BY: Michelle Liew
Trying something new can be daunting and challenging and not many are willing to step out of their comfort zone, but Darshen Ganasen is one person that refuses to let boundaries dictate his path in life.
At a young age, Darshen had always been passionate about football his unconditional interest in the sport eventually made him work towards being a professional player. Darshen’s passion led him to be called up for an open selection with Selangor FA. In a try-out with over 3,000 people from all over the country, he was selected and stayed with the club for three years which got him to break into the first-team training session and ultimately boosted his confidence.
The journey continued and was put to a halt after six years with Selangor FA, PKNS (now Selangor FC II), and Mifa FC (now Petaling Jaya City FC). He soon found himself wanting to explore different paths and pursued a career in the pharmaceutical industry for a couple of years. Despite that, Darshen was itching for more in terms of doing good for the community.
The 28-year-old founded DashKLBakes, an online baking business, as an ode to his mother’s passion for baking.
“Baking was always something I saw my mom do for many years of my life. I’ve always wanted to help her and try to learn. Slowly my mom allowed me to do it. I went through a recipe and slowly learnt the skills. I started baking and gave it to a few friends and everyone loved the treats,” Darshen tells Good News.
“It’s nice to provide something meaningful that people can enjoy with every bite. That’s where the inspiration for DashKLBakes came from and I decided to turn it into a business so that I could share my passion with everyone by delivering happiness at an affordable rate of RM25 per bottle.
The business soon bloomed and skyrocketed during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period. The orders came in swiftly and the business expanded to greater heights as everyone kept sharing about the cookies on social media. Further boosting the business was a positive review by Tan Sri Dato Tony Fernandes as well as other restaurants.
“My weekend routines start at 5.30 am and I would usually start baking till about 2 pm before I head out for football practice. Sometimes it gets tiring, but it just makes me happy that I can provide some sort of joy to people with my means during this time.”
Darshen currently runs DashKLBakes on his own but has hopes of bringing in more helpers in the future to grow this business. Meanwhile, his love for football remains and he continues to juggle his life as a semi-professional player and a partnership manager at a pharmaceutical company. But he doesn’t stop there.
Darshen had further opened the barbershop “Ace of Fades” during the height of the pandemic with his friend. The idea came about as during the implementation of the MCO, people were not able to get access to haircuts.
Darshen admits that grooming is essential for men to feel confident in their daily lives and decided to take matters into his own hands with a new business.
He states that he found joy in providing affordable services and capped the prices at only RM25 for a haircut and RM10 for a shave. Despite being a risky step to take, Darshen leapt at the opportunity and is glad that it panned out great with media coverage from RTM, TV3 and Free Malaysia Today.
“We had so many hiccups as young businessmen, but we learnt from experience and improved from there. Believing in ‘affordable rate or quality at affordable rates’ is something we always focus on, and it has resulted in customer loyalty as they come back for their monthly or even weekly visits!”