Home»Life»Weird Worldยป The Journey of Shatbhi Basu, the first ever woman bartender in India

How India's First Woman Bartender Set Out on a Career in an All-Men Industry

Priyambada Dubey | Last Modified - Jun 06, 2016, 05:57 PM IST

Shatbhi Basu was the first woman bartender in India who broke stereotypes by establishing herself in a male-dominant profession.
  • Shatbhi Basu is the first woman bartender in India.
    +2 See more slides
    Shatbhi Basu is the first woman bartender in India.
    In the 1980s when most Indian women looked on to their fathers and husbands to make decisions about their marriage, life and career, Shatbhi Basu without any actual intentions, was breaking gender stereotypes.
    As the first woman bartender in India, Basu feels that bartending is something that you should do only if you are seriously passionate about it and not just because you want to break stereotypes.
    As a young woman, bartending was not the first choice for a 21-year-old Basu. She wanted to be a Chinese cuisine chef. But life has a different plan for her. She recalls that Indian restaurants were not particularly happy with women working in professional kitchens at that time and so she had to quit her job.
    As it was a totally male-dominant profession, men in the profession were not much happy with women invading their space. Shatbhi says that neither she had much knowledge about the industry, nor was she expecting any help from her seniors.
    The big break for Shatbhi happened when she was appointed as a bartender at Mumbai’s Chopsticks restaurant. Here she also got her on concoctions in the menu.
    Shatbhi’s next milestone was to establish a bartending academy, but she lacked the resources. As a consolation to her bigger dream, she created STIR, an annual convention that offered seminars and live competitions for students.
    Finally in 1997, Shatbhi opened a bartending academy. Since then she never looked back. Shatbhi has designed many bars in India and abroad including some in Singapore, Lima and New York.
    Click next to read more...
  • She has more than 35 years of experience in the field and has designed several bars both domestic and abroad.
    +2 See more slides
    She has more than 35 years of experience in the field and has designed several bars both domestic and abroad.
    In the 1980s when most Indian women looked on to their fathers and husbands to make decisions about their marriage, life and career, Shatbhi Basu without any actual intentions, was breaking gender stereotypes.
    As the first woman bartender in India, Basu feels that bartending is something that you should do only if you are seriously passionate about it and not just because you want to break stereotypes.
    As a young woman, bartending was not the first choice for a 21-year-old Basu. She wanted to be a Chinese cuisine chef. But life has a different plan for her. She recalls that Indian restaurants were not particularly happy with women working in professional kitchens at that time and so she had to quit her job.
    As it was a totally male-dominant profession, men in the profession were not much happy with women invading their space. Shatbhi says that neither she had much knowledge about the industry, nor was she expecting any help from her seniors.
    The big break for Shatbhi happened when she was appointed as a bartender at Mumbai’s Chopsticks restaurant. Here she also got her on concoctions in the menu.
    Shatbhi’s next milestone was to establish a bartending academy, but she lacked the resources. As a consolation to her bigger dream, she created STIR, an annual convention that offered seminars and live competitions for students.
    Finally in 1997, Shatbhi opened a bartending academy. Since then she never looked back. Shatbhi has designed many bars in India and abroad including some in Singapore, Lima and New York.
    Click next to read more...
  • Shatbhi is happy the way bartending has turned out as a profession for women in India.
    +2 See more slides
    Shatbhi is happy the way bartending has turned out as a profession for women in India.
    In the 1980s when most Indian women looked on to their fathers and husbands to make decisions about their marriage, life and career, Shatbhi Basu without any actual intentions, was breaking gender stereotypes.
    As the first woman bartender in India, Basu feels that bartending is something that you should do only if you are seriously passionate about it and not just because you want to break stereotypes.
    As a young woman, bartending was not the first choice for a 21-year-old Basu. She wanted to be a Chinese cuisine chef. But life has a different plan for her. She recalls that Indian restaurants were not particularly happy with women working in professional kitchens at that time and so she had to quit her job.
    As it was a totally male-dominant profession, men in the profession were not much happy with women invading their space. Shatbhi says that neither she had much knowledge about the industry, nor was she expecting any help from her seniors.
    The big break for Shatbhi happened when she was appointed as a bartender at Mumbai’s Chopsticks restaurant. Here she also got her on concoctions in the menu.
    Shatbhi’s next milestone was to establish a bartending academy, but she lacked the resources. As a consolation to her bigger dream, she created STIR, an annual convention that offered seminars and live competitions for students.
    Finally in 1997, Shatbhi opened a bartending academy. Since then she never looked back. Shatbhi has designed many bars in India and abroad including some in Singapore, Lima and New York.
    Click next to read more...

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