Gyaneshwar turns dream into business

Gyaneshwar Nand Mudliar. Picture: SHIRAZ KASIM

Gyaneshwar Nand Mudliar never dreamed of owning a business so soon especially with the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic which rendered him unemployed earlier in the year.

The 33-year-old of Kavanagasau, Sigatoka was raised in a big family.

“My late dad was a farmer and I have four brothers and three sisters,” he said.

“The land lease had expired so dad decided to relocate to Naikabula in Lautoka.

He had bought a piece of land there and managed to get employment with a security firm.

“Life was a struggle.”

Mudliar said he dropped out of school in Year 9 because of financial constraints.

“All of my other siblings have an adequate level of education, but I backed out to assist my dad by earning money.”

He had a soft spot of becoming a cook.

“It was my ambition to become a chef because I loved to cook.

Mudliar started as a kitchenhand and slowly climbed the ladder to become the chef at the cookery even though he didn’t attend a culinary school.

“The restaurant owner motivated me to transform myself and I thank him wholeheartedly for always supporting me.”

The former chef at a renowned restaurant in Lautoka said COVID-19 enabled him to start his business.

“I make my pies, cakes, sandwiches and savouries at home and I haven’t taken either baking or pastry classes.

“The emergence of a second wave of COVID-19 in early April this year left me unemployed because the restaurant business suddenly ceased operations.

“It’s strange because I never had a goal of owning my business.

“I didn’t think of what I would do much later in life like when I grew old or retired from working in the kitchen.

“It was only through the intervention of a killer virus, no matter how silly it may sound, that I decided to venture into my own small and medium enterprise as a way to earn a living and support my elderly mum after working as a chef for the past 10 years.

“It looked like a recipe for failure initially when I started because selling a common food item like pies in a highly competitive and health conscious market had its fair share of challenges.

“However, my excellent public relations skills have enabled me to be successful because so many people recognise and know me from my days as a chef.”

The eligible bachelor said he would not trade his “new-found” love for another shot at working as a chef.

“I have kind of become obsessed with making pies and savouries.

The transition from being a worker and slapped with instructions to owning my business has been a wonderful journey.

“Having the dedication and commitment towards my customers always pushes me to be consistent.

“It’s a lot of fun although I have to put in a bit of hard work and manage my time accordingly.

“The journey was never easy, but once I started to roll it was only about me getting out there in the market and selling my delicious goodies.

“I derive a great sense of happiness when the realisation creeps in that all my pies and savouries are sold for the day. “I’m making good money!”

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