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Roopali Gulabani single mom and a successful entrepreneur
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Lathesh Suryakantha

Roopali Gulabani single mom and a successful entrepreneur

Thirty-four-year-old chocolatier Roopali Gulabani discovered her entrepreneurial spirit almost entirely by accident.

Ten years ago, she was attending a party in Bandra, Mumbai, and gave a handmade champagne and chocolate preparation as a gift to the host.

“Wow, this is great! Do you make these professionally?” the host asked.

Hardly thinking about it, Roopali remembers, she blurted out ‘Yes.’ But although chocolate was one of her passions, and she had made them for years, she’d never done it professionally.

“I said to myself, ‘Hey, let’s try this,'” she recalls.

The host then passed word onto friends, many of whom wanted to place orders. Four days later, Roopali was working on seven different orders.

She was officially in business.

Today, almost single-handedly, Roopali runs Chocolate Sentiments, a leader in Mumbai’s designer and custom chocolate scene. From her studio in Juhu, Andheri, she makes custom chocolate arrangements for just about anything: weddings, holidays, births, corporate events, etc.

At the moment, for example, Roopali is working on an order from Hong Kong. A client there has ordered 175 boxes to announce the birth of a grandchild. Roopali has made the packaging light blue and shaped like a baby’s bootie.

She’s also designed chocolate roses for Teacher’s Day (September 5).

“Many children bring the teacher a rose on Teacher’s Day. Others bring chocolates. But how many bring chocolate roses?” she says, laughing.

“I make gift packages for many different occasions,” she adds. “Recently, on Doctor’s Day, I put out the message to my clients about the holiday. I received orders for 350 boxes in less than 24 hours. Later on, doctors were calling me to thank me. They said that rarely do people remember Doctor’s Day. So it’s an exciting, rewarding profession. But it requires a lot of creativity and an ability to market yourself.”

Article Source/Credits: rediff.com
Posted on: September 08, 2009

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