Shikha Sharma: An Avid Foodpreneur and a Legacy of Heart-Winning Delicacies

Shepreneur| Avid Foodpreneur
Shikha Sharma, Managing Partner, Kanti Sweets

From when a newborn is welcomed into a family to when one excels in an exam or a job interview, there is one thing that is constant – sweets. There is a certain magic in these delicacies. How you ask? We feel a different level of happiness when we eat sweets and whenever we’re happy we share sweets. That is the magic. Sweets and happiness are two sides of the same coin.

We at Insights Success came across someone who passionately creates these magical delicacies for others. Someone who inspires us the most in our quest of finding the Women Influencers of the 21st Century. Allow us to introduce you to Shikha Sharma, the Managing Partner of Kanti Sweets.

From an incredibly young age, Mrs. Sharma exhibited an innate business acumen alongside a passion for entrepreneurship. She always envisioned herself as a business owner. Mrs. Sharma has considerably contributed to the sweet industry. She has introduced innovative measures such as fool-proof quality testing systems, a scientifically set up in-house Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) lab, skill training for unskilled labourers, and sustainable practices to reduce waste generation.

Apart form all of this, Mrs. Sharma is a devout mother, wife, and daughter. She gives all the credit to her family for their constant encouragement that has made her an achiever on the professional end.

Mrs. Sharma mentions her father-in-law, Shri Rajendra Prasad, to be her biggest strength. Mr. Prasad took over the company from his father and founder Pandit Jyoti Swarup Sharma. Mr. Prasad, with his compelling passion and enthusiasm, strengthened her to play a bigger role in Kanti Sweets. He inspired her to use her B. Sc. Home Science degree and business acumen to raise the brand and maintain pace with the changing tastes and preferences of customers.

Another personality that has been the backbone of Mrs. Sharma’s professional career is her parents & siblings. Growing up in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, her parents ensured that Shikha received a quality education and never stopped in following big dreams and ambitions. Shikha’s siblings supported her, when she wanted to move to Delhi to pursue her B.Sc. degree at the prestigious Lady Irwin College. Later on, Mrs Sharma’s father-in-law and her husband Shailendra Sharma became her driving force professionally.

Talking about the immense support, she asserts, “While there are many successful entrepreneurs in our country that can be looked up to, I believe in deriving inspiration from my family who trusted my capabilities and went the extra mile to help me achieve my dreams.

If there is one quality that makes me unique, it is that I am a devout family-oriented person while being a visionary entrepreneur. Of course, I cannot take all the credit, because it is the undying support of my family that has brought me to where I am today. While I do believe in the concept of being self-made and congratulate those who achieve that, I am a family-person who feels you can achieve only if you have your loved ones backing you.”

Under Mrs. Sharma’s leadership and expertise, Kanti Sweets has been people’s favourite for its taste and nutrition value. To cater to the growing demand, the company has expanded operations with 1700 employees and 75 successful retail outlets. Kanti Sweets’ biggest achievement is its satisfied staff, who are motivated by a healthy working environment, timely benefits and bonuses.

A glimpse of Mrs. Shikha Sharma’s expertise, hardwork and excellence is given below:

  • Business woman of the Year 2019 for the 5th edition of Future Woman Leader Summit and Awards 2019
  • Nominated and selected for National Women Leadership Award 2020
  • Personal Achievement Award category for Global Women Empowerment Award 2019
  • Member of Ficci Flo (Bangalore Chapter)
  • SAARC Chambers Member of Women Entrepreneurs Council
  • Karnataka State Women President of International Human Rights Association (Women Cell)

Turning Challenges into Opportunities

Mrs. Sharma believes that every decision made in a medium sized enterprise is a risk. As the Managing Partner, every choice taken by her has drastically changed the working methodologies of ` Sweets. The company that began with a 6ft. by 6ft. counter in 1957, now has approximately 80 outlets across Bengaluru, five factories, two warehouses, and one in-house GLP lab for quality testing.

According to Mrs. Sharma, the journey till date has been an exciting one but full of risks and challenges. Kanti Sweets is one of the first sweet makers in the nation to have an in-house GLP lab, ensuring high-quality products. To set up this lab, she brought onboard professionals, specialized manpower, and even trained them to run the equipment. Simultaneously, she made sure that the existing manufacturing cycles were not hindered.

Today, Mrs. Sharma feels proud that she mitigated all those risks to provide certified, unadulterated sweets and savouries to her customers. As a businesswoman, she has faced diverse challenges such as matters of compliance, market irregularities, labour, growing competition, changing trends, and many more.

According to her, each challenge provided her with new opportunities to grow. She recounts one instance in terms of labour. The workforce was inadequately trained, unaware of hygiene, and scientific processes involved in sweet manufacturing.

Mrs. Sharma took it upon herself to administer and organize the workforce, provide training, help them to understand, and work better. She turned them into valuable assets of the company by empowering them individually.

Delivering Distinctive Quality

Incepted in the year 1957, Kanti Sweets, located in the city of Bangalore, Karnataka, is an ISO 9001-2008 and HACCP 22000: 2005 certified company, and is a prominent manufacturer and supplier of traditional Sweets, bakes and Savouries with over 74 outlets across Bangalore.

The company manufactures Premium quality Indian sweets made with fresh high-quality ingredients that combine traditional taste with world-class hygiene standards sold at optimum prices combined with good service.

Kanti Sweets’ products and services are unique in the aspect of customer taste and satisfaction. The company also established an In-House GLP Certified Laboratory to perform various Chemical and Microbiological Tests to enhance Product Quality. It also introduced ans promoted low-sweet variants of the traditional sweets, like zero-sugar Burfi and zero-sugar Laddus for the health-conscious customers.

Consistency in quality separates Kanti Sweets from every other sweet manufacturer. This has been the firm’s strongest USP. Mrs. Sharma also cites that while the GLP lab does not create a market directly, it plays a massive role in maintaining the customer base through consistent quality product delivery.

Based in the competitive market of Bengaluru, the firm keenly emphasizes on the latest trends, preferences, innovations, etc. While preserving quality, the firm also sets itself apart from the competition, ensuring that the brand shines through the customers.

In order to meet the consumer’s ease and satisfaction, the company also launched its very own mobile-based application in the year 2015 which is considered to be a first of its kind customer experience for a sweetmeat segment. The App has downloads over 1 Lakh. Through the app, Kanti Sweets customers can place orders and get their products delivered anywhere in India.

Recalling the importance of quality, she says, “Pandit Jyoti Swarup Sharma was the one who identified the market opportunity back in 1957. We are merely ensuring his vision stays true in today’s changing market trends too.”

In Kanti Sweets’ fruitful journey of over six decades, its legacy has been bestowed with numerous awards. The long list includes:

  • Best in Sweets by Zomato in 2018
  • Best Sweets Shop in Bangalore by Global Excellence Awards (GEA) 2019
  • Best Indian Sweets Manufacturers in Karnataka by India Business Awards 2019
  • Winner for India 5000 Best MSME Company 2019
  • Excellence in food safety and hygiene standards in the Sweets Industry at MSMECCII Greentech Asia awards 2020
  • Food and Beverage Leadership Award at Asian-African Leadership forum and Award 2020 organized by Asian-African Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Asia’s Fastest growing brand 2019-2020 (Pride of the Nation) by Asia One Magazine
  • The Best FMCG Brand-Food and Beverage at The Best Brands Award 2019 by International Brand Equity
  • Shortlisted for D. L. Shah Quality Award by Quality Council of India
  • Kanti Sweets has achieved the feat of making the largest Kaju Katli ever made in World with the dimensions 1ft X 7.2ft X 0.75ft weighing 1051 Kgs and the largest Veg Puff ever made in World by Kanti Sweets RPS LLP with the dimensions 4ft X 2.75ft weighing 106 Kgs.
  • QC Certification from London.

As business leaders, Mrs. Shikha Sharma and her husband Shailendra Sharma have received a myriad of awards and recognition as stated below:

  • Young leader award for Shailendra Sharma at The Best Brands Award 2019;
  • Udhyama Ratna Award for Shailendra Sharma by Karnataka Pradesh Hotel and Restaurants Association;
  • Most Successful Woman Entrepreneur for the Best Sweets and Bakery Chain in Bangalore at India Icon awards 2019
  • Best Woman Entrepreneur for South India Women Achievers Awards 2019
  • Best Woman Performer in Sweets Industry at International Inspirational women awards 2020
  • Excellence in Women entrepreneurship at National leadership awards 2020

Envisioning a Future of Progress

Mrs. Shikha Sharma’s story is of a true entrepreneur who received immense support from her family. It is of a visionary personality who took Kanti Sweets to the zenith of success, and currently, leads the entrepreneurial sphere while inspiring many other women of the 21st century.

Talking about her and the company’s prospective future, Mrs. Sharma says, “I am keen on inspiring women from conservative backgrounds and hope to set an example to those who feel shackled. To employ and empower those women with zeal is my vision.”

“I also intend to start a clay pottery unit for packaging, to avoid use of plastic and food testing laboratory, complying with NABL for better quality testing of sweets and savouries, and ease of work. Some encouragement and recognition is all I believe I need to take my dream forward,” she concludes.

Visit to know more about the legacy.

Related Posts