I met Danny (Dhyaneshwar B. Chawan) through a consultant’s organization I’m a part of (and webmaster and editor of their newsletter), Professional Consultant’s Association of Central New York. He’s someone you don’t meet every day; he’s a Ph. D. food scientist, and the things he’s shared with me and my wife are out of this world. He’s very active in a lot of organizations, which is more for his own education than for the networking opportunities that are offered. And if you get to know him well, he’ll bake you some bread that’s very low in carbohydrates, but tastes great! 🙂

There’s a comment Danny made to me that I think it important enough to mention. Early on it was tough monetarily, because it takes people time to know about you, then to start calling you. I’ve been there myself. If you have the confidence, and the means, to persevere, you might do well working for yourself.

1. What is Srim Enterprises??

SRIM Enterprises. I provide product and process development (new products or improve current products) services to the Food Industry. Main emphasis is to help/assist entrepreneurs to bring their idea/dream products to the market place. I do not provide marketing or sales assistance as it is not my forte!!

2. What made you decide to go into this business?

My background (experience and education) is Food Science and Nutrition. I worked for only ONE major Food Company (Borden, Inc) in their R&D Division in Syracuse, NY. I was involved in the team that developed delayed release chewing gum flavors, Cracker Jack, coffee creamers, cheese, pasta, confectionery, bakery products and other 285+ food products for 25 years. Due to (shamelessly) bad management practices (loosing $$$$, beginning in 1995) the company was purchased by an opportunistic/ruthless investor in 1997. New Management (Investor’s Clan Group) chopped the company in to small units (called divestiture) and sold each unit in 2002 and made X10 their investment $$$$. Knowing this was coming (track record of the new owner) I was convinced that I could provide the same service to the Food Industry as a free-lancer for less salary/pay/income and live ‘happily’ ever-after. That was achieved after 5+ yrs (of client confidence building) in my (service) business. I started SRIM Enterprises in August 1997.

3. What types of challenges have you had along the way?

Main Challenge: Industry/Client awareness that I exist providing these services! I provided ‘free’ services in Lisbon, Portugal for ONE month just for getting paid for travel/lodging and food. This exposed my service potential. I worked with Cornell University for minimum hourly wage. Graduate student’s Research project for Master’s –thesis research. This three month project started the buzz about my services and keeping me busy.

4. Have the positives outweighed the negatives, and if so, how?

Positives: YES, definitely. Now my clients (so far all of them are very satisfied) refer me whenever their friends/acquaintances need assistance with new food products. This is very satisfying.

Negative: Only ONE client in TEN years argued he could have done same thing what I did for his product development (Salad Dressings). I told him off that I don’t need your money and don’t waste bad words on my service.

5. What would you recommend for anyone looking to go into business for themselves?

Have confidence in your capabilities and be honest and accept what you don’t know. Keep up with the advances in your field of specialty. There is information overload at your fingertips. Keep up and keep ahead.