Tanya Nangpal, Simran Jadhav and Aniya Mhalas, who started their ice cream cart Iceonic one year ago when they were 14, talk about their journey so far
While most 15-year-olds are busy with studies, friends, social media and hobbies, Tanya Nangpal, Simran Jadhav and Aniya Mhalas are honing their entrepreneurial skills. The three teenagers launched their ice cream cart Iceonic last year and since then, the fan base of their flavourful ice creams has been growing. “Of course, our USP is the flavours, and also the fact that 15-year-olds run the cart,” says Nangpal and smiles.
The three childhood friends, who are going to appear for their 10th Boards, are happily juggling study and business. Says Nangpal, “We had thought about this when we were in sixth grade as we were fascinated by ice creams and still love it. So, we combined the two. It started with random conversations. Last year in January, we took up the idea again but with a different concept. We researched a lot and went to different places, contacted people and finally opened our cart on April 15, 2018.”
Nangpal says that they wanted to sell nitrogen liquid ice cream but since there were too many risks involved, they decided to sell ice cream rolls. Initially, their cart was located at Atelier Homes, North Main Road, Koregaon Park, and the girls put it up every weekend. But now it’s a moving cart.
“We put up our cart at different events and birthday parties. Because of our studies we do not put it up as much as we used to do before. That said, we have learnt to balance between study and work,” says Nangpal adding, “Our machines are custom designed by us so we spoke to all the people and dealers whoever was required to build them. We had a few ideas in mind while designing the cart like we have a fridge on the side and different things required.”
They keep introducing new flavours every now and then. “Our Pina Colada, Unicorn, Blue Birds (Blueberry) are our hot selling flavours,” she says.
The job of running the cart is divided between the three. “Each one of us works on their given responsibility,” says Nangpal who, along with Jadhav and Mhalas, studies at The Orchid School, Balewadi. “We did a SCOT analysis based on our strengths and weaknesses and then took the responsibilities,” says Nangpal. While Nangpal takes care of operations and sales, Jadhav takes care of finance and marketing, and Mhalas is responsible for the menu and décor.
Nangpal says that their parents have been their biggest support. “Our parents have guided us a lot and have invested in us,” she says.
Since the teenagers have started their business early on in life, they have become a lot more confident and better in public speaking. “We understand the business better now and have learnt better time management skills as well,” she adds.
Those who visit their cart encourage them a lot too. “It feels so nice,” she says.
When Iceonic had completed a year, the director of their school, Laxmi Kumar, wrote a note mentioning, “Iceonic girls have completed a year now of their cool venture. They have shown in a very practical way what many management students struggle with theories and project skills. Combined with passion and an approach to customer service they have shown what it takes to establish a successful entrepreneurial journey. They have demonstrated how education is not locked in textbooks. The wisdom and insights they have can’t be taught in classroom but in real market where learning is organic and dynamic. I wish them best for upscaling their idea to a movement.”