Anushka Purohit is on a mission to support local businesses and create change. Breer has already reduced around 4,000kg of bread wastage!
We love entrepreneurs and small business owners at Honeycombers, which is why we’ve created Launchpad, a comprehensive digital networking platform (with IRL benefits, too) that encourages connection, business support and community. It is a privilege and pleasure to learn from so many talented and inspiring folks, so we’ve decided to share the love by interviewing some of the lovely Launchpad members. Looking for inspiration? Check out how Anushka Purohit, founder of Breer and StayK, gets it done like a boss.
How I get it done: Anushka Purohit
How and why did you decide to launch your business?
Completely by chance! As an university undergraduate student studying engineering, the pandemic resulted in an extended period of time where I had very little hands-on interactions with engineering. This gave me some extra time, and I started to notice major problems around me. Food wastage in Hong Kong is massive, but the pandemic resulted in even more food being thrown away because of uncertainty in demand. My friends and I wanted to enter a social innovation competition at HKUST, we decided to use the unsold, uneaten, surplus bread from bakeries and make craft beer with it and that’s how Breer was born!
The pandemic affected all markets significantly, and but none more so than local businesses. Not only were local businesses unable to service customers, but those without a digital presence, or those unable to converse in English, were at the brink of closing down. My friends and I decided to support them by creating a website and mobile application highlighting their services. When we launched StayK, we realised just how many amazing activities Hong Kong has! We have an alpaca farm, moto cross riding facility, and even flyboarding!
What’s the secret to your success?
To always be MAD: Making A Difference!
What’s been the biggest challenge on your journey so far?
For me, it has been being open to uncertainty. Everybody wants to be to anticipate what comes next, but I have realised that being open to spontaneity leads to unique opportunities, so I need to embrace going with the flow!
What is your proudest achievement?
Being awarded Young Achiever of the Year by the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong. I would’ve never imagined winning an award for my passion, let alone being the youngest winner in the competition! To receive the award in front of my role models and people I am in awe of was definitely the highlight of 2021.
What does the Launchpad community mean to you?
I am so excited to be a part of a community filled with Hong Kong’s most inspiring change-makers and entrepreneurs. I look forward to hearing their candid experiences, learning from their ups and downs, and sharing my experience! I just know the Launchpad community is going to be my second family, and I can’t wait!
Entrepreneurship is all about networking and supporting one another. It is incredible to see so many varied solutions to the same problems, and that’s only possible in the field of entrepreneurship. Having a community where like-minded people can get together, inspire one another and learn from each other is crucial.
What’s the one thing you cannot live without?
Presently, Indomie noodles. It’s my forever favourite instant noodle; it cheers me up when I’m down, and reminds me that sometimes you can love something so, so much that you’ll never get sick of it!
How I get it done: Lightning round
On a typical morning: I always aim to get enough sleep. If I don’t have enough sleep, I genuinely just keep thinking about how tired I am the entire day, so I try to make sure I get at least six hours of sleep.
On dealing with self-doubt and criticism: I find writing how I am feeling or saying it out loud to myself helps with understanding these emotions, while enables to approach these emotions from a neutral stand-point. Not all criticism is valid; I make sure to extract only constructive criticism, integrate it in the tasks to come, and reflect on how things would be different had I implemented it earlier. And I don’t let myself dwell on these emotions for more than one day. I allow the emotions to lead me to self-reflection that day, but I must wake up the next morning feeling re-energised and excited, out of the reflection stage!
On the hardest part about the job: Everyday is difficult because there is a steep learning curve. Whether it is having difficult conversations with stakeholders, logistical problems out of your control, or things not going the way I wish, the only thought that keeps me going is the reason I decided to pursue these ventures. The bigger cause is to reduce food wastage or support local businesses, and the smiles of local businesses who we have worked with, or knowing that we have reduced close to 4,000 kilograms of bread wastage in Hong Kong, is motivation to keep working for a better Hong Kong, and in turn, a better world.
On keeping stress levels low: Definitely keeping my days balanced—trying to incorporate some sort of physical exercise, ample time with my family, and watching baking shows on Netflix! Surrounding yourself with people who truly bring you happiness and genuinely want the best for you is the best way to keep stress away, because even the slightest bit of stress fades when you see the confidence and pride in their eyes for you!
On staying motivated and energised: Always thinking out of the box and doing what you love. If you’re doing the same thing every single day, it quickly becomes monotonous. Unfortunately, if this happens to be something you don’t enjoy doing, it will feel even more excruciating and you will start to feel those negative emotions creeping up on you. Before I take on any task, I consider what it means to me, and what value I can bring to its execution. I love thinking outside the box and breaking the glass ceiling – it keeps things exciting!
On winding down in the evening: Baking shows on Netflix (it’s a new addiction), and making myself a hot cup of mint tea if it’s winter, or a nice chilled cup of iced coffee if it’s summer, and going for a long walk with my family.
On the advice you’d give your younger self: It’s okay to try everything out! When I was younger, I always felt like the odd one out because I didn’t have just one career interest that I wanted to pursue. My friends had it crystal clear, but I’d wake up one day wanting to be a lawyer, the next wanting to be a doctor, and a third day wanting to be an engineer. I always thought I was doing something wrong, but I know now that this is completely normal! In fact, in the world we live in today, it’s possible that the job you end up taking on and loving in the future doesn’t even exist today. Trying everything out gives you clarity on what you love and don’t, and it’s completely fine!
Catch Anushka Purohit at our panel discussion!
Want to learn more about building a sustainable and ethical brand that does good in the world? Join the Launchpad panel discussion on 9 February where Anushka Purohit will be sharing more about her entrepreneurial journey, along with Julia Washbourne, Sarah Garner, and Rohaan Sajnani. And we’ve got a special deal for Honeycombers’ readers! Although it normally costs $580 to register to attend a Launchpad event for non-members, the first 30 Honeycombers readers can join the panel discussion for FREE with the discount code readytolaunch. Register now!
Launchpad is a comprehensive digital networking platform (with IRL benefits, too) that encourages connection, business support and community. It is designed to make the entrepreneurial journey not only easier, and more successful, but also a whole lot more fun. The platform offers almost daily activities for members to connect, along with regular masterclasses, member networking roulette, small-business mentoring and media profiles on Honeycombers.