Whether you’re an independent business owner, self-employed sales contractor or Appco employee, entrepreneurship and creativity are clearly in the blood in the Appco network – and it’s something the organisation supports wholeheartedly.
Sales support manager Amar Sahota is a great example of an Appco employee who is working to create their own business empire. We spent 60 seconds with her (because that’s all the time she has!) to find out more about Mr Singh’s Sauce, the company her family launched in 2008, and which now retails products throughout the world.
How did the business start?
Mr. Singh’s is a family business that started in a shed in East London. We make tasty chilli sauces and cooking pastes using secret family recipes. We got the idea for the business when Popa Singh, the creator of our products, came home one day, soaking wet from the rain after trying to sell bottles of his original sauce. This prompted my husband, Kookie, to book a stand at the BBC Good Food Show, where (after learning the recipe and destroying the family kitchen in the process) we sold out of all the sauce we made.
What’s your role in Mr Singh’s?
I used to help with cash flow and accounting, but today I am more of a sounding board, therapist and counsellor to Kookie.
What were the challenges you faced getting Mr Singh’s off the ground?
Any challenge you can think of we probably went through it! From sourcing suppliers and funding to organising logistics, getting sleep and balancing relationships within the family – we dealt with all of it.
How did you fit this business in around your day job?
When you want to make an idea work, you simply have to do it. Any spare moment is spent thinking about or working on your dream. After working a normal day during the week, I’d spend evenings and weekends helping out with the business.
Have there been any particularly memorable moments?
The business was featured on High Street Dreams on BBC1, so being on a TV show watched by 4.5 million people was surreal. There have been lot of funny moments with the family in general, with Kookie and his brothers playing pranks on each other and winding up Pops.
What is an important lesson you’ve learned?
“Take one more step.” You will continually fail if you are trying to create what does not yet exist. You will get knocked down and knocked back. Get up. Take one more step and see what happens.
What’s your top tip for creating the perfect sauce?
Check out this company I know called Mr. Singh’s Sauce … lol. Actually, my tip would be to get in the kitchen and simply start. Make a mess and make mistakes.