Urmila Asher was 77 when she started her food business Gujju Ben Ka Nashta along with her grandson Harsh. What motivated her to do so? She wanted to help her family financially and share her love for food with everyone.
Her life has been full of tragedies. Her daughter was only two years old when she fell from a building and died. Some years ago, she lost both her sons too. One died of heart disease and the other one was suffering from a brain tumour but she never let any of these setbacks bog down her spirits. “Death is the ultimate truth. Why waste time crying about it? I have always chosen to focus on what I have and what I can do”, she explained.
Another blow to her life came in 2019 when her only grandson Harsh met with an accident and lost his lower lip. “The accident had affected his self-esteem badly. He stopped stepping out of the house. His shop was also shut down due to the pandemic. We were struggling financially but I had faith in HIM and knew that our misery was temporary”, she said.
The satisfaction I feel on seeing people eat healthy food is my actual reward – Urmila Asher
But she didn’t let this tragedy affect him. She assured him that his dadi is always by his side. “I had been an excellent cook since childhood and so, we came up with a plan of starting our Gujarati snack business ‘Gujju Ben Na Nashta’ to rebuild ourselves. We prepared almost 500 kg of pickles in 20-25 days for the orders. To my delight, they were an instant hit among people living there. Gradually, we started selling thepla, dhokla, Puran poli, farali and other Gujarati snacks as well. We hired more people and expanded our business.”
“Within a year, our revenue touched Rs. 45 lacs but the satisfaction I feel on seeing people eat healthy food is my actual reward. By God’s grace, I am a TEDx speaker now. I have been travelling to various cities sharing my story with others and motivating them to never give up in life”, she said.
She also started her YouTube channel recently where she shares all her healthy recipes with youngsters and gets a lot of love. Her afternoons are reserved for shooting and recording videos for her channel.
What’s in store for her? She and her grandson Harsh want to have Gujju Ben Na Nasta at International airports. ”We’ve been receiving orders from America, South Africa, Australia, and sometimes we can’t cater to them. We can do justice to Dadi’s hard work only by expanding it. We also plan to sell our pickles and Khakhras on Amazon, Flipkart, and other marketplaces to reach more people“, he signs off.
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