Usha Dalmia became an entrepreneur at the age of 58!
10 March 2017
Usha Dalmia, aged 62, lives in Visakhapatnam and is the chef and owner of the brand “Tingle Your Taste Buds” which is a cookery website that offers a number of cooking recipes and tips to food connoisseurs around the world. But, till a few years back, she was a housewife, the backbone of her family and a favourite among her friends.
This new dimension to her personality happened a bit by chance and a lot by hard work and persistence. Her daughter, Anupama Dalmia, 34, lives in Hyderabad and co-owns the brand and website along with her mother.Anupama is also a professional blogger/writer, dance master, social activist and mother to a 2-year-old.
Usha Dalmia is a very artistically inclined woman with immense talent in many art and craft forms. Her culinary skills were always highly appreciated by everyone at home and outside, and she always felt happy while cooking meals for anyone.
She always fostered a dream to open her own restaurant but her dream remained unfulfilled like that of many women of her generation.
She was a Hindi teacher at a school but she left the job after her daughter was born in 1982. Post that, she was content taking care of her family and giving her all to them. After the kids grew up, her daughter started sensing that her mother, in the process of ensuring a great life for them, never really got a chance to do anything for herself. She started to understand her mother’s passion for cooking, while her own were pulling her towards them.
In a bold move, her daughter, Anupama resigned from her luxurious and well-paying job at Infosys to pursue her own passions and that of her mother. She launched a venture with a friend and became a professional dance instructor/choreographer. She also started working as a volunteer with an NGO and worked on rehabilitating rescued human trafficking victims.
Opening a restaurant at that point for her mother was tough due to issues of finance and logistics. So they decided to take an alternate route. They began with a Facebook Page titled “Tingle Your Taste Buds” in April 2012.
Usha was not at all technology savvy then so for her to enter into this sphere was a huge challenge. Also, she was not confident about the reception of her knowledge by the world as she felt no one really has time today to cook dishes and everyone prefers eating out.
She was a bit jittery to start something new, though at a small level, at this stage of life. But, her family was very encouraging and supportive, and that helped her take the plunge. However, she and her daughter were at different cities so, in the beginning, it was a challenge to post recipes on the page. Through various discussions on phone and through number of emails which were intermediated by her husband, she communicated the content to Anupama who would then take care of all the technical aspects and marketing on the Facebook page.
They started getting a good response from friends and family and that boosted Usha’s confidence. But, again the challenge was to increase the reach beyond friends and family. They wanted it to be organic and hence came up with many strategies to encourage people to visit the page like contests, etc.
Once someone would visit, in most of the cases, they would get converted to a follower of the page. Gradually, a year after the launch of the brand, the page had thousands of followers which encouraged them to take this a step forward.
The natural next step was to have their own website for a far greater reach and versatility. And to eventually make money out of the venture through advertisements. They wanted to completely own and be flexible with their website and hence didn’t hire anyone for creating it.
Anupama, along with her husband, spent months doing research and created and designed the website all by themselves in spite of earlier having zilch knowledge about website creation. However, there are a number of cookery websites today so they knew they had to have a differentiating factor. Also, Usha worked on her photography skills to ensure good quality photographs on their website with great presentation. The website was launched in April 2014 to mark the 2nd anniversary of the brand. And since then there has been no looking back.
The strength of tingleyourtastebuds.in is in the simplicity of the recipes without compromising on the taste and the mission is to make the process of cooking simple for everyone because they believe there is a chef in everyone. What started as a small Facebook page is today a website with lakhs of visitors and a dedicated subscriber base. Tingle Your Taste Buds is also a contributor with the market leader Archana’s Kitchen.
Usha Dalmia has had her recipes published in magazines. Both she and Anupama were the finalists in the “Best Food Blogger of the Year” category at the recently conducted Orange Flower Awards.
Usha Dalmia today has learnt a lot about technology from her family and is very dedicated in her professional work. Anupama shared an incident when once they were to send a recipe to a leading website and they requested for a different resolution picture. By then, the dish was finished and Usha immediately made the dish again in 15 mins. instead of buying more time because she has never missed any deadline.
She is extremely passionate about spreading joy through food and loves to personally read all the feedback. She says, “I never thought I will be able to become an entrepreneur at this age. But thanks to the immense support of my family, especially my daughter who made this possible for me, I am what I wanted to be. I overcame all my fears to learn everything I thought I cannot.
All you need is passion and dedication. I hope my story inspires everyone to not hesitate to pursue their passion at any age. Go for it! ” Over the next few years, Tingle Your Taste Buds intends to widen their reach and have more collaborations. They are also planning to come up with a cookery book.
-Story submitted by: Anupama Dalmia
More power to this Mother-Daughter duo!
They are Women Of Courage!
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