She’s published her own books, featured in Forbes 30 under 30, expanded from just 1 outlet to 3 more around the city and all of this in just the first 7 years of her career. With many more years ahead of her, is there anything left to achieve? She’s someone you can take a lot of inspiration from, and that’s something we realized as we spoke to her. And you’ll know exactly why!
She started off as a law student, which lasted for about two weeks before she realized that’s not what she wanted to pursue. She then went to Switzerland to study hospitality where she also started working in different departments. And that’s when she knew, she’s found her passion. Post which she went to Paris, and she obviously didn’t come alone. She got the concept of macarons to India and we couldn’t thank her enough for it.
Her Le 15 journey started off as a 23 year old with a dream to make people happy with her dessert. “I was very confident that if the product is something I like, other people will like it too,’’ says Pooja. She started off from her home with minimum investments and not much to lose. But 7 years later, here she is.
There’s a lot more work that goes beyond the macarons and cupcakes we see at their outlets. Each day for her and the team is a new challenge they set out to conquer. There are days when she’s been in the kitchen for over 14 hours when she realizes that the recipe hasn’t worked out and she needs to start all over again. “It can get mentally and physically exhausting, but it’s only when you see the happiness on people’s face when they see your work is what makes all of it worth it,” she says.
If you’re someone looking to start something within this industry, here’s her tip for you, “It’s important to realize it is a tough industry and something that requires a lot of work and effort. The salary is not as great as other industries so it’s important to be passionate and keep going. Keep working hard and you’ll know it’s rewarding.”
As we chatted with her, Pooja asked one of the chef’s for a tip they could share and it’s probably the most honest thing you’ll hear today if you’re a budding chef, “The struggle is real” says Anne from the Le 15 kitchen as we all giggled to it.
Success to her is as important as failure is. She sets goals for herself, be it personal or professional and meeting those goals is what helps her feel a sense of achievement. But what’s important is that it’s really okay to fail and that’s something we are not taught. To learn from failures and use them in your stride is something she strongly believes in.
If there is something we can all take from her journey is that you don’t necessarily have to pursue something you’ve studied. Find something you’re passionate about, club it with hard work and relentless need for perfection and you will fly. Your educational background doesn’t define your career, only you do.
Le 15 is an extension of Pooja Dhingra’s personality and a part of who she is. Her vision for 2018 is only bigger and better with many more Le 15’s, a new book and lots of travel.
You can visit them at: www.le15.co.in