Ms. Chandrakala, Tumkur – Food product
Enthusiasm: a little thing that can make a big difference!
Case study of Ms. Chandrakala, from Tumkur – Food product
"Enthusiasm releases the drive to carry you over obstacles and adds significance to all you do." – Norman Vincent Peale
Equipped with 11 years of experience in the food processing industry, Chandrakala aims high to provide employment to more than 20 women in her business.Chandrakala started her professional journey in the year 2001 when she joined the Stri Shakti Swasahaya Sangha and got trained in making papads and pickles on an industrial level. She started with a small investment of Rs. 500 along with other items and ingredients available in her house to take part in the Jilla Utsav (fair) in the year 2003 where her products sold well. She says, "This exhibition has given me the much needed encouragement and motivated me to do something better in the business." With this cheering response on her first step, she wanted to improvise herself in the professional field and thus, started making business on a larger scale. Her publicity gimmick to market her products better were through exhibitions and word of mouth, the latter being one of the oldest forms of advertisements.
Chandrika TumkurShe attended the AWAKE EDP in the year 2012 as she wanted to be trained further in marketing. The main highlight of her learning was packaging and labeling. "We used to staple the pickle packets but now we use a heat packing machine which is more hygienic," confesses Chandrakala. Keeping the basic concern of her product's consumers in mind, she took more care about cleanliness and hygiene by implementing the use gloves to handle all food items.
While she has a flourishing business to aid her in her financial needs, it has also given bread and butter to other women in the locality. As she started the food processing at home, she did not take any help from outside. But as she took orders and wanted to make papads and pickles at a larger scale, she started to hire the local ladies to make them for her. She paid them on piece work basis and now has ten women employed under her. They all get a steady income based on their time availability and the work they take up. With just one type of pickle and papad sold in her initial days, she has now expanded into making three varieties of pickles and three different varieties of papads, all of which have high demand in the market. The nearby hostels, paying guest houses, and party halls are her main target for sales and marketing when she is not attending any exhibitions. She proudly says, "I also process these foods on order basis and there was one order which sent my products to the United States as well."
Ask her about her expansion plans and she is thrilled to say, "Before my training at AWAKE, I used to earn a monthly income of Rs. 5,000 to 10,000, but now I earn more than Rs. 25,000 in a month. With these profits I purchased a heat packing machine and now I want to purchase a papad making machine which I saw during the field visit. For this purpose, I have also applied for a loan of Rs. 3 Lakh out of which I will get a subsidy of Rs.1,25,000 and have to pay an interest of 14 percent. The project report and proposal under the name of M/s Lakshmi Enterprises are ready and the loan should be repaid within the next three years." She also has an aim of increasing her earning to Rs.1 Lakh a month and also to provide employment to twenty women for their livelihood.