Shivesh Bhatia’s first encounter with baking wasn’t an ideal one. During a family gathering, as he and his cousins sat reminiscing about their B’s famous chocolate cake, they decided to bake cupcakes with a Betty Crocker cake mix. The experiment left Shivesh with a batch of burnt cupcakes, but a firm resolve to master baking.
Bhatia calls himself a self-made baker and, needless to say, those burnt cupcakes weren’t his last. Yet, not many reach where the 20-year-old political science student from Delhi University has. He started his experiments from his kitchen—a workstation he uses still. As more people began to try his sugary delights, a friend advised him to post pictures of his cakes on Instagram. A novice at social media, Shivesh started by clicking and posting everything, but soon enough, he got the hang of it and started his own blog, Bake with Shivesh. As his viewership grew, more people started asking for his recipes. His easy-to-follow recipes caught the attention of companies and other food bloggers and soon his business was soaring.
Shivesh’s blog was noticed and applauded by the likes of American writer and businesswoman Martha Stewart. What he likes the most about the medium, says Shivesh, is how easy it has become to meet new people, especially other food bloggers, and have fun exchanging recipes and new ways of baking.
Shivesh prefers choosing his online platforms. Twitter and YouTube were never his forte; he believes Instagram suits his interest more. He decided to commercialise his Instagram account a year ago and has since received offers such as campaigns for Amazon, Foodhall and Flipkart. “A few of my blogger friends asked me to join Twitter, but I never really took to it,” he says. Barring the intentionally provocative ones, Shivesh replies to every text message he receives. Though most of the feedback is positive, Shivesh is no stranger to trolls—from the mean to the absurd. His theory to deal with this is simple—ignore and carry on.
Shivesh isn’t sure whether to take up baking professionally, but he definitely wants to give it a shot. He plans to go to culinary school after he graduates, but believes nothing is set in stone. Baking, he says, will remain a passion, whether or not it becomes a career choice.