Monika Manchanda cashed in on her love for baking with modern technology and a creative outlook. Aptly titled, Sin-A-Mon, her bakery venture represents her favourite spice. Monika  ventured into the world of baking while taking a break from her career. And then, it somehow became her world!

Months of intense thought and planning resulted in the start of Sin-A-Mon Tales, a delicious Bangalore-based bakery, with an online presence as well. With their delectable range of bakery treats and mouth-watering ingredients, one can’t help but fall in love with the tales this Sin-A-Mon store has to tell.

Let’s read on to know more about Sin-a-mon Tales and Monika’s life story, in a conversation between Monika and our writer, Paroma Sen-Basu.

Who is Monika? Tell us a little about you, your background and education, to help us know you better.

I was born and brought up in Delhi with three sisters and a working mother, and a very hands-on father. Childhood was just like a dream, and we were all a thoroughly pampered lot. The strongest lesson that our parents taught us, and constantly stressed on, was the importance of education, and being independent in life. Being women, this is probably a huge lesson, which helps in life. I think partly that’s what made me what I am today, as a person, and I am proud of it.

I hold a Master of Science degree in computer science by education with about more than 10 years of experience in software development.

How did Sin-A-Mon start? What inspired you?

Sin-A-Mon is a small home-based baking organisation in a boutique setup. While I was growing up I remembered how my mom made lovely Tutty-Fruity cakes for us, by baking it in the cooker, and how excited we would be after seeing, eating, relishing those cakes. I think that’s how and when my interest in baking was born. As I grew up, the interest grew along with me, but I really explored baking fully, once I took a break from my full time work, which was around 3.5 years ago.

I had to take a break to look after my four-year old son. Sometimes it is important to take a few steps back in life and slow the pace.  I started baking something almost every week, which soon became almost a daily affair, and with that, I started recording those experiments on the blog. The appreciation I got through my readers and my own passion, slowly reiterated my belief that this is what I want to do and what I should do.

Once I was sure that I wanted to take the plunge, I began the search for the ideal name. Cinnamon is one of my favourite sweet spices, and also something widely used in baking dishes, as well as in regular cooking. We tweaked the term a bit, and named my start up, Sin-A-Mon. ‘Sin’ for sinning, and ‘mon’ for the initial letters for my name.

I chose the name’ and was still sitting on it, until Chirag, from Chaipatty, asked for someone who can supply him desserts on a regular basis, and Sin-A-Mon delivered its first order. From the conception to the launch, I think I took about five months finalizing up the plans, making sure that this is what I want to do.

What advice would you give women wanting to start their own business in any line?

If you think you have an idea, that’s worth exploring, don’t stop yourself. With the social media marketing boom that’s all around, it’s not that difficult to sell what you can make, sitting at home. So start your business small, don’t think that it’s too small to take the plunge. Most things start small and grow from there. The basic part is to make a plan, implement it, and then watch it grow. A business can begin from an idea, a plan, anything, in fact.

On the other hand, if you have an idea that will need additional investment, then get moving on the business plan. There are many investors in the market, who now prefer a woman’s intuition and safe way of running a business. The times are changing and it’s up to us, women, to cash on it. It’s a lucrative market for women to venture on their own right now.

What are your plans for the next five years? How will you shape Sin-A-Mon across the country and out of it?

The plans are still being made; I have some big plans in my mind, which I am now translating in a business plan. But having said this, my new venture will be a Bangalore-based business, for some time, until I am set to expand.

Thank you, Monika, on behalf of IndusLadies, we wish you the best.