Completing graduation and getting the perfect desk job might be most of the young students’ dream but not everyone is like that. Nowadays, many youths are aspiring entrepreneurs and denounce security of jobs for their personal venture. Tashfia Anan is one such young woman who started baking out of passion and now made a full time profession out of it, managing her own business besides her studies. Riasat Raihan writes about the cake maker
Nowadays, students from different schools of studies intend to be independent by their own. In the perspective of our country, it is harder to be self-dependent while you are studying than the western countries. But things are changing gradually. Many of us are not just going to hope for the mercy of their parents. Everybody is now earning at their own effort or at least they keep on trying, even after failing over and over again.
Tashfia Anan, an avid reader of literature, is studying English in a renowned private university in Dhaka. She never thought that by the age of 22, she would be a self-made entrepreneur, running her own baking shop in the city. Like everybody, she had started her baking out of passion. She never anticipated that one day it would turn out as a source of her supplemental income. Being a student entrepreneur can be quite testing. Many barriers may come in your way. Motivation and inspiration could be the key to overcome the barriers. While talking to Tashfia, she stated that initially she used to bake cakes for her friends and family. Her inspiration was her mother who also loves to bake; it was her mother who encouraged her to take this thing forward. Then her friends came along and gave her more encouragement for her initiative. Then her journey started as a way to add some additional income which later turned out into a lucrative business model for her.
Tashfia was never ready for a typical desk job. She couldn’t imagine herself doing something like that. That’s why beside studies she invested more time in her baking. At first, she never thought it professionally. As said before, she used to bake only for her friends and family, but when she saw that the response was so overwhelming, that forced her to think more about taking it seriously. Then she started taking orders from home and got tremendous response. The satisfaction she has got by doing this and when she saw that people love her work, at that point she knew this is the thing for her. At one point Tashifa said, ‘if you love what do you do and keep on doing it, no matter how hard it is, you will get at least little success from that. But you’ll be happy and that’s the most important thing’. She added that it was of course a time consuming thing. But after all the efforts when you see people actually love your work it creates a sense of satisfaction. For that reason she never thinks of any job because only baking can give her that satisfaction which no other job could ever offer.
Well, it was never easy for Tashfia when she first started her baking business. She had to face many hindrances. First of all, it was really a time consuming practice for her. It was very tough to manage a business while you are studying. She had to cancel orders sometimes because there was no time to complete the order. At some point, customer would order such a cake which needed ingredients that were not available in our country back then. Then there are of course, day to day challenges. She said that it was a never ending hurdle. Still it is. One has to take long time to be good at it. Then, failure was one of the big obstacles too for her. But she kept on going and finally she went on top of it. We all know the failure rate for entrepreneurs is astonishing, because many would give up after failing for a couple of times. But in that case, Tashfia stood on her feet and she never got off balance. She knew something good would happen only if she kept on doing what she loves. And she was right.
Every entrepreneur wants his or her new business venture will bring some uniqueness unlike everyone else’s. That’s what Tashfia intends to do. She believes that her recipe for baking cakes is different than others because her mother makes the recipe. She tries to keep it fresh as much as possible. For that, she bakes cakes within 24 hours after getting an order and within that time, she deliveries it to the customers. This is difficult even for some good pastry shops according to Tashfia and that’s why she tries to do it in a minimal time.
The story of Tashfia Anan teaches us that the mindset of this generation’s youth is changing if not completely changed. They are not just going to universities and wait until graduation. As of today, students are not just studying. They are doing something for an extra income. If anyone wants to do business of their own, Tashfia thinks that they should go forward. Of course it’s a huge pressure for a student, but those who can take this pressure, they should pursue it. ‘It has been great to know the ins and outs of starting a business in the process’ she said. ‘A few people have discouraged me from pursuing this as it was not related to my major. However, I feel as if I have taught myself so much from doing than I could from sitting in a class’ she added. Tashfia hopes this will help her to achieve her goals in the near future.
Riasat Raihan is a member of the New Age Youth team.
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