Anubhuti is a writer at Forbes India, currently working from Gurugram. She reports on startups, culture, hospitality, and gender. As part of the web team, she is responsible for running the website along with the team, and manages the LinkedIn page. An alumna of SCM Sophia, Mumbai, she has previously worked with Hindustan Times as a features writer and at The Swaddle, reporting extensively on gender and health. She is a Kathak enthusiast with seven years of training and a lifetime to go. When not working or dancing, she's making clothes out of Indian prints, which she hopes will turn into a small business after she retires.
Tasheen Rahimtoola knows how to make a party successful Image: Mexy Xavier Stylists: Juilee Borse And Nidhi Agrawal; Wardrobe: Jacket Dress - Knot Gray
Tasheen Rahimtoola, 27 Founder, Taste Retreat
Tasheen Rahimtoola, 27, had three days to recreate the ambience of London’s EL&N Café for a client’s 25th birthday in Mumbai. She didn’t fail. When she had just four days to curate one of India’s biggest industrialist’s birthdays by bringing him his favourite things from around the world, she managed to impress him too.
With big names and happy clients in her kitty, Taste Retreat, Rahimtoola’s one-and-a-half-year-old venture, is reaching new heights every day. It specialises in experiential gourmet experiences, themed parties, corporate gifting, and sit-down dinners. What started as a Mumbai-only service is now available pan-India and has touched international waters too by expanding to Dubai and London.
For someone who has always been attracted to numbers and finance—she has a degree in maths and economics from Boston’s Wellesley College—what made her shift to fine dining and food? The former financial strategist at Crisil and Ernst&Young (EY) says it was at her EY stint that she wondered if she could strategise for someone else, why not do it for her own business?
Floating the idea of becoming an entrepreneur wasn’t difficult to her family, which is into business: Her father exports customised buttons while her mother runs a multi-designer women’s clothing store. However, explaining quitting a job was tough. “I asked for a month from my father to prepare a business plan,” she says. “On the third day of my sabbatical, he walked into my room at 3 am when I was preparing for an order. He said quit your job, I’ve never seen you so happy.”
She adds, “Working at the big four definitely gives you a lot of experiences—it teaches you how to strategise, to work in a team, competition—and I incorporated all of these into my business. It wasn’t easy, but it’s the best decision I’ve ever made till now.”
From running this single-handedly in the beginning, she now has 20 employees worldwide who deal with a network of 200-plus vendors and has catered to 1,500 clients. These include MNCs such as Welspun and Torrent Pharma, cricketers Virat Kohli, KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya, and Bollywood stars, including Anushka Sharma, Sara Ali Khan, and Jahnavi and Khushi Kapoor.
With an initial investment of ₹50 lakh from her family, Rahimtoola says the total estimated sales can touch ₹7.5 crore this year.
“What makes Taste Retreat so unique and exquisite is the attention to detail that Tasheen puts in,” says Aditi Dugar, founder of a boutique catering and fine dining service, Sage & Saffron. “She gets the customer’s brief and not only delivers, but over-delivers, ultimately stitching a beautiful and memorable experience for the client.”
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