At 94, HARBHAJAN KAUR, with three daughters, has shown the world that it is never too late to initiate a start-up.
In 2016, Kaur confided in her daughter Raveena Suri that she felt dejected at not having earned her living all these years. Aware of her mother’s cooking capabilities, Suri decided to motivate her then 90-year-old mother to sell her personal favourite “besan ki barfi”.
“She is so talented in cooking, in our childhood we never went out to eat. She made everything at home - sweets, chocolates, sharbat, etc.,” says her daughter. “Every winter, she used to make besan ki barfi for the entire family - our dining table used to be filled with barfi.” Besan ki barfi is Harbhajan’s signature dish and everyone remembers her through her delicious besan ki barfi. So her daughter encouraged her to make and sell them.
The first few boxes of Kaur’s ‘besan barfi’ flew off the shelves at Sector 18 weekly organic market in Chandigarh, when she was 90. Today Kaur works from home on orders and mainly prepares sweets and marmalades, pickles and chutneys.
@anandmahindra 94-year-old, Harbhajan Kaur, from #Chandigarh who started making sweets four years back wanted to fulfill her long-term dream of earning by herself. Here is her story, full of hope and motivation pic.twitter.com/f3jXwAC03r ode !— DrMadhuTeckchandani (@msteckchandani) January 5, 2020
Entrepreneur indeed !
“My signature remains my besan barfi,” says the 94-year-old, adding, “Life is all about evolving. You will do new things only when you learn new things,” she says smilingly, proud to have a brand her granddaughter has designed for her.
Kaur’s accomplishment has drew plaudits from many, including business tycoon Anand Mahindra, who called her his “entrepreneur of the year”.
“When you hear the word ‘start-up’ it brings to mind images of millennials in Silicon Valley or Bengaluru trying to build billion-dollar ‘unicorns.’ From now on let’s also include a 94-year-old woman who doesn’t think it’s too late to do a start-up. She’s my entrepreneur of the year,” he said in a tweet.
When you hear the word ‘start-up’ it brings to mind images of millennials in Silicon Valley or Bengaluru trying to build billion dollar ‘unicorns.’ From now on let’s also include a 94 yr old woman who doesn’t think it’s too late to do a start-up. She’s my entrepreneur of the year https://t.co/N75BxK18z4— anand mahindra (@anandmahindra) January 7, 2020