The 7th Heaven Way - How a family run cake shop rose to become the largest and most well spread bakery chain in India

With the launch of their first international store in Dubai, the journey has begun internationally.

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As most successful people would assert, the key to excelling in what you do, is first figuring out what you truly want to do. What appeals to you, more than any other profession on the planet. For Arjun Chugh, the decision to pick entrepreneurship became starkly clear while he was in the middle of working through a degree in psychology. His love for all things business materialized with his first venture Design In Cakes, an online cake ordering service, which he set up with the his father. In fitting with most remarkable success stories you’ll stumble upon, the potential of what this family run cake shop could transform to, wasn’t very evident initially. But much to his surprise, the venture blossomed wonderfully. So much so, it led to the decision of taking things a step further, and establishing his first retail cake store in 2014, by the name of 7th Heaven. 8 years and endless sprints of hard work later, 7th Heaven became what it is today, India’s largest bakery chain, with over 200 stores spread across 75 cities in 21 states of the country. 

Working alongside with Arjun on this venture is his family, and his partner in life and business, Swati Chugh. From a Professor of psychology at Delhi Public School, Swati went on to direct all her time and focus on building 7th Heaven and its business and together this couple works relentlessly to make 7th Heaven the biggest bakery brand. Their father Mr. Sanjay Chugh, a successful and experienced entrepreneur has worked as the fore-runner, guiding the business to expansion and triumph. Karan, Arjun’s brother, an upcoming singer, has also been especially involved, and works towards the success of their brand. Their mother Mrs. Sunita Chugh is a strong pillar of support, source of strength and offers valuable suggestions, opinions, and new ideas. With patience, love and labour, the family together have established a bakery venture that continues to expand exponentially. And now, with the launch of their first international store in Dubai, the journey has begun internationally! 

But the journey was nowhere near as straight-cut. Emerging as a prominent name in today’s tough, dynamic F&B industry, isn’t a piece of cake. But for this family, it was literally and exactly that. Giving the phrase fresh out of the oven a whole new meaning with their Live Kitchens, 7th Heaven brings to its varied customer base, cakes customized to fit their preferences and baked in just 7 minutes. 7th Heaven’s loyal base of customers would testify to the wonders of this little innovation. Whether it’s elaborate 3D designer cakes, macaroons or mug cakes, every outlet of the country-wide dessert chain has various ways of satisfying your sweet tooth cravings. What’s more is that many of these outlets are cafes with a wide range of beverage and food options in continental and oriental cuisine! And each one of them, delight all your senses in equal measure.

Regular innovations to their impressive inventory of products, efficient technological infrastructure and creative promotion strategies that touch both potential and existing customers, are some of the things that helped 7th Heaven establish a stellar reputation. Throw in reasonable prices, same day delivery of customised cakes, and expertly trained chefs cooking up desserts of unparalleled quality, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for success. 

Of all the things we mentioned, the concept of live-kitchen would certainly take the cake (pun intended) as 7th Heaven’s biggest USP. You know how you feel disappointed when you end up shelling on bakery products that looked great on the shelf, but tasted stale and bland? 7th Heaven has solved that concern by letting the customer witness the entire process, as chefs whip up their demands in a Live kitchen. Another USP, is the giant menu packed with enough variety of products to discourage the customer from stepping foot in another bakery. I mean, if you’re getting everything you could possibly want at one place, why would you feel the need to wander into a second dessert store? 

So a host of these avant-garde features is what led 7th Heaven to become a bakery-name people swear by. But before that, spreading the word was critical. That happened with the help of both specific Below The Line marketing techniques, such as dropping in leaflets and offering free tasting samples, coupled with reaching wider audiences through Above The Line marketing techniques like printing out newspaper ads, radio and online endorsements, and the usage of media vehicles. 

When you want to succeed in an industry as competitive as Food & Beverage, the first step requires a lot of courage, and heavy investment. In the case of 7th Heaven, the latter was worth crores. Also necessary was relentless patience, as Arjun and Swati waited for longer than what was anticipated, to reach the break-even point. But here we are! 

Funnily enough, when you ask Arjun and Swati what their biggest achievement has been throughout this journey, it’s not the numbers that they begin to list. Or even quote all the statistics that underlie 7th Heaven. Rather, their favourite moments have always been the ones when they touched someone’s heart or made a difference to a customer’s day. That for them, is the real metric! 

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