This month is all about men! Our rising star of the month is Umair Khurshid, a young entrepreneur from Pakistan who is taking over the country’s capital by storm. An amazing artist and baker, we caught up with him in Islamabad and got the chance to interview him for BW!
1. Who is Umair? Tell us about yourself.
For me, Umair is just an odinary person who like many others graduated from an International University with a dual major of Marketing and International Business. I came back to Pakistan after graduating and started working for a private company.
2. Was baking something you always wanted to do?
I had no idea or backup plans. I finally decided to quit my “Fancy Job” and start a business of my own. Started off with a small home oven (that was the only one I could afford at that time). Ran here and there, met a few bakers and asked them to guide me as to where I could buy baking supplies at a good price.Baking was not something I always wanted to do. Like all teenagers I just wanted to be my own boss but being a part of a family full of Gold Medalists, Engineers and Civil Servants every one expected the same from me. So I had to pinch a lot of nerves to be who I am now.
3. Who inspires you and Why?
I have no specific Inspiration because baking itself was not planned, it was an idea that I wanted to execute in the local market. Being a foodie myself, I always had left space for desserts after every meal. I was my own inspiration. When I got into what I am doing now, I realized there are so many home based bakers around the globe.
4. What are upcoming plans for 401? Any big projects?
I am working on opening an outlet now because customers at times demand instant orders. I will not only call it an outlet but a Bake Studio. A state of the art concept taking my brand 4O1 to a whole new level.
For those who want to get into this business, my advice for you all is nothing but staying focused. Specially for men, who get into the baking you might get to hear a lot of negative comments including “its a womens thing, couldnt you find anything better to do”. I heard this a lot of times but always smiled and replied “all top chefs around the world are mostly men”. Anything you do in life requires motivation. Nothing is easy. You need to stay consistent with whatever you plan to do and once you have planned it, go for it!
Follow Umair on Instagram @umair4o1 and check out his yummylicious treats!