Microfinance – Creating Aspirational Entrepreneur

Anita ben is our customer in Ankleshwar branch since 2010. She is a passionate and aspiring entrepreneur & words like patience, discipline… define her.

Anita ben was not born in a business family. She belongs to a family, where women were mainly engaged in household activities. Anita, as a kid, was very jolly & studious. Despite being good in studies, she had to abandon her education after basic schooling and started supporting her mother in household activities as per the social trend.

But today she runs a Papad making business in Ankleshwar and is quite famous for her work in the whole city. It wasn’t an easy route for Anita to reach where she is today.

“Ujjivan helped me getting out of the evil circle of indebtness. I always got what I was promised, without any hidden terms. At other institutions, we are told something else and given something else.”

She got married to Sunil in 2000, who used to work in a chemical company & his income at that time was just sufficient to make their both ends meet. It was 2005, when she found herself in a sticky situation, as then, she realized, it would be difficult for her to raise her kids – Grishma & Sanket, in this kind of competitive environment & to pursue the education they deserve, solely with her husband’s income.

And then Anita started experimenting. She inherited the art of tailoring from her Mother & thought of turning her passion into the profession. So she started off with it in Ankleshwar but as she was new to the area, she could not get enough jobs to do. Then she contacted few surat manufacturers and agreed to do lace work for them but very soon she realized that the cake is not worth the candle. This was the time she was completely confused about how to go on. She had no acquaintance who she could turn upto. In the meanwhile she came in contact with her paternal sister, who used to do papad business in Bardoli district and wanted to sell her papad making machine. She spoke to her husband about it and they finally decided that they should chance their arm with this business.

Lack of finance made them think twice but they somehow arranged the money with their relatives and local moneylenders on 4-5% and bought the machine. She started off her business in 2008 on a small scale. Loan that she took was a big worry for her. But as they say – there is wisdom to be gained in failure. One thing Anita learned from her earlier experience, that the path that she iss heading towards is going to be full of obstacles & patience is the only thing which will make her succeed.

In 2011, she got to know about Ujjivan offering financial product and applied for loan. Anita used it to pay off her earlier debts of higher interest rates. With her second loan in Ujjivan of Rs25000, she purchased 2 more machines – One which pulverizes all pulses & flours and second which helps in preparing readymade Aata for papad. Currently she has around 4 workers, who come at her place to make papad as per the daily order received. Her main business is selling the readymade papad aata, which she is able to sell around 15-25 kg in a day. She says that she is not afraid of competition.

She knows that the product quality she offers is as an ace up her sleeves & is difficult to match by anyone else. There are few readymade papad providers in market but they could no beat her product because of the taste and quality she offers. She says this business asks for a lot of efforts and by time the goodwill that I have built in market, I am not afraid of anyone else. Recently she has taken an individual loan of Rs100000. Through which she again purchased one more machine and increased the scale of business. She has also constructed her own home last year.

She follows a much disciplined schedule in a day. She wakes up at 4 in the morning and prepare the papad aata by 8 am. Her husband delivers it at local shops and in neighborhood. Thankfully with the help of machines, she has completely automated the work. She just have to call her workers who make papad from readymade aata by 4 in the evening. And simultaneously, she has started tailoring again.

Since she has quite a rapport in her neighborhood, she does not face client crunch. “Given the bad times we have gone through, I don’t want to depend on any single source of income.”

Anita is planning to rent a shop in a nearby shopping mall to commercialize her hobby, jointly with one of her friend.

“I have taken loan from a lot of sources during these times but my relation with all the institution has been very transactional & I could never develop the trust I have with your institute. Ujjivan staff has dealt with my issues like it were their own and helped me arrive where I am. Had Ujjivan not been there in support, I would have never been able to give shape to my passion. I am content to see that my children are studying in a decent English medium school and credit for all this definitely goes to UJJIVAN.”