How Lockdown Made this Mom Turned Into an Entrepreneur and start India’s first certified gluten-free dairy ice-cream brand
You never know adversities can sometimes turn into the best of opportunities- Prerna Puri, Founder, and CEO of Prerna’s Handcrafted Ice Cream
What made you start your venture?
I was an interior designing consultant till before the nationwide lockdown was implemented in 2020. Being from a fashion background I always thought that I’d do something related and never expected to start a business which is not related to designing. So, When the corona virus pandemic started and a nationwide lockdown was announced, we had stopped buying anything from outside.
My son wanted to eat ice cream. We thought of making it at home. I researched and realized that the frozen dessert wasnt good for my son’s health.
I began my journey to making healthy ice cream at home which has now turned into a business – Prerna’s Handcrafted Ice Cream. I decided to make an ice cream which was devoid of any additives. There are no emulsifiers, preservatives, stabilisers, artificial flavours or colour in my ice creams. It’s all pure, natural and 100 per cent vegetarian.
Prerna’s handcrafted ice cream is now India’s first certified gluten-free dairy ice cream brand. Handcrafted ice creams or artisanal ice creams are literally made by hand, in small batches and are not mass produced by machines. We currently have flavours like Pure Chocolate, Pure Chocolate with Almonds, Pure Vanilla with Assorted Nuts & Black Raisins, Pure Almond Marzipan, Pure Coconut, and Pure Coffee. Pure Mango and Pure Litchi are ourseasonal flavours. We are also in the process of launching an entire line of fruit sorbets.
What are the challenges you faced when you initially started your journey?
It was difficult to get the ingredients due to lockdown restrictions. I was ordering things online; it took them ages to arrive. In the initial days, I made the ice cream by hand more than any other equipment. When I went to the market after lockdown was lifted, I couldn’t really find equipment to make ice-cream the way I did, since most of these machines catered to the usual industry practices.
How supportive was your family?
My family support helps me to keep the balance between a mom and an entrepreneur.
They step in to help. My husband and mother-in-law helped me in the production of ice cream. But as the demand grew, I hired staff and turned a part of my home into the production unit.
What are your future plans in the next 5 years in terms of expansion of your business?
Currently we retail our ice creams through premium grocery stores like Modern Bazaar, The Goodness stores, Earth Organic Store, In and Out, and many more in Delhi-NCR and all Nature’s Basket stores, Society Stores and Benzer Foods stores across Mumbai and Pune. We also do direct deliveries in the Delhi-NCR region.
In next 5 years we are looking to expand the presence across India by signing tie-ups with franchises, as a franchise business, is one the best marketing option for an independent entrepreneur to expand the business overall into a larger organization. Talking about my long term objective, my main focus will be to work and launch Prerna’s Handcrafted Ice Cream Internationally. In the next 3-6 months our plan is to expand our presence in 250-300 premium stores across India .
Being a mother how do you balance both work and your child?
Fortunately, I get a lot of help and support from my family and wouldn’t be able to execute these roles without them. My family has always been my priority and that’s the reason I created my product to begin with.
What are your tips to Moms who want to start their business?
Firstly, if one has an idea that they feel bridges a gap, then they should definitely go for it. Perseverance is the key to success. My message to everyone who aspires to be an entrepreneur is Be fearless! If you have ideas, then just go forthem! Life’s too short to overthink things and wait for the perfect opportunity. And you never know adversities can sometimes turn into the best of opportunities. Being honest with one’s own work is the most valuable thing that derives great results. Always try to deliver pure your best product to your customers. Following business ethics is a great way to enhance brand equity.