Business School for rural women in India

by Mann Deshi Foundation
Oct 16, 2011

Business School for Rural Women in India

Ms.Sujata Mane, a long time client of Mann Deshi Mahila Sahakari Bank and B-School.  Sujata got training for fashion designing from B-school.   She took out her first loan to improve her tailoring business, but family problems did not allow her to repay the loan. After some time she applied again for a loan, but given her record the bank was not sure about her ability to repay the debt. In the end the Bank finally decided to allow her to take out a loan, on her name, in the amount of 25,000 INR meant to buy a noodles machine. The Bank suggested her to enter a Self-Help Group so that she could take advantage of useful advice from other women and more easily repay the loan. Her business started to grow, given that in the area where she lives and works, she was the only one making noodles. Soon she was able to repay the loan and take out a new one in the amount of 35,000 INR to buy a chili powder machine. Again, given the lack of competitors, she was able to profit hugely from the business of making chili powder, and soon she was able to repay even this debt. She then decided that, given the lack of grocery stores in the area, she would open her own small shop, besides the business of noodles making and chili powder. To be able to open the grocery shop she needed another loan from the Bank, in the amount of 70,000 INR, this sum would allow her to buy the initial stock of products she would then sell. She is now repaying this last loan, and given the success of her business she expects to be done within one year: her monthly profit exceeds 10,000 INR considering the chili powder, the noodles and the grocery shop. 

Her clients come to her small grocery shop just to buy her chili powder and noodles. She does not have the time to go to the weekly market: with the chili powder and the noodles machine and the grocery shop she is already busy enough, but clients are not missing either. Apart from single clients she also does sell her product to grocery shops in Mhaswad and sends parts of her product to her husband who takes care of selling chili powder and noodles in both Pune and Mumbai.  Sujata is also the owner of a land property

Being such a successful entrepreneur she applied for the 1,000 Deshi Entrepreneurs Program, and has already taken part in the first batch of 2011. The most useful experience drawn from the program has been the exposure visits. Sujata, says that during them she has been able to see how other women engaged in the same business behave, and she has learned a lot of practices she then applied to her own business. The workshops have been useful too, in particular she recalls one of the trainers suggesting her to buy raw materials (chili peppers in her case) in large quantities, wholesale if possible, so that she would be able to get a quite low price and make a higher profit afterward. She currently buys chili peppers from the nearby farmers, always in large quantities.

Her future plans include the buying of an automatic chili powder machine: currently the machine she owns is able to process 5 kg of chili peppers daily, while an automatic machine would allow her to process 15 kg of chili peppers daily. This would make a great difference for her, and she would be able to prepare enough chili powder to be sold outside of Mhaswad and also save time, allowing her to rent the machine to other women to make chili powder. She is also planning to buy a packaging machine (to seal the packages): currently she seals the packages all by hand with the heat of a candle, but a machine would allow her to be faster and more precise. Finally, she is working with Mann Deshi to develop her own brand, so that the packages will be recognizable when sold in Mhaswad but even outside of the city, in Mumbai and Pune. She will probably take out another loan to be able to buy the two machines she needs, but not before having repaid her debt to Mann Deshi.

Her success brought her to become the leader of a Self-Help group, made of 15 women. They have taken out a loan as a group, thus being each responsible of the repayment. She is in charge of collecting the amounts for the group and bringing them to the Bank in Mhaswad once a week. She soon became a model for many women and currently she is also engaged in motivating other entrepreneurs in nearby villages through meetings during which she talks of her own experience and the sources of her success.

This success has allowed her to sustain her family, which comprises 6 members, and to send her 2 children to school. She is indeed very proud of them: one is in the 7th standard and the other in the 3rd standard. The youngest one has passed the examination to get a monthly scholarship of 250 INR.

Like Sujata Mane B-School has been created more than 39000 graduates as on September 2011.

This will not be possible without the support of Mann Deshi’s donor.  Thank you very much to all the donors who have supported B-school for rural women.



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Organization Information

Mann Deshi Foundation

Location: Mhaswad, Maharashtra - India
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Chetna Sinha
Mhaswad, Maharashtra India

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