ID : HPA 1283
Name : V Rajalakshmi
Educational Qualification : (Old) Ninth Standard - Government School, Chidambaram
Nature Of Business : Millet-based health mix, Herbal hair oil, Amla Oil, Hair wash oil
Years In Business : 1
Annual Income : BELOW 1LAKH
Why And How You Started The Business: I am a widow, age 64, and I don't get any old-age pension from the government or any other government service pension. Also, I do not have any property inherited from my husband. For my livelihood, I had to depend on my daughter, who got married two years ago. So, I felt bad for asking money from my daughter and son-in-law. I thought that I should not be a burden to them. Instead of relying on others, why not I start something on my own – that was the thought going on my mind after my daughter got married. I have decided that I wanted to do something, but I could not zero in on the product. After a deep thinking, I chose the Millet-based health drink. I have been providing this drink for my children for nearly 35 years. Also, as I hail from a village in Chidambaram, this drink was my breakfast, when I was a child. So, the flavour of the product is nearly SIXTY years old. So, I thought this would be the good choice for the business. When I told my daughter initially, she was hesitating for a while. But I convinced her and her husband. I see to it that I earn Rs.1,500 to 2,000 per month. My acquaintances laughed at me and told me that just for earning Rs.2,000 per month, I can very well apply for government's old age pension. But, I was not interested. Why should I get something free of cost, when I can earn on my own. I thought that the old-age pension could at least go for even poor people, who can't help themselves. Then, came the idea of herbal hair oil, Amla oil and Hair wash oil. I often read a lot of books, of course in Tamil. Especially, after starting the business, I was looking for the ways of improving my business and to develop my product. Meanwhile, I read several articles related to hair problems of both men and women. Suddenly, an idea came to start the hair oil business too. Because, I have never purchased any oil from the markets, I have been using only herbal oil which I prepare at house. Sometimes, I use it as cakes and sometimes as oil. So I thought I can choose this product. Right now, I am looking for ways to learn internet so that I can meet more people and sell my product. My drawback is that I need to walk for a long distance to sell one packet. If that could be overcome by some means, then I can concentrate on other ways of development of the product.
Challenges In Running The Business : I do not know to ride two-wheelers or even cycle. So, I find it difficult to give the packets to more than two or three customers per day, as I go by walk. A few customers tell me that my product is too costly and they often compare with the market rates. For them, my answer is I do not add any preservatives or flavours and I add more than 20 ingredients, in equal proportions, than the one in market. I am very careful while choosing the ingredients. Because, there are a few items which are too hot to the body and a few that are too cold. So, the ingredients have to be balanced. Also, I explain the benetits of the each of the ingredient in the mix. Thus, I manage to sell the products. When I see that people are not convinced, the next day, I go to their place after making the porridge and ask them to drink, as a sample. After drinking the porridge, several people were convinced and started buying on a regular basis. My only challenge is meeting people. Because, I do not know to operate internet or ride cycles. So, I really feel that as a handicap.