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Thursday, January 23, 2020

Meet the 94-year-old entrepreneur who says it’s ‘better to wear out than to rust’

What started off as a weekend business soon became an enterprise, with 94-year-old Harbhajan Kaur selling her specialities under the brand name Harbhajan's and the tagline "You'll remember your childhood".

Written by Avantika Chopra | New Delhi | Updated: January 9, 2020 4:34:36 pm
94-year-old entrepreneur, Harbhajan Kaur, Chandigarh, Harbhajan Kaur 'besan ki barfi viral story What started off as a casual conversation soon manifested into an “on-orders-only” business.

You are never too old to follow your dreams and there’s no better example than Chandigarh resident Harbhajan Kaur, who started her own business at the age of 94.

In 2016, Kaur confided in her daughter Raveena Suri that she felt dejected at not having earned her living all these years.  Aware of her mother’s cooking capabilities, Suri decided to motivate her then 90-year-old mother to sell her personal favourite “besan ki barfi”.

“Though she has been making barfi for ages, it was only for the members of the house. However, when she expressed that she has never earned on her own, I decided to give her a push,” Suri told the indianexpress.com in a telephonic interview.

Kaur and her daughter then started visiting the local market in Sector-18 to sell the sweet. But what started as a weekend startup soon became a “on-orders-only” enterprise, with Kaur selling her specialities under the brand name Harbhajan’s and the tagline “Bachpan yaad aajaega (you’ll remember your childhood)“.

“She makes only on orders and people come to collect the freshly made sweets,” Suri said.

When asked how Kaur felt about the overwhelming response, Suri said, “She is forever grateful. Moreover, this can be a message for all people of such age groups that everybody can do something, She always says, ‘better to wear out for rust’. Moreover, as children, we must motivate them so their life becomes more meaningful.”

Kaur’s accomplishment has drew plaudits from many, including business tycoon Anand Mahindra, who called her his “entrepreneur of the year”.

“When you hear the word ‘start-up’ it brings to mind images of millennials in Silicon Valley or Bengaluru trying to build billion-dollar ‘unicorns.’ From now on let’s also include a 94-year-old woman who doesn’t think it’s too late to do a start-up. She’s my entrepreneur of the year,” he said in a tweet.

The viral tweet prompted several reactions with people from across the country praising Kaur. “She proved that age is no factor when there is a will,” said one user, in response to the tweet.

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