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Name: Divya Jayashankar

Business: Mad Rush Coffee, online store for Indian coffee

Industry: Food & Beverage 

Location: New York, New York, U.S.

Reason for starting: I am an Indian coffee fanatic, I’ve been drinking at least a cup everyday for over 15 years. When I moved to New York from Mumbai 2 years ago though, I couldn’t even find good Indian coffee beans, forget the traditional filter coffee. Thus the company, then called ‘D-Coction coffee’ was born, as a way to spread the Indian coffee culture. Today we’re Mad Rush Coffee (a wordplay on Madras, my hometown and arguably the home of Indian filter coffee), an online store for everything that’s Indian coffee.

Related: Read about another food and beverage female entrepreneur here. 

How do you define success? To me success is happiness. In my case, it is doing all that I love to the best of my abilities, be that my start-up, my love for music, and spending time with close friends and family.

Biggest Success: Signing up two reputed Indian restaurant chains in NYC, to whom we are now exclusive coffee vendors. That this happened within two weeks of the launch of our online store was the icing on the cake. It was a great validation of the need we perceive in this market, and a nod to our quality as well.

Related: 13 Startup Survival Rules for Women Biz Owners 

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it? For a four month old startup, every decision I make will affect the sustainability and growth path of the company. Sometimes, this gives me pause and makes me quite uncertain about the path I should decide on. I’ve come up with a system to deal with this, not unlike what I use for personal decisions. I weigh out the options for a few hours and then stop consciously thinking about them. I imagine some subconscious magic happens, because 2-3 days later, instinct takes over and the way forward is clear!

Who is your most important role model? My immediate family. My parents who have started up a company at the age of 50(!), for their confidence and smiling calm. Next, my husband for his unflinching rationality and super-intelligence, his absolute determination on my behalf to help make Mad Rush Coffee a success and his support! Last but not the least, my younger sister for following her dreams, her maturity and general uber-coolness.

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Edited by The Story Exchange