Our story starts like quite a few stories in the childhood of the character. Born and brought up in Delhi along with three sisters, her working mom and hands on father gave her the ideals she lives by. When asked about her childhood, she says “The strongest lesson that our parents taught was the importance of education and being independent in life, I think partly that’s what has made me what I am today as a person and I am proud of it”. She has been married for close to nine (9) years now and has a son who is 5.5 years old. An MCA and MS in computers, and a self-confessed nerd at heart; she is Monika Manchanda.
She has more than 10 years of experience in IT development with companies like Wipro, Nortel and Intel. She was performing a juggling act while balancing work and once her maid quit after getting married. Since the IT industry was also going through a slump at that times, she decided to take a six month break to spend time with her son. Time flew, and the six months grew into a three year long break. It was during this break that she got the idea of starting Sin-a-Mon.
One of Monika’s fondest memories from her childhood is that of her mom baking tutty-fruity cakes for the family, and the joy and excitement it brought. After she recorded and blogged about her experiments and passion in the kitchen, she received a lot of praise from her friends and readers. She decided to go back to school and did a diploma in bakery and confectionary to improve her skills and knowledge before turning her passion into a profession. When asked on how she chose the name Sin-a-Mon, she says “Cinnamon is one of my favorite sweet spices and also something widely used in baking dishes. We tweaked the term a bit and named my startup Sin-a-mon. Sin for sinning and Mon for the initial letters for my name”
It took her close to five months for Sin-a-Mon to go from concept to launch. Setup costs, infrastructure, and need for quality raw materials were the few obstacles that she had to overcome before she could find a steady business. Her first order was delivered to Chirag from Chaipatty who needed a regular supply of desserts. While Sin-a-Mon started with started with simple bakes and cakes, has now grown to a wide range of goodies from artisan breads to savory bakes to spiked bakes. Not limited to just baking and cooking, she has diversified in to workshops and food consulting which has given Sin-A-Mon an edge in the business.
Some months ago, she received a call from Prof Rakesh Sud who told her about the Goldman Sachs 10K woman program. The initiative is built on the premise that partnerships between education, development, and business experts can help bring about significant change through improved business education for women. It is a 16 weeks long course that is partnered with ISB in India. She has successfully graduated from the course.
Being an entrepreneur is a tough and lonely job, and she has to spend time with her son she turns the internet on the phone off. As far as the upbringing of her son goes she believes, “When it comes to values kids learn what they see on a regular basis and one of the biggest value I want to instill in him is equality and respect for woman and for that I feel I need to be an independent strong and happy woman.”
Truly, Monika represents the independent woman who wants to make her own ground and first hand instill values of equality in the coming generation.