Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Harshit Gupta, Co-Founder of Madhu Chocolate, located in Austin, TX, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We're a small-batch handcrafted chocolate maker based out in Austin, TX. We pride ourselves on crafting premium Indian-inspired chocolates, infused with in-house dried fruits, roasted nuts, fragrant spices, and more. Our customers are adventurous individuals who crave new and distinctive culinary experiences and have a passion for exploring the diverse range of flavors we offer.
Tell us about yourself
As an Indian immigrant, I arrived in the United States in 2008 to pursue a Master's degree in Computer Engineering. It was in Seattle where I met Elliott, and in 2016, we moved to Austin along with our beloved dog, Pablo. Our passion for making chocolate began as a hobby in our home kitchen, but it was during one of our trips to India that we conceived the idea of infusing Indian and South Asian flavors into a universally adored treat - chocolate. The opportunity to immerse myself in the world of food and flavors on a daily basis brings me immense joy and serves as a constant source of motivation.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
One of the most significant achievements as a business owner has been the ability to self-finance our venture for the past four years. We've successfully expanded from a humble home kitchen operation to a thriving presence in over 200 stores across the United States. Elliott and I take immense pride in this accomplishment, which stands as a testament to our hard work and dedication.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
As a business owner, you bear the ultimate responsibility for both the successes and setbacks of your enterprise. This means that when mistakes occur, you cannot shift blame onto others. Instead, it's essential to implement the necessary changes and move forward with resilience and determination.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Write a business plan - You'd be shocked how many people who want a business are not interested in writing a plan. This is a must for any successful business to work. It's the roadmap for the first years of your business and the absolute best way to determine how you will operate your business on a day-to-day level.
- Understand your customer base - it is very important to understand who your customers are, what their needs are, to listen to those needs, and be able to change your strategy, offerings, services, and products accordingly.
- Leverage digital marketing - In today's digital age, it's crucial to harness the power of technology and the internet to grow your business. Develop a strong online presence through an optimized website, social media channels, and search engine optimization (SEO). Use digital marketing to reach new customers, engage existing ones, and build brand awareness.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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