Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Saroja Devi - Teracotta artisan from Varanasi

They say it is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation. – Herman Melville” A life story of an entrepreneur who fulfilled her dreams to reality. Saroja devi, wife of Rajesh Prajapati who is a Navodyami awardee of 2016 is a terracotta artisan from Sultanpur village of Sarnath. Before joining Navodyami, she used to make conventional terracotta items like diyas and cups which was sold at a very less price in the ordinary markets. Lately after joining Navodyami program she gained market exposure and got to know that she can design several other terracotta items which can be sold at a higher price. She carries a total of 12 years of experience in this field. She along with her husband owns the business. Her staff size has grown from 8 to 14 people and her monthly income has increased from Rs. 2000 to Rs. 20,000 after joining Navodyami program. Her daily production is around 20000 pieces and her business reach are till the territory areas of Nepal, her husband plays a vital role in her life he acts as a major supporter to her. Down the pike she wants to increase the market base and increase the market transactions to a next level.

Friday, 11 January 2019

Mentorship session with Mr Renuka Prasad - Co- founder of Havenow food tech ltd

Mr. Renuka prasad co-founder of Havenow food tech sharing his insights about his start up idea & encouraging our entrepreneurs grow in terms of uniqueness & innovations.


Kalanidhi Arts & crafts

Jayashree at her stall in Navodyami santhe, showcasing her handcrafted products

Mrs. Jayashree (68 years) & Mrs. Laxmi (28 years), launched a small business venture in 2016. With no background in business and lack of formal business education, they were unsure about how to proceed. The founders initially invested less than Rs. 10,000/- as the operating capital of their business. They produced handmade products like torans, haldi kumkum platters, door hangings but marketed without any brand name. They realised the need of improving their business competency without which it was difficult to thrive amongst competitors.

2017 marked a turning point in their lives when the founders approached Deshpande foundation Navodyami program for business growth suggestions.  They finalized the the name ‘Kalanidhi’ for their business venture. They were relentless in their efforts towards betterment and Navodyami was committed in helping them scale up. Not only did they attend the 2-day Entrepreneurship Awareness Program and the 5-day Entrepreneurship Development Program, these Disha beneficaries made sure to avail the benefits of different Navodyami programs like Santhes, Karyagaras, Sammelanas to learn the ground realities of business. The trainings and advice from Navodyami mentors armed them to face the challenges of business sustainability.  
Disha is a partnership between the India Development Foundation and UNDP, supported by IKEA Foundation, that aims to support one million underprivileged women in India learn marketable skills and connect with income opportunities.

They soon had a large marketing network involving higher profit margins. Navodyami santhes proved to a boon for them, with Kalanidhi Arts & Crafts gaining a turnover of Rs 8,000/- to Rs. 11,000/- per santhe. Now, Kalanidhi has its loyal clientele who have helped them in further expanding to different locations. The venture initially was centered around Dharwad, but has successfully expanded in Belagavi & Hubballi. The founders aim to establish their own arts & crafts store dealing in indigenous, handmade products.

Thursday, 10 January 2019

Navodyami has given my snack a great popularity in all the local markets says : Pramila

Pramila with her popular food products in Navodyami Santhe

Born into a well-off, traditional family in Kolhapur, Maharashtra, Pramila hadn’t faced economic hurdles till a very late age. Married to a doctor and mother of two beautiful daughters, she was comfortable in her life. When her doctor husband passed away due to a cardiac arrest, not only was she emotionally shattered, but also confronted with the big question of means of survival. With the sudden demise of the sole bread earner of the family, she became dependent on her extended family for financial support.

But as a self respecting, strong woman, she chose to step into the utterly alien business world. She had studied up to higher secondary levels and did not have any formal business education. But it did not deter her from starting a business at the age of 50. On her brother’s advice, she started a small business from her home, selling Bhadang (puffed rice chivda), a traditional Maharashtrian snack. The popular snack gained appreciation in her friends’ circle in Hubli which boosted her confidence. It was during this initial phase that she got to know about Navodyami ‘santhes’ - platform for micro and small micro-entrepreneurs to exhibit and sell their products. Santhes are a part of the Disha pilot program. The Disha program aims to reach out to 10,000 existing and aspiring entrepreneurs, provide entrepreneurship development training to 3000, and incubate 1000 sustainable women entrepreneurs.

Pramila’s interaction with the Navodyami team and other micro-entrepreneurs fueled her desire to expand her business. She enrolled as a member of Navodyami and started her journey of entrepreneurial learning as a Disha beneficiary.

Talking about her business growth, Pramila says “I started my entrepreneurial journey with the popular snack of Maharashtra called Bhadang, which my brother used to send me from Kolhapur. Initially the demand was low, and I would source 20 – 30 kgs of Bhadang. After participating in Navodyami Santhe, I met more potential customers. My food product got a huge response and people loved the product. Orders started pouring in. I participated in two Navodyami Santhes, and soon after, people started recognizing me and my product. Now, I manage to sell about 100 to 150 kilos of Bhadang on an average every fortnight. Expanding my range of products, I have also started stocking up on Kandalussunchatni , a unique masala chilli powder, turmeric powder, Goda masala (use to prepare vegetable curries and Pulav). Apart from this, I am also trying to sell bhel and other varieties of snacks”

With growth in her business and selling capacity, Pramila has bagged a contract to serve Bhadang as a snack in Jain Heritage International School, Hebbal, Bangalore. The response has been very good and is giving her opportunity to venture into newer markets.

Emphasizing about Navodyami’s role in her success, Pramila says, "No other organization could have done it the way the Navodyami team has cooperated, supported and trained me to be an entrepreneur. Through the 5 day EDP training given under Disha, I have received inputs on how I could better manage my accounts and use resources properly. I do not feel like an early-phase entrepreneur clueless of what I should do next. instead I am confident and I can also motivate other women like me who need timely support at the most crucial phases of their lives."    

Mrs Mamatha's journey with Navodyami program...

                               There’s nothing wrong to stay as a successful small enterprise. Every beginning has a hard start, o...