainable methods produce the purest ingredients for our delightful treats.

Our commitment extends beyond organic farming! We are determined to make a positive impact across all aspects of our operations. That's why we're excited to launch our new ongoing initiative: Bring Your Own Bowl and Get 10% Off!

Starting April 22nd and continuing year-round, this initiative allows you to contribute to a greener future with each delicious purchase. Just bring your own reusable container to India Sweet House, and enjoy a discount on your favourite sweets. This small, collective step can lead to significant environmental benefits.

A sustainable environment is crucial for the well-being of our planet and future generations. By embracing organic ingredients and promoting the use of reusable containers, we can all contribute to a more sustainable world. Join us in this delicious journey of indulgence and environmental stewardship!

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What are your future plans for India Sweet House, both in terms of expansion and initiatives to further promote sustainability and community development?

At India Sweet House, our passion is twofold: to spread the joy of authentic Indian sweets and to make a meaningful impact on the world. As we reflect on our journey, including the establishment of 25 stores and achieving a record revenue of ₹50 crore in FY 23-24, we are setting even more ambitious goals for the future. For FY 24-25, our target is to double our revenue to ₹100 crore and expand our footprint across Karnataka, bringing the taste of tradition closer to more people.

Sustainability remains a core component of our vision. We are excited to launch our "Bring Your Own Bowl and Get 10% Off" initiative starting April 22nd, 2024, which will run throughout the year. This program encourages customers to participate in our environmental efforts with every delicious purchase they make. Furthermore, we are thrilled to announce another upcoming sustainability initiative. This new program will incentivize customers to reuse their existing India Sweet House boxes, thereby further reducing our environmental footprint.

Our commitment extends beyond business growth to giving back to the communities that support us. We are actively developing initiatives that empower local communities and promote sustainable agricultural practices. With ambitious expansion plans, a robust sustainability strategy, and a dedication to community engagement, India Sweet House is poised for a bright and impactful future. We are eager to continue this journey with you, creating a world where indulgence in sweets and positive change go hand in hand.

This interview is published exclusively on HospitalitlyNews.in. Image credits: India Sweet House


Digital Detox: Helping Guests Unplug and Relax this Summer Season

Digital Detox: Helping Guests Unplug and Relax this Summer Season

Shreenidhi Jagannathan

Published on May 20, 2024

This summer, Nisha Sharma, Operations Director – India at Eight Continents Hotels & Resorts, delves into the growing trend of digital detox vacations. In her insightful article, "Digital Detox: Helping Guests Unplug and Relax this Summer Season," Sharma explores how hotels and resorts are offering innovative packages to help guests disconnect from their devices and reconnect with what truly matters. Read on to learn how stepping away from your screens can lead to a more balanced, rejuvenated, and fulfilling summer experience.

Read the full article below.

In our hyper-connected world, the allure of a digital detox is becoming increasingly compelling. As summer approaches, many hotels and resorts are seizing the opportunity to offer guests a chance to unplug, unwind, and reconnect with nature, family, and themselves. These digital detox packages are designed not only to provide a break from the constant barrage of emails, notifications, and social media but also to foster a deeper connection with the environment and personal well-being.

The Concept of Digital Detox

A digital detox involves refraining from using electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, and computers. The goal is to reduce stress, improve mental health, and enhance the quality of life by disconnecting from the digital world and reconnecting with the physical one. For many, the incessant need to stay connected has led to burnout, anxiety, and a sense of constant distraction. Hotels and resorts that offer digital detox packages aim to combat these issues by providing an environment that encourages relaxation and mindfulness.

The Rise of Digital Detox Packages

The trend of digital detox vacations has been on the rise as people seek refuge from their demanding digital lives. Leading the charge are luxury hotels and resorts that offer bespoke packages tailored to help guests disconnect. These packages often include a mix of activities designed to engage guests physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Activities Promoting Mindfulness and Well-being

Central to these detox packages are activities that encourage mindfulness and present-moment awareness. These activities often emphasize the importance of being present and appreciating the natural world. Popular options include:-

  • ·         Nature Walks and Hikes: Guided tours through scenic trails allow guests to immerse themselves in nature, promoting physical activity and a sense of tranquility.
  • ·         Yoga and Meditation: These practices help guests center themselves, reduce stress, and improve mental clarity.
  • ·         Art and Craft Workshops: Engaging in creative activities like painting, pottery, or knitting can be therapeutic and foster a sense of accomplishment.
  • ·         Culinary Experiences: Cooking classes and farm-to-table dining experiences not only educate but also connect guests with the local culture and cuisine.
  • ·         Wellness Treatments: Spa treatments, including massages and aromatherapy, offer deep relaxation and rejuvenation.

The Benefits of Digital Detox

The benefits of a digital detox are manifold. Physically, guests often report better sleep and less eye strain. Mentally, they experience reduced stress levels, improved mood, and a greater sense of well-being. The absence of constant notifications allows for uninterrupted thoughts and deeper, more meaningful conversations.

Socially, guests find that they connect more genuinely with those around them. Without the distraction of devices, there is more room for eye contact, active listening, and heartfelt interactions. Additionally, being in a serene, natural setting often leads to a greater appreciation for the environment and a desire to protect it.

Encouraging Digital Detox: Tips for Hotels and Resorts

For hotels and resorts looking to implement digital detox packages, here are some tips:-

  • ·         Create a Device-Free Environment: Encourage guests to hand over their devices at check-in and provide a secure place for storage.
  • ·         Offer Engaging Alternatives: Design a variety of activities that cater to different interests and promote relaxation and engagement.
  • ·         Educate Guests: Provide information on the benefits of a digital detox and how it can improve their stay.
  • ·         Train Staff: Ensure that staff are supportive and knowledgeable about the digital detox concept, helping to foster a device-free culture.
  • ·         Promote the Package: Use marketing channels to highlight the unique benefits of a digital detox vacation, attracting guests who are seeking respite from their digital lives.

Conclusion

As the demand for mindful travel experiences grows, digital detox packages offer a refreshing way for guests to disconnect from their screens and reconnect with what truly matters. By promoting such initiatives, hotels and resorts not only enhance the well-being of their guests but also contribute to a more balanced, mindful, and connected world. This summer, embracing a digital detox could be the perfect antidote to the stresses of modern life, offering families and individuals a chance to recharge and create lasting memories.


Discover Tranquility at The Brigadiers Cottage: Your Ideal Summer Retreat

Discover Tranquility at The Brigadiers Cottage: Your Ideal Summer Retreat

Nishang Narayan

Published on May 4, 2024

This summer, as the bustle of city life grows ever more demanding, find your sanctuary in the tranquil hills of Mussoorie at The Brigadiers Cottage. Known as the Queen of the Hills, Mussoorie offers a refreshing retreat with its cool breezes and misty mornings, setting the stage for a perfect getaway at one of India’s most unique homestays.

The Brigadiers Cottage is not just a place to stay; it’s a journey into a slower, more thoughtful way of life. Owned by Neetu and Aseem Varma, former corporate professionals who traded city life for the mountains, this cottage offers guests a rare blend of luxury and natural beauty. Their commitment to sustainable living is evident in every aspect of the cottage, from its organic farms to the free-roaming poultry and the melodious sounds of a nearby brook.

Guests at The Brigadiers Cottage can experience the joys of farm life with a modern twist. Imagine starting your day collecting fresh eggs for breakfast or taking part in milking the cows. The farm’s produce, including fresh milk, ghee, and honey, is not only organic but also embodies the essence of Himalayan purity.

For those looking to explore beyond the cottage, the Varmas suggest delightful local excursions. Whether it’s enjoying a picnic by the Yamuna River, with tables set up in the shallow waters, or exploring the vibrant Sainji village, known as the corn village of India, there is something for everyone.

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The cottage itself, nestled in lush greenery and designed with an eye for elegance, has hosted a variety of distinguished guests, from diplomats to Bollywood stars, each seeking a slice of peace away from the public eye. Its exclusivity and personal touch make it a preferred retreat for those in the know.

If you're seeking a summer escape where you can unwind, explore, and reconnect with your loved ones, The Brigadiers Cottage in Mussoorie offers an unmatched experience. Plan a stay of at least three days to fully embrace the serene surroundings and the vibrant life of Mussoorie.

Call to Action: Ready to experience the serene beauty and organic luxury of The Brigadiers Cottage? Visit our May issue of the e-magazine for a closer look at this enchanting destination and start planning your perfect summer escape. For more details and bookings, follow us on Instagram @brigadierscottagemussoorie or visit www.brigadierscottage.in.

This article aims to entice readers with the charm and unique offerings of The Brigadiers Cottage, encouraging them to explore further in your e-magazine.


Sweetening the World: Shwetha Rajashekar’s Vision at India Sweet House

Sweetening the World: Shwetha Rajashekar’s Vision at India Sweet House

Nishang Narayan

Published on May 4, 2024

Meet Shwetha Rajashekar, a dynamic entrepreneur who has transitioned from a successful corporate career to revolutionising the desert landscape with India Sweet House. With over a decade of experience at prestigious companies like Goldman Sachs and Tesco, Shwetha brings a wealth of knowledge to her latest venture, aiming to make India Sweet House a globally recognized brand for authentic and sustainable Indian sweets.

In an exclusive interview in our May e-magazine, Shwetha shares her inspiration for starting India Sweet House. The idea was born from her desire to celebrate and preserve India's rich culinary heritage by bringing traditional sweets made with organic ingredients to a broader audience. India Sweet House stands out for its commitment to quality and sustainability, sourcing ingredients from its own organic farm, Karma Farms, ensuring that every bite not only tastes good but also contributes to a healthier planet.

Shwetha discusses the significant role of Karma Farms in maintaining the purity and freshness of their products, from dairy to ghee. This dedication to organic farming highlights a broader commitment to environmental stewardship, which is woven throughout their operations.

Empowerment is also at the core of India Sweet House’s ethos. Shwetha proudly leads an all-woman team, ensuring that the company not only produces delicious sweets but also champions gender equality in the workplace. This empowerment extends to nurturing their talents and fostering an environment where women can thrive and advance.

The article also touches on how India Sweet House balances tradition with innovation. While they cherish traditional recipes, they are not shy about introducing modern twists to suit contemporary tastes, ensuring their delights meet the palates of today’s diverse clientele.

Curious about the blend of tradition and innovation that Shwetha Rajashekar brings to the table with India Sweet House? Learn more about her unique approach to preserving culinary heritage while advancing sustainability in our exclusive May feature. Discover the full story and get inspired by her vision in this month's issue of Hospitality News e-magazine. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram at @indiahospitalitynews to stay updated with the latest trends and inspiring stories from the world of hospitality.