It is a bright morning and I am sitting in a naturally lit up, beautifully decorated and well-known café located in the tech centre of Kolkata Sector V area. I am waiting to meet the owner of the ‘Paris Café” Sneha Singhi who arrives with a smile looking at her watch to see if she is late or made it just in time.
Sneha tell me about you? How did the journey started?
I always wanted to do something with my life and my parents supported me in everything that I wanted. After my Class 12 I applied for a Diploma course in Le Cordon Bleu Paris in Patisserie. Once I got admitted I knew for sure that this was the place I wanted to be. I finished my course and worked during my internship period at Pierre Herme in Paris. When I returned to Kolkata I worked for sometime in Hyatt Regency Hotel but then the entrepreneurship bug got to me. I learned a lot during my work tenure and it was then that I decided I want to open my own bakery and café.
She Knew She Wanted to Bake at 7!
Yes, since the age of 7 baking has been my love. It was my love but I never thought it will become my passion and business later in life.
She did her schooling in a Boarding School in Bangalore and then shifted to Birla High school for Class 12. “I was in St. Xaviers College for 5 months doing my graduation but then when my application in Paris got accepted I chose my Diploma course over it.”
Was It Easy To Convince Parents?
“Yes, completely. My parents always had my back and they believed in me.” She says they knew that I have made my choice based on my love and passion for baking. I wanted to follow my dreams. I had to put up a fight initially because leaving Xaviers and main stream studies came as a shock to them. It was my mom who finally backed me the most and convinced everyone.
What was the toughest part about being an Entrepreneur?
We started with our first outlet in Ballygaunge, it is very close to my residence and then we slowly expanded to 4 outlets namely in Alipore, Sector V and American Centre. I have worked hard in order to reach where I am today. Being an entrepreneur is difficult because you are the baker, the cook, the owner, the manger and the accountant all in one in the initial stage. It is not so difficult once you expand and hire people but yes the starting years are crucial as well as troublesome.
Why did you name it Paris Café?
I firstly named it something very posh spelled in French but then I asked my driver to spell it, he could not and it was then that I knew the name won’t work. I named it Paris Café so that is simple and easy to remember for all.
Was it difficult being a young girl and managing a business and running around telling people what to do?
No it was never the case me. I had a smooth journey when it came to being a girl and still managing my business. People in Kolkata, our society accepted me with open arms and welcomed my ideas, my creations and loved my hard work. In fact I think it was easier for me to run my business because I was girl, people around me respected me and my talent.
How much do you earn through all your outlets in a day?
We have sales close to 2 lakh rupees in a day.
Any message for the reader of ‘SheThePeople”?
I am really happy to be able to talk about my journey on your platform. I want girls to know about me so that they know that if they truly believe in themselves and follow their dreams they can easily achieve it. The world is changing and we are now as worthy and powerful as men today in all fields.