Jennifer Duthie is out to make the world a happier (and fatter) place. An early bird in the field of subscription commerce in India, Bake Box is a novel idea built around the concept of gifting boxes of yummy, baked confectioneries made by a “baker of the month”. We got to know more about this new concept over a brief conversation with founder and beneath all the sweet, sugar coated exterior, lies a seemingly strong sense of business and entrepreneurship.
Subscription on Both Ends
Bake Box allots certain days in a month where a selected baker of the month assembles a “Bake Box”, which is an assortment of the bakery’s best confectioneries. These boxes are dispatched to everyone who subscribes and pays the monthly Bake Box subscription fees. This is subscription at the consumers end. Bake Box also works with one baker a month. From a database of bakers in and around Delhi, the Bake Box team chooses one baker who would be responsible for putting the boxes together which is then dispatched by the Bake Box team to its customers. This is subscription on the business end.
“I was at a product design trade show in the UK last July and the general talk about distribution models was the e and m commerce has become old and the newest trend in the block was subscription commerce. I was really excited by the idea of subscription commerce and the element of exclusivity that it brings. I wanted to originally try out this in the beer and wine industry in India. But given the current state of the Indian liquor market, I decided to go against it. We chose to do it in baking instead,” shared Jennifer, on why she chose the subscription commerce model.
She and her team went on build a splash page,a Facebook page and began promoting it. Bake Box’s splash page is ‘tastefully’ designed and Jennifer the high conversion rates on the page can be hugely attributed to the look and feel of the site. After its launch in August 2012, Bake Box saw 40 orders in 2 weeks.
A Catch 22 situation and a Mela
When asked about her expansion plans, Jennifer said, “We’re in bit of a catch 22 situation. While being a lean startup, we want to expand only when necessary. But having said that scaling early also is a good thing as this is others can easily replicate what we’re doing. So we will be looking for funding soon regarding the same.”
The subscription based model on the business end can also be a restriction as working with more bakers would mean more revenue for the company. And hence, Bake Mela. This is a listing of bakers in the country and Jennifer has big plans for it. ” Zomato doesn’t allow listing of bakers and I decided to work
on this niche. There are at least 600 – 1000 home bakers in Delhi alone and an India wide list is a great source of business. We want to also improve online engagement for our bakers.”
While there are many an expansion plan for Bake Box, Jennifer wishes to take it slow. She says, “There are a lot of opportunities and we will choose which way to go depending on how Bake Box runs. There will be a strong emphasis on our team. But I think focus is very important. As entrepreneurs, we are always brimming with ideas, but the skill of an entrepreneur is to focus on one thing.”
She also revealed that in Bake Mela aims to become an online Bake Shop of sorts with events, product reviews and even to the extent of helping subscribed bakers with photography, all in the effort of combating monopoly in the Baking Space.
Are you a Baker? Check out Bake Mela.