The Secret behind Estate of Wilderness: In conversation with Meenakshi Dahiya, Head-Strategic Business | Business Upturn

The Secret behind Estate of Wilderness: In conversation with Meenakshi Dahiya, Head-Strategic Business


Entrepreneur Meenakshi Dahiya was always keen to do something that gave her satisfaction and a sense of belonging and today, she is living that dream. As the Head of Strategic Business at Estate of Wilderness, she works closely with farmers to grow produce that is not only premium in quality, but also a treat for the palate.

In an exclusive interview, Meenakshi talks about starting from scratch, with only 4 people in the company, and gradually building up to lead the market one day. At present, her brand is known for its authentic products and fantastic customer relations. She believes that consistency has helped the company to become what it is today.

Here are excerpts from her interview:


Describe your path to what you’re doing now. 

After having completed my Master, I tried my hands on a few assignments, I was hell-bent to work for a small boutique firm called Cynosure Consultants. I heard its founder speaking in various forums multiple times and was blown away with the approach to Customer centricity and for creating a company culture I am yet to see so beautifully in any other organization. I waited for almost twelve months until I got an opportunity with them to be part of the pre-launch team for their brand Estate of Wilderness. The assignment was that of a project head, which basically entailed everything from being an assistant of the founder for procurement to being privy to all progress and budget-related meetings. And how could I have said no?  I went on to launch the brand. It entailed me living between various villages, towns and cities.

Every bit of this experience is unbelievable! I learnt the A to Z of how to launch a brand to marketing to procurement.


Having been away from my home town for weeks, I was very keen to do something that gave me satisfaction and a sense of belonging – a dream I am living. And in the process, I met with the farmers in the local areas. This interaction got me curious about where our food comes from and about the plight of our farmers in India.

Given that I run this brand, often there are weeks I work without any time off as something or the other happens.

Rushing for work- it’s a blessing if I ever manage to make it to the office otherwise most days I’m on the road either for meetings or for visiting our clients we have or attending events. It’s 8 PM before I know it and I try to get home at some decent hour, as it’s the only time I get to spend with my son. When I’m at home, I try to leave my work behind so I can have time with the family. The day is packed, hectic and at the same time rewarding, and I am often dealing with a thousand emotions from managing the team (one of my biggest jobs) to our client’s expectations. At times it gets overwhelming but then when you successfully pull something off; it makes it all worth it.

Successful business requires a great team.

This is true. It has taken a long time. We started from scratch we are four employees, and growing with the grace of God. We have had many people coming and going both from India and abroad, some I still miss because they were such an integral part of our growth. But when the team is small, if I ever got a resignation, my heart used to miss a beat; I felt it was my fault for letting them down and the reason for their resignation but more than that, it was the fear of ‘how will we keep going on without that person.’ As we grow, and I became wiser and definitely not as sensitive, I realized that even though the team is the backbone of everything, no one is indispensable and therefore I should let the fear go and do whatever I can to make them happy and comfortable.

Today, I have a relationship with each and every person who works for us, I deeply care for each one of them and I make sure that whatever we can do for them, we do it well. We may not be a huge brand yet that can give many additional benefits to them, but yes, simple things like paying salaries on time even if in that month we may have not met our target, doing social HR activities with them, rewarding those who have worked hard and well, promoting when necessary, I am proud that we do that and we do it well and fairly. And it is for this reason that our retention rate is high and we have had people with us for a long time. And those who moved on, I let them go with my best wishes and happiest heart to bigger and better things knowing that Estate of Wilderness played some role in their growth and success.

The most important ingredient in your brand’s popularity and success?

Consistency in the product, checking and rechecking recipes before we roll them out and our unconditional perseverance to ensure that the ingredients we use are always top-notch, supporting both local artisans and suppliers, and also sourcing from across the Country whenever required.

What would you give to a young person just starting out?

Stop thinking about it and just start. You may do 5, 10 things before you actually figure out your calling but with each experience, you will learn more and if you don’t start for the first time, you will never know the incredible journey of being an entrepreneur.