Amar Patel - The key to excellence is enjoying work

IJ Anita Tejwani
Published on: 27th August 2014
"I have always reminded myself of one thing - 'Whatever you do in life, thoroughly enjoy doing it from the bottom of your heart. As long as you do it that way, you will excel in it'," are the inspiring words of our young entrepreneur Mr. Amar Patel from Ahmedabad.

In June 1996, he got his 12th grade result and it was a measly 56%, very much insufficient to get admission into engineering through the open merit system in Gujarat. Fortunately he being a N.R.I and the fact that the same year Nirma Institute of Technology in Ahmedabad was offering engineering seats to N.R.I students proved to be a boon and an ignition to start his life by knowing the ways to 'live'. On the second day of college a professor told the class, "Whatever you do in life, thoroughly enjoy doing it from the bottom of your heart. As long as you do it that way, you will excel in it. I somehow connected with what he said and for all these years I have applied this to anything and everything I have done," said Mr. Amar Patel. This is how this boy of 19 got the first lesson to be a person of dreams.

He had always dreamt of being an engineer from a very young age. When his first year of engineering results was out he stood first in the class. For the next three years he not only stood first in the class but first in the Mechanical Engineering discipline in the entire Gujarat University system. When he graduated in 2000 he was awarded gold medal by Nirma Institute of Technology and Gujarat University for securing the first rank amongst 350 students. When I look back at those years in Nirma, I remember thoroughly enjoying my coursework and the professor was right in saying that 'you will excel in it'," recalls Amar.
amar patel - key to excellence is enjoying work,inspiring entrepreneur
In August 2000 he moved to the U.S. for a Master's degree. There he enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he received scholarship in the form of Research Assistantship under a professor in Mechanical engineering department, and he ended up brilliantly graduating with two separate Master's degrees in 2004. "Life took a natural course after graduation and I was immediately offered a full time position in the research and development (R&D) department of Caterpillar Inc. - a world leader in manufacturing of diesel engines and construction machinery," says Amar with a smile. From 2004 to 2011 he worked at Caterpillar's R&D division, rose through the corporate ladder and enjoyed a well-paid, well-respected and a secured job.

However, during his entire stay in the U.S. he always missed being close to his family. In May 2011, Amar and his wife decided to move back to India. Despite this being a very challenging decision they understood that if they did not make the move soon, they would only procrastinate about moving back, and in essence, never move back to India like so many of their predecessors in the U.S. "It is very difficult to think of any other business or job when your current job is so well paid and highly secure; it is actually scary to think of doing anything else," mentions Amar. Saying this didn't haunt Amar this time!

Moving back to India meant giving up six figures American salary, good house, good food, and everything else that has attracted millions of people to the U.S. for the past so many decades. Moving back to India also meant that he had to give up his career in R&D, a career that he had thoroughly enjoyed and loved for the previous seven years.

In May 2011, Amar and his wife Darshini began brainstorming on all sorts of alternative sources of income that they could build once they moved back to India. During one such brainstorming session his wife decided to bake an orange cake which could be munched while flexing their brains for a new business to be set up in India. "When I had the first bite of it, I remember telling my wife- 'Darshini, this is it! We are going into food business'," says Amar with a worldly excitement on his face.
Darshini and Amar have been foodies but that was it. They had never for once thought of entering into food business. No one in their families had ever been in food business. Darshini is a fourth generation baker but she, like her mother and her grandmother, baked for home only. "The taste of that orange cake pulled us into thinking seriously about opening up a cake shop in India,"said Amar. In the next four months Darshini and Amar converted their kitchen into sort of a laboratory, very diligently trying out recipes and understanding the science behind the ingredients. "Since we loved cupcakes we decided to open a cupcake centric bakery in Ahmedabad. We moved back to India in Oct 2011 and opened Buttercupp in March 2012," said Amar. Being the owner of Buttercupp gives him immense happiness which shines through his eyes.

Transition from a highly technical career in the U.S. to owning a bake shop in Ahmedabad has not been without challenges for this couple. However both have always enjoyed every bit of it, from introducing new cupcake flavours to baking cheesecakes, bundt cakes, brownies and cookies. "I know that as long as I enjoy baking and selling, my passion and enthusiasm will show up in the products that I sell and that will attract and retain customers," said Amar confidently.

"My years in college and my transition to Buttercupp have enforced my belief that the key to excellence is enjoying your work. That brings out the best in you," summarizes Amar.
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