by Mandar Kolhapure
In 1992 Vishwanath Pai and his son Venkatesh visited a small bakery unit in Udyambag. They had a dream to take over the bakery. They purchased the unit, electricity got sanctioned, the latest machines were purchased, people were hired and dreams started ‘baking’.
Venkatesh Pai then got married to Jyotsna Pai who soon after her marriage, she took complete charge of the dream of restarting the bakery.
Jyotsna took complete charge of rebuilding the bakery. She monitored every brick to brick activity during its restructuring. More people started becoming a part of the dream and being a woman herself, Jyotsna wanted more women to join her team and today 75% of her staff are women, handling not just light activities like packing but also crucial works on heavy machinery. She says, ‘Growing is important but growing together is more important.
Mrs. Jyotsna Pai has done her engineering in instrumentation from Bangalore University. She had a work experience of just 1.5 years when she took charge of Pai Bakery soon after her marriage. Today she has 25+ years of experience in the baking and food industry.
Pai Bakery that started with bread today has 60+ bakery and confectionery products. The unit that started with a small shed today has grown to a 22000 sq ft structure.
Though all the products are fast selling the most loved product by Belgaumites is the chatni toast which has now become their USP. To sync with the modern times, Pai Bakery launched its website and now the products are also available online. Apart from supplying bakery products to major institutes and industries in Belagavi, Pai bakery has 4 exclusive retail outlets in the city presently.
They are planning to open more retail outlets, appoint more distributors and also expand their business in Goa. A training unit is being set up at the factory where school and college dropouts will be trained and given employment.
Mrs. Jyotsna Pai was awarded as “Women of Worth” for entrepreneurship by the state government in 2018. She was awarded “The Best Business Plan” after completing a 10K women entrepreneur program conducted by Goldman Sachs and ISB Hyderabad. As a hobby, she has also started a matchmaking website that has materialized 75 weddings to date.
Visit the Pai Bakery factory in Udyambag and you will be proud enough to see how she handles multiple departments all by herself be it the production, drying, packing, placing, accounts, construction, pricing, marketing, HR and delivery. Many ladies being employed and working together handling different jobs is another proud moment to observe. If you feel some aroma in the air, it’s not only of the products baking; it’s the aroma of the dreams being baked.