The Big Questions – Kirtida & Hitesh Jagad, Kirtida Kitchen
Kirtida Kitchen is a family owned & operated small business in Guelph, a unique Indian Traditional Kitchen. Guelph’s first 100% vegetarian Indian take-out, with a large vegan selection; about 95% of the menu at Kirtida is vegan. For those who have a gluten allergy, about 90% of the dishes are gluten-free and clearly labeled, and 95% of the menu is nut-free as well. You can order online by visiting www.kirtidakitchen.com, or you can call or walk-in to place your take-out order.
Q: When was the moment you first knew you were meant to be an entrepreneur?
I didn’t really know much about entrepreneurship or how to be one!! But lately we are seeing that we are complimented by many, such as, “you’ve got a great sense of entrepreneurship and how a business should run.” Yes, we have taken risks and gone above and beyond to support our business as well as our community. As an entrepreneur we are not just thinking about our own business, we love to support our local community.
Q: What is the biggest challenge you have faced starting your business?
Starting a business is a significant achievement for entrepreneurs but maintaining is the biggest challenge. There are many common challenges every business faces, whether its large or small. From building a brand, to developing a customer base, and the list goes on for us as we are entering into a restaurant business which is only take-out (no dine-in option or delivery) and on top of that we are offering only 100% vegetarian as well as vegan and gluten-free options. It is quite a challenge to create a brand and to find customers to support the business.
Q: What is the biggest “win” you have experienced as an entrepreneur?
We have followed the sentiment “We love so much what we do” but success is not just one thing that we have achieved. To keep up the brand we created a greater challenge for us to keep up with. As entrepreneurs, for us it’s about continuing to run our business with the same enthusiasm and keeping our customers happy, which is our #1 motto that we have followed from the first day that we opened our storefront.
Q: What is the most important piece of advice you would give to others who are starting their own business?
As a business, small or large, you must know that you are entering into something that you must love as it requires a time commitment with no limit. You must know what you are doing and your level of confidence, be your own critic, know your business & how to market, find and build the right customer base, try to pivot to keep up with the changing times and to be successful, get time to time feedback from reliable sources and get the right advice, stay focused, don’t only depend on social media platform marketing, know your customer, be patient, be willing to learn and keep in mind success will not come overnight, remember small failures are keys to learning and don’t be discouraged by that, keep a positive attitude and know your risk before you jump in. If you are focused and doing things that need to be done, a positive result will come. Eventually, success comes to those who chase it and keep chasing.
Q: What was the biggest key to your success? How do you measure success?
Our key to success is “we love what we are doing”, that’s all, but there are no exact measurements of success or failure. A big key of success is to do what you love and keep doing it.
Q: If you could go back in time, is there anything you would change about your entrepreneurial journey?
We would stay exactly the same. We are not saying every decision we have made was right, nor was every step correct, but we learned and improved by our mistakes. We might have missed some opportunities, but nothing is perfect in the world. You have to start somewhere but your journey can help someone else’s entrepreneurial journey.