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Swati Chugh - Great Companies Women Entrepreneur Award Winner 2022

Swati Chugh: 7th Heaven

Name: Swati Chugh

Business Name: 7th Heaven

Location: Mumbai, India

Establishment (Year): 2011

Profession/ Specialty: Food and Beverage, Bakery & Cafe Franchising

Company Details:

7th Heaven is a cafe and bakery chain specialising in cakes and desserts. With 200+ outlets pan India, present in 75+ cities and 21 states 7th Heaven is one of the largest bakery chains in India. It is also Internationally present with a current outlet in Dubai.

Due to the great taste, quality, and service the company has started receiving franchise inquiries and has been transitioned into a franchise model in 2015. Today, on average a new 7th Heaven outlet opens every week. The 7th Heaven franchisee network sells anywhere between 7,000-10,000 cakes every day!

It is also a part of over 3 million celebrations across India every year!

Unique Selling Proposition / Competitive Advantage:

The aim of 7th Heaven is to provide the freshest products to the customers as in the bakery industry the issue of stale cakes is still persistent. Therefore, 7th Heaven came up with the idea of introducing a Live Kitchen where the customers can see their cake being made in 7 minutes. Through this, the customers can also see the assembling and the high-quality ingredients being used in their cake.

Thus, the USP of 7th Heaven is to ensure quality, build trust and entertain their customers through Live Shows while they wait for their ordered fresh cake.

Apart from these, 7th Heaven prepares and delivers customers with customised cakes in any shape and design on the very same day. 7th Heaven provides the largest range of 3D cakes, shape cakes and photo-cakes. So it may be a car-shaped cake or a handbag shaped cake; the customers can get it within hours after placing an order.

Additionally, in India there are either low-quality, low-priced bakery chains or very high-priced cake boutiques with little reach, so, on these accounts, 7th Heaven asserts it’s USP to serve the best quality products at reasonable prices with maximum reach throughout the nation.

Challenges Faced During The Journey:

According to Mrs Swati Chugh, the biggest challenge faced as an entrepreneur was entering the industry without any prior knowledge.

Entrepreneurship has always been Mrs Swati Chugh’s passion however before establishing 7th Heaven she had been a professor of Psychology. Therefore, she had no theoretical knowledge of running a business.

However, with the help of her family’s support and experience, she was able to overcome the initial obstacles.

After hours of hardships and accumulating knowledge through market research and constant trials, she learnt how to design the shop, how to price the products, what to sell, how to sell, how to manage the accounts, how to increase sales, how to solve machine breakdowns and whatnot. She also invested copious amounts of time, energy and money and it took a while to break even but all the challenges made the overall journey more eventful. After a few years, she had mastered the skill to the extent that despite COVID-19, 7th Heaven still managed to open an average of 4-5 outlets per month.

The greatest learning for Mrs Swati Chugh was that it doesn't matter what our educational background is because entrepreneurship is much more than textbook knowledge. One has to be street smart, know how to hustle, and have good communication skills that will help one in the long run.

As a woman, the biggest challenge for Mrs Swati Chugh was learning how to multitask efficiently. Only learning how to run a business was not enough so she had to learn how to complete her tasks in half the time as she had other responsibilities as well. All this was possible due to family support, effective usage of technology, creating an office space at home and rigorously training the staff. Mrs Swati also says that multi-tasking can be physically and mentally exhausting, but it gave her a chance to become so productive that she could tick off the tasks from lists even while feeding her baby.

In conclusion, Mrs Swati Chugh sends a message that challenges are meant to be faced and overcome. They will always teach you something new. So be persistent in finding creative ways to solve your challenges.

Advice For Young Women Entrepreneurs:

Mrs Swati enlists the following tips for young women who want to be entrepreneurs or are already one:

1. She emphasises focusing on building soft skills like decision making, risk-taking, time management, finance management, acquiring useful knowledge on a daily basis, communication skills, leadership skills and updating your technological level. Such skills are sadly not taught in school and unlike men, women do not learn them through family businesses. Luckily, we live in an era where information and technology are freely available and accessible. Hence, the sky's our limit and if we are persistent enough, we can be successful!

2. Women have never had such power and positive influence over each other before. Therefore, one must be inspired by other women entrepreneurs and realise that the world will support us and our dreams.

There will be many situations where people will try to pull us down but as the saying goes, ‘every problem has a solution’; one can be persistent and have a clear vision for oneself to be unstoppable in the business.

3. Do not think that businesses are only meant to be run by men or that the only end result of running a company is only earning money. The beauty of entrepreneurship is that it lets one be creative, be our own boss, motivates ourselves to grow internally as a person.

4. To run a business, you need to be internally motivated. There is no one who will keep a check on you for the completion of deadlines. You are your own boss and it is your money at stake. Hence be disciplined, develop good work ethics and set achievable goals. Only results matter, so get rid of excuses. If this is the path you have chosen then be persistent regardless of all challenges.

5. Lastly, support other women entrepreneurs and women employees. Women tend to be more dedicated to their work maybe because they do not take their careers for granted. As a result, Mrs Swati Chugh has personally employed many women in her company in various departments and given them the flexibility to work from home (many years before Covid set the trend for work from home) and trained them personally. She also strongly preaches the theme “empowered women, empower women”.



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