Food start-ups to selling superfoods, lawyers used lockdown to explore business ideas, hobbies- The New Indian Express

By PTI

NEW DELHI: From starting home kitchens to selling superfoods online, several young lawyers, who otherwise spent their time in courtrooms, used the coronavirus-induced lockdown to explore their entrepreneurship and business skills.

Having time in hand as courts across the country had restricted their functioning with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent nationwide lockdown, these lawyers got the opportunity to nurture their ideas, hobbies and passions, while carrying on with their legal profession.

Due to the pandemic, the number of cases reduced substantially, said 29-year-old Ankit Malhotra, a lawyer with specialisation in constitutional law and licensing.

“I had a lot of time because of this and came up with the idea of selling superfoods like nutritious edible seeds, and a variation of spices and herbs that help boost immunity, besides offering other health benefits,” said the lawyer, who now has a start-up called ‘Bag of Herbs’.

Courts took up only urgent cases for hearing during the lockdown, which was imposed in the end of March to prevent the spread of the infection.

Since June, the government is gradually easing restrictions under ‘Unlock’.

“During the lockdown, I was initially helping my parents in their work. It was during this time, I also came across vendors who were selling herbs and spices. I decided to explore my passion of making people cook at home with products which have high nutrition value and other health benefits,” Malhotra said.

“I came up with my start-up ‘Bag of Herbs’, which offers ingredients that are rich in nutrients, healthy and boost immunity, while at the same time are pleasing to the palate,” he said.

Those interested, can also learn about healthy recipes on the start-up’s website and about the health benefits of products, the lawyer said, adding that its social media pages also accepts suggestions from customers.

Malhotra is expanding his business through e-commerce sites like Grofers, Flipkart and Amazon and has plans to make the start-up a full-time enterprise.

Corporate lawyers Mahima Ahluwalia Sinha and Yashita Dalmia started home kitchens in Gurgaon and the national capital.

Sinha, who has been in the legal profession for the last 12 years, has started a home kitchen called ‘Assi Tussi Bhalo Achi’ that offers a fusion of Bengali and Punjabi cuisine.

The lawyer said that she has neither left the legal profession nor has plans to leave it.

Sinha said that during the lockdown she and her mother-in-law Sagarica Lala came up with the idea of setting up a home kitchen that would offer a mix of Punjabi and Bengali cuisine.

Offering something different was the prime objective behind the venture, she said.

“I am trying my best to manage both, my legal profession and the home kitchen. I am exploring my love and passion for food and cooking. I have WhatsApp groups and a Facebook page through which I take orders. We are gradually increasing the menu and its on a daily basis,” Sinha said.

She added that the lockdown was a boon for her as earlier she always had a packed schedule and never got time to explore her passion.

In Delhi, Dalmia, who works with an aviation catering company and has been practising law for the last eight years, said as there was less work due to the pandemic, she had the time to look for something new and decided nurture her cooking skills.

During the course of the lockdown, she started ‘Yashita’s Kitchen’ at Civil Lines here.

“It’s a plus point that I could explore my passion along with my professional life. I am taking orders through social media and it’s spreading through word of mouth. In the future, I am planning to expand it by opening a small cafe or a cloud kitchen with additional staff,” Dalmia said.

She said that she does not intend to leave the legal profession.

Similarly, Sinha said, “Before the lockdown I never got time to do anything else. I used to watch cooking videos but never had the time to try recipes. My mother-in-law has always been a great cook and friends and colleagues used to praise our food, so in the last seven months we decided to set up our ‘home kitchen’ and we are curating Bengali and Punjabi flavour.”

Courts are gradually resuming activities amid stringent checks and protocols in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, even though most cases are being heard online.

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