George Bernard Shaw, says,
“There is no love sincerer than the love of food.”
In our #FridayFeature blog focusing on the #WonderWomen segment, today, we present the story of a woman whose love for science and her passion for food, got her into not one, but two varied professions. Meet, Pharma professional and a Culinary Blogger, Purnima Kanojia. How did she get into these two fields and what made her turn into a food blogger? Let’s find out in her own words.
“My educational background and keen interest in medical science helped me bag some amazing jobs with big pharmaceutical companies. My passion for cooking and love for food got me into blogging. Food is not only fun; it is therapeutic to me. I love cooking for my family and friends. Having made a tasty dish gives me a lot of high and immense satisfaction.
There were struggles in both my career choices. In the pharma world, I started my career as a Sales Representative and at the time, I was one of the very few female Reps in the entire company. In fact, at some point in time, I was the only female representative in my team. Making my presence felt in a male dominated career was a challenge by itself. However sometimes it did give me an edge as well. I moved up in my career from Sales team to Head office team – Executive to assistant Manager to Senior Executive. As assistant manager, I was handling regulatory assignments for six South Asian countries.
Besides this struggle of making a name for myself in a male dominated industry, there was another personal life impediment too. I have had 2 career breaks, both due to pregnancy. My first career break was when I was expecting my first baby. Sales and pregnancy couldn’t go hand in hand. As I had a good track record, my HR manager promised me to consider me for an opening when I was fit to resume. Staying home was a challenge because I was used to a busy schedule. Pregnancy came with its own health challenges; from a planned cesarean to having a big little sumo baby weighing nearly 4 kg.
In my professional job, I have experienced various challenges right from dealing with difficult colleagues to reporting to a bad boss, and from being a target of planning and plotting against me to ruin my name and career, to facing body shaming and ageism which included judgements like ‘too young for this’ and ‘too old for that.’ Through it all, I have only emerged stronger than before. Every time life threw challenges at me, I smiled back and said challenge accepted; which made me learn and accept that love and patience are the key to every win, whether big or small.
I have had many turning points in life. The first was when my elder son was 4 years old. I had taken a career break since he was my first baby and was unsure if I could go back to work. A part of me was yearning to go back to Sales job. One day as I was watching (late) Steve Irwin’s show Crocodile Hunters, where he was with his baby boy near the crocodile. In this documentary he made a statement saying that human babies must be put in the environment they are meant to live in, at an early age. He said, ‘It’s now or never’. These words struck a chord with me and I immediately called-up my ex-office to inquire if they had a vacancy for me and voila within 48 hrs, I had my dream job. Next turning point was when I was going through a bad boss phase.
My confidence was buried ten feet under the ground. Having spent sleepless nights over thinking what was happening to me and where I was heading, I met my guardian angel who helped me come out of this phase victoriously. My confidence level rose to an all time high when the same boss promoted me to the post of an assistant manager. Trust me this was the most difficult phase of my life as I had nearly landed in depression. The next major turning point was my last Job, which pushed me towards blogging. I was on the edge to start my blog page for almost a year, however like all start-ups, I didn’t know how to do it or when and where to begin. After having sorted between what I love to do and what I was forced to do due to circumstances, I chose my love, that is food.
I resigned from my day job and got into full time blogging. It was like a leap of faith, all I knew was that I will immensely love what I will be doing with my food, be it cooking or reviewing events and restaurants.In my food blogging journey, I met amazing people in the Culinary world, made friends for life with most of them, met my culinary guide Mrs. Reena Mukherjee and discovered my spark. Ever since blogging happened, life has been bringing in pleasant twists; I am not only loving my ups but also my downs. My motivation is my love for food and excitement of discovering new culinary experiences, be it cooking, masterclasses, foodies, chefs, Fests and what not. There is so much to learn and explore and I want to experience it all, which keeps me going. The journey so far has been gradual but satisfying. I started my blog page on Instagram on 8 Oct. Since then there has been no looking back. I attended masterclasses by celebrity chefs like Chef Saransh Goila, Chef Nishant Choubey, Chef Osama Jalali, seen Prahlad Kakkar cook live. Events like HTpalate Fest- Delhi, Food for thought – Delhi and Uppercrust food and wine fest – Mumbai, added a new dimension to my foodie journey. I even got to experience the launch of new limited-edition menu by Café Delhi Heights in Mumbai which was my first invite as a food blogger.
I would like to extend a huge thanks to Mr Tikkuji for this. From Instagram, I went on to start my Facebook page, ultimately getting more visibility. The future plan is to reach an appreciable blog page status. For me blogging is not only about food but also about the people behind it – right from professional chefs to home cooks. Which is why my Instagram and Facebook posts focus on varied food related stuff right from home cooking to culinary events and restaurant reviews. Basically, anything and everything about food and people around food; because I believe that food without the involvement of people, is incomplete. Though my culinary journey has just begun, I know that it’s going to be exciting and I look forward to all the experiences and learnings.
My biggest learning has been that
Collaboration is key to success.
Only by getting out of one’s comfort zone will one be able to explore and see growth.
To drop in a message to Purnima and to check out her amazing food experiences, visit and follow her social media pages through the links below: