Tailored to win
To become an entrepreneur is difficult. More so for women in India who are confined to household work.
Madhuri Sunil Khandave from Daundaj village in Pune district of Maharashtra, who was forced to drop out of school after the ninth grade, through constant struggle and self-confidence has become an established ladies tailor with an annual turnover of Rs 24 lakh in the last fiscal.
After her marriage in 1994, Madhuri decided to augment the family income by stitching clothes for a local tailoring unit.
She participated in an exhibition in Pune and sold garments worth Rs 50,000 for the unit within three days. This made her realize the scope of the business and she decided to set up her own enterprise.
Drawing upon her meagre savings of Rs 1500 as the initial capital, Madhuri scouted in a local market and bought two metres each of a variety of fabrics, stitched petticoats and sold them from door to door.
Encouraged by the response, Madhuri diligently reinvested a part of her profits and gradually grew her clientele. It took her some years to identify good shops selling quality fabric. She then moved up to wholesalers to procure raw material and in 2003 she employed her first worker. Today she has five full-time workers while 30 other women regularly carry out job work on order.
As her business grew, Madhuri needed some financial help. She approached the Bharatiya Yuva Shakti Trust to expand her business and obtained a loan of Rs 2.5 lakh. She invested the money in buying raw material in bulk.
Madhuri has converted her mud house into a pucca one and has also opened a retail store near her house and sells under the "Gayatri" brand, named after her daughter. She hopes to establish a huge industry of ladies garments manufacturing.