Microfinance – Serving Right

I still remember those days when my husband had suffered from a paralysis attack 10 years ago and how we sailed through. To add to the misery, just when he recovered from it and started driving an auto rickshaw for living, he met with an accident again. Doctors had told him not to drive further as his leg injury would take a long time to recover. I was left shattered and helpless with the responsibility of my 2 very young kids. I did not know how to go on” Vandana recalls her times of hardship.

Vandana Pawar is the first customer of our Limbayat branch, Surat. She has been associated with Ujjivan since last 4 years. She is born and raised in Jalgaon and hails from a very simple family. She is married to Dagdu Ram & has 2 kids– Kalpesh(Bunty) and Rohini (Bebi) making them a complete family. She is living in Surat from last 10-11 years and never thought that she will ever become an entrepreneur before she fell in such situation.
But she completely proves the saying true that success comes to those who try harder every time they fail and never back down.

In the moments of suffering, she did not lose her patience and tried to test her luck with the business that her father in law used to run i.e. selling papad on cycle/Pherry. She took first loan from Ujjivan in 2010, which she utilized in restarting the business with some more farsaan products. Soon she became famous among her customers because of her unique Farsaan taste, its quality and the way she served her customers.

She utilized her subsequent loans from Ujjivan completely in scaling up her business. Her husband also started supporting her in the business. As she already started getting the requests for Shakkarpara and Chiwda, her business started growing gradually and with the increasing customer demand, today, she is selling almost 28-30 items. Every commodity which is sold in their lorry/pushcart is prepared at home. Vandana herself prepares it. She purchased 2 more lorries/pushcarts from her 3rd loan from Ujjivan. Her son also now carries one lorry/pushcart. They maintain their lorries/pushcarts at places like Nan darwaza, Methi khadi & Navsari Bazaar.

Just 8 months back only, she got Individual Loan of Rs65000 from Ujjivan. The Business, initially generating revenues of around 500-600 earlier, now pays off till Rs. 40000-50000 each month, all because of her hard work
Vandana herself has started operating one lorry/pushcart. They start selling it from 3:15 in the noon to 11 in night. Now she has 3 workers, who work under her supervision. She has 2 helpers, who assist her in making Farsaan and one worker, who helps in carrying the lorry/pushcart for her in evening.

Earlier she used to borrow from multiple sources in order to address her business as well as personal needs, but now she is happy with the variety of products Ujjivan is offering. She is already clear in her mind that from her next cycle loan, she will get one shop. As she has her clientele already established. With the shop, she would be able to run her business in a more stable fashion. With this, her son would also be able to continue his education as currently he is also involved carrying the lorry/pushcart. She wants him to complete his graduation at least so that his future is secured.

She is happy with where she is today and tells, “More than this business, I have gained self confidence in these years. I have not studied much and that’s why I always feared about whether I would succeed or not. But at the same time I also knew – I will have to do something rather than just sitting idle and being upset about my situation. Ujjivan has always supported me in the process and has treated me like a valued customer always. I am seeing Ujjivan growing. I really like Ujjivan’s new branch premises and feel very proud to be associated with it. They motivate me for my work and my experience with each staff in Ujjivan has been very good.” In the end, she adds up with a twinkling smile, “I really hope Ujjivan becomes a bank soon so that I can avail more service benefits.”