Tue, 09 Mar 2021

New Delhi [India], January 27 (ANI): Rajni Bector, who is known for starting Mrs Bector's Cremica, a popular food brand, is among the 102 people named for the prestigious Padma Shri award by President Ram Nath Kovind.

"I had never expected that such a big honour would be conferred upon me. I never even dreamt of it. I am very happy after getting the news of my nomination. I am really very thankful to the Government of India for selecting me for this honour," an elated Rajni told ANI.

The Punjab-based businesswoman stepped into the food industry around 43 years ago. At that time, her husband late Dharamvir Bector and father-in-law late Lakshman Das inspired her and encouraged her for the business.

"I used to make a lot of things and invite family and friends to my house. They used to tell me that you cook really well and should do something out of it. So, I decided to put up an ice-cream stall at a fair. My stall sold more than that of a nearby Kwality Wall's stall after which my husband insisted on starting an ice-cream production factory. Later, as people started purchasing our products in large numbers, we expanded our business to puddings, cakes and breads," she said.

In 1978, she started her business from home. Moving ahead with the changing times, she established a company that started selling various products under the initial brand name 'Mrs Bectors Food Specialities'.

As of now, her company 'Cremica', which operates through popular brands, 'Mrs Bector's Cremica' and 'English Oven', currently export biscuits, bread, and ice cream to 64 countries of the world.

The company that started with Rs 300 back in 1978, now has a turnover of Rs 800 crore. His two sons, Anoop Bector and Akshay Bector are currently running the company.

Speaking on her personal life, Rajni said that she was born in Karachi and settled in Delhi after her marriage. She got married in Ludhiana after completing her studies. Rajni was fond of making different types of puddings, salads, and biscuits from a young age. People started encouraging her to step into the business and soon after, this idea received support from her husband and father-in-law, prompting Rajni to make her hobby into her profession.

Recently, Mrs Bectors Food Specialities launched an Initial Public Offer (IPO) of Rs 550 crore by the company. This rose to twice the price in a few days. The IPO comprises fresh issuance of shares worth Rs 50 crore and an offer of sale to the tune of Rs 500 crore by existing shareholders, according to the Draft Red Herring Prospectus (DRHP) filed with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

The company's revenue as of March 31, 2020, was Rs 762 crore. During this time the company also paid tax worth Rs 30 crore. Apart from Punjab, the company's manufacturing units are also located in Himachal Pradesh, Greater Noida, Khapoli, and Bengaluru.

Rajni believes that women should not be afraid of any kind of hindrance to moving ahead in life. She said that the right to equality is not limited to papers only and if one wants to do something in life, then one should face every challenge and move forward.

She also opined that instead of suppressing their desires, women should keep moving and set examples.

"Dreams can be realised simultaneously fulfilling the responsibilities of a family. My hobby changed my life. Today my family is proud of me, however, I also had to bear the taunts of some family members. Do not let dreams end for short-lived troubles. Always be ready to move ahead without harming anyone," she added.

Recalling the starting point of her career, Rajni said, "I made my ice cream, cookies and pudding from 13C in Sarabha Nagar. I still have that kitchen in my house from where I started my career."She believes that a person who is truthful, works with honesty, and respects his or her work, always succeeds in life.

"Women of Punjab have the desire and ability to move ahead in life. I am proud of Punjab where women are moving fast in several sectors. My award is especially dedicated to women who, despite being a good daughter-in-law, mother and wife, become exemplary by doing something different." further added the businesswoman.

Padma Awards - one of the highest civilian awards of the country, are conferred in three categories, namely, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri. (ANI)

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