On the eve of World women’s Day 2021 we talk with dynamic women Rida Sajad.
Rida Sajad is a women entrepreneur full of talent and hardworking skills and creative ideas.
Rida Sajad has started a small business unit where she sells homemade sugar-free sweets to promote healthy eating habits among people.
She has named her growing sweet business unit – Shireen-E-Yemberzal.
While talking to the Kashmir Media Watch she talks on about her journey to Ramezz Makhdoomi.
Tell us about early days of your life?
I am a housewife and mother of two sons. I am from Bemina, Srinagar currently living with my family in Noida. My husband is a practicing Lawyer in Delhi. I have done BSC in Physiotherapy from Oxford College Bangalore.
Why did you choose sweet making over all other things?
Since my childhood, I have been fond of cooking. I experiment a lot with food. Once I made sugar-free dry fruit sweets which were liked by my family and neighbors and in fact one of the neighbors requested if I could make some of those sweets for her as she thought that they were way better than traditional sweets available in the market, I did make some sweets and she even paid for them, it is at that time the idea of making sugar-free dry-fruit based home sweets struck my mind, I started this business with primary idea of selling healthy sweets, providing something sweet but healthy to people. In October 2020 I sold my first box of sweets and since then the ride has been phenomenal and unexpected.
What makes your brand different?
The main thought behind my venture is healthy sugar-free sweets by using natural products such as dry fruits, nuts, seeds and extracting their flavors as they exist naturally. I do not add any artificial sweeteners, preservatives, taste enhancers, ingredients or colors in the sweets that I make. I see our children eating junk food like chocolates, chips, snacks and wafers. We should instead give them dry fruits and sugar-free chocolates which will make them healthy. As I said I use only natural ingredients to make dry fruit sweets. I use dry fruits, different types of seeds and I also use nuts, ghee and saffron. Besides this, I also use grains such as Ragi, Jowhar, Bajra. The sweets I make are completely homemade, free from sugar, syrup, honey and jiggery. I chop and crush dates, apricots, and figs to extract juice and mix with the dry fruit sweets. Though the design of sweets is not that great, but health wise and taste wise, it is very good.
A bit about your variety of products?
As of now I sell around 6 to 7 varieties of sweets, Dates Burfi, Apricot Barfi, Immunity Bars, Lactation Bars, Anjeer Barfi, immunity bites and Ragi Barfi
How do you maintain price affordability in your business?
To be honest the prices have been kept low, dry fruits are an expensive proposition and considering that I only use dry fruits and the prices that I sell at, the margins are pretty low and I intend to keep prices low and affordable for everyone to buy and cherish the sweets at the same time not compromising on quality.
What are the futuristic ambitions?
Right now selling few boxes here and there, now and then is hardly enough to turn the venture profitable, I am looking at bulk orders, weddings, engagements, parties, get-togethers, gift hampers and other similiar settings to make it flourish and in turn hopefully generate employment opportunities for few persons to help and assist me.
How difficult or easy it is for women in Kashmir to start a new venture?
Can’t specifically comment on it, the thing is that I never intended to become an Entrepreneur, it was an experiment which took wings, as of now I haven’t faced many hurdles other than logistics for procuring the raw materials for the sweets, delivering it to customers and registration with Government Agencies, fortunately my husband is a lawyer, he helped me with registrations and paper work. I think women especially mothers do need family support to start and run a Venture and i must appreciate the support in have got my parents, my in laws and especially my husband who has been the backbone of this whole set up. I would also like to add that my business has been promoted and patronized mostly by women, who have been instrumental in whatever I have achieved in this venture so far.
Does it suffice all health standards?
I make sure that i take care of the basic hygiene and prepare things properly in a clean and well taken care atmosphere.
I am not the right person to answer this, I am not an expert on the subject, am not a Nutritionist or a Dietitian or even professionally qualified to comment on it, yet with all honesty I reiterate that I use only dry fruits, nuts, seeds, grains, ghee and saffron which have been proved to be healthy with inherent benefits and that I don’t use any sugar, artificial sweeteners, syrup, honey, jiggery khoya,gluten, egg or preservatives etc therefore I don’t see these sweets being unhealthy, however I would let my customers use their own discretion.
Eat healthy to stay healthy that is my main Goal.