With a turnover of 1.55 crore a year, Pooja Dhingra's is a 'sweet' success story. Her pastel-hued empire, which recreates the whole Parisian pâtisserie experience, now boasts four outlets, a culinary studio, and an in-the-works café in Mumbai. But what makes the Le Cordon Bleu Paris chef a real success is the fact that she has changed the face of desserts in the country, and made macarons (her signature!) as commonplace as brownies—and replaced large boxes of mithai on landmark occasions with her beautifully presented delicacies.
"Don't be afraid of the unknown. Follow your instinct and you will learn as you go along," says the pastry chef turned entrepreneur, who is, at the moment, penning down her thoughts on running a business (the world). "I want to share my knowledge with people who want to strike out on their own and have no idea how to begin." This, by the way, will be third! Her first, The Big Books of Treats, a compilation of her best recipes, was a huge success. A book on healthy recipes (read: whole grain, dairy-free, gluten-free, the works), using ingredients typical to the Indian kitchen, is also underway!
So how does Ms Dhingra constantly innovate her brand and keeps with the happenings of the culinary world? "I travel a lot and I go back to school at least once a year when I'm abroad, and that always gives me fresh perspective on what I'm doing. In fact, I just completed a week-long course in Japan." The cherry blossom macarons at Le15 bear witness.