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82-YO Entrepreneur Grandma’s Recipes Take Traditional South Indian Snacks to The World

Anand Bharadwaj and Nalini Parthiban quit their jobs to start Sweet Karam Coffee (SKC) using Janaki Paati's South Indian snack recipes.

82-YO Entrepreneur Grandma’s Recipes Take Traditional South Indian Snacks to The World

On a rainy Diwali in 2015, members of a family of foodies found themselves missing their grandma, Janaki Paati’s special snacks. These childhood memories led husband-wife duo Anand Bharadwaj and Nalini Parthiban to quit their jobs and start Sweet Karam Coffee (SKC).

“Every Diwali, our grandmother used to meticulously make the jaangris, murukku and Mysore pak. As she was cooking, she used to narrate tales to her grandchildren and make them do odd jobs, says Nalini Parthiban, co-founder, SKC.

Anand and Nalini resolved to take their grandma’s food to the world. They brought Paati on board to give a modern twist to traditional South Indian snacks.

But the journey was tough. Many banks said no to loans, so they started with a humble Rs 2,000 investment in a small room of their house. The team distributed newspaper pamphlets themselves to acquire the first set of customers.

Before they knew it, orders started flooding in! People loved Paati’s warmth and the personal touch in her snacks.

The recipes are all hers, given to her by her grandmother. “I oversee the cooking from time to time. I ensure no compromise there. Everything is made with love and care with the best ingredients — just like the way I would make for my own family,” says Paati.

Paati also enjoys making Instagram reels and sharing her love for M S Dhoni! Bursting with enthusiasm for this phase of life, “It’s like a rebirth,” she says.

Nailini says, “The energy that Janaki Paati brings to everything she does is truly contagious; whether it is cheering on her favourite cricketer or learning the latest mobile apps, her passion and zest for life are unparalleled.”

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Today, the startup has expanded not only pan-India but to 32 countries globally.

Edited by Pranita Bhat

Success is sweet and savoury: by Sindhu Hariharan for Times of India, Published on 27th November, 2023
LinkedIn post by co-founder Nalini Prathiban: Published on 10th April 2024

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