There’s something extremely special about rags-to-riches stories. In most of them, one man/woman decides to stop being the victim of their circumstances and moves forward with tunnel vision. Rising from the dust and becoming self-made is not just about money – it is the perseverance that inspires us.
This is about Sunil Vashisht, a small-town boy who went on to become the founder of a multi-crore cake and bakery brand Flying Cakes.
Coming from an extremely humble background, Sunil Vashisht faced financial difficulties since the beginning of his life. His father worked as a mechanical labourer.
But Sunil had the drive to change his family’s life and upgrade his lifestyle. Studying was the only choice he had, something he hoped would open more doors in the future.
When Sunil Vashisht cleared 10th grade, his father told him that he wouldn’t be able to finance his education any further.
Even though this didn’t come as a shock, Sunil was extremely disappointed. Nevertheless, he decided to pursue his education and provide for himself.
He enrolled for class 11th in the city of Delhi. To pay the school fees, he applied for a job as a milk delivery boy at a milk company in the city.
And so Sunil would get up at 5 AM in the morning, deliver milk packs to households, come back home, pack his bag, and leave for school.
When school finished, Sunil applied for a Bachelor’s in Arts degree. To fund it, he would take up numerous small-time jobs. Some days he would work as a courier delivery person, on others he would be a waiter at a farmhouse or a salesperson in a saree shop.
Despite giving it his all, his studies suffered and he had to drop out of college in the second year of his degree.
In 1998, he applied for a job at the pizza chain Domino’s and intended to make it big in the company.
Sunil’s hard work paid off. In just two years of working for the company, he was promoted to the role of Assistant Manager in the outlet. He was earning well now and life seemed to be on track. But when his wife was pregnant and was in labour pain, he had to leave work to attend to her – he was denied permission to do so.
When he came back the next day, he was fired. Sunil Vashisht was a changed man then. He knew that he would never settle for a job in his life, and would certainly not work under someone else.
To feed his family, he started an egg roll cart outside the JNU campus in New Delhi. But after two months, the Municipal Corporation Department told him he couldn’t continue operations there.
At that time, a friend of Sunil told him that people in Noida were getting inclined towards desserts and he saw great potential in the business.
How Flying Cakes started
A new mall was being inaugurated in Sector 61 in Noida. Sunil Vashisht decided to set up a cake shop there. He borrowed money from his friends and even sold his wife’s jewellery, and rented a small space in the mall.
It was in 2007 that Sunil’s Flying Cakes was launched – a cake brand. For the first few months, Flying Cakes didn’t see a considerable amount of customers.
It was then that Sunil decided to distribute pamphlets outside the mall – it was his way of marketing and promoting his shop. As luck would have it, one of those pamphlets was handed to a woman who worked in HCL.
The HR manager of HCL purchased a cake for her child from Sunil Vashisht’s shop. She was so impressed that she signed up Flying Cakes for all future events in the company.
One thing led to another and Flying Cakes only grew in size. Selling fresh and yummy birthday cakes, pastries, and other desserts, Flying Cakes is now a multi-crore brand and each of its 15 outlets receives close to 100 daily orders.
As for Sunil Vashisht, every bit of struggle was more than just worth it.