Saroj Sweets, Mumbai draws up a plan to add bakery products


65-year-old Mumbai-based reputed brand Saroj Sweets chooses to explore the bakery biz, Rahul Laud reports

Third-generation entrepreneur Tejaswini (Renuka) is the grand-daughter of Damodar Krishnaji Marathe one of the most respected businessmen, educationists and philanthropists who were the first to open a sweets shop in the Eastern suburbs of Mumbai at Chembur. She is also the daughter of Sheshnath and Manisha Marathe who has chosen to add to the Saroj Sweets kitty of dairy, sweets and savoury products diversified bakery and confectionery products.  Saroj Sweets is a brand named after Renuka’s grandmother and has been a household name in the Mumbai Chembur area for the past 65 years. Renuka adds, ”Saroj is a very precious name. There’s divinity, grace and abundance in the name.”

Honouring the tradition, values and ethics in business as laid down by Damodar Marathe, the brand despite several peer pressures and public demand does not have any franchisee and the residents of that area and nearby locations choose to stand in long queues for hours to get their favourite sweets, milk products and namkeens. Her parents struggle hard to retain brand quality, face distribution and delivery challenges, and cope with the huge growing demand. Seshnath is known in the sweets trade as ‘mithai ka doctor’ as the Marathes keep their entire establishment completely clean, raising the bar of hygiene standards in the sweets trade in addition to procuring the best quality ingredients and raw materials. A visit to the manufacturing, production and sale all-in-one building reveals clearly and demonstrates the fact that Saroj Sweets is like a sweets-making laboratory. 

Renuka is the sole heir today and she has found interest in baking products. Following her degree in management studies, Renuka is armed under her belt with a specialised course in baking from the Rahejas. Her full-fledged course in baking,  pastry making, confectionery and entrepreneurship at the European School of Pastry became a game changer for her. Culinary experts, renowned chefs and industry veterans Anil Rohira and Vikas Bagul became her mentors and teachers at the School and Renuka was chosen by the Chefs to bake and cater at the high-profile Ambani weddings.  

Renuka values her parents and grandfather’s contributions, and she is exploring all possibilities to strike a correct balance with her existing sweets business. Awaiting all legal paperwork, licences and market study she will jump fully into the business at an appropriate time.

Like her grandparents and parents who do food and sweets ‘’Sewa’’ for the underprivileged tribals, Renuka is steadfastly committed to teaching baking and entrepreneurship to the wives of Indian soldiers. As a volunteer, she travels to Jodhpur with the patriotic  NGO Aseem group led by Sarang  Gosavi to teach these soldiers’ wives.  

Like her parents, she is committed to her cause and business – both. This young 27-year-old entrepreneur is focused, planned and cherishes the values of ethics in business and is not in any rush or hurry. Like her brand Saroj Sweets she is here to stay.

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