Fizzing Success Thru Hard Work
Deepa Udayakumar, a 34-year-old housewife from Vellakkamurani in Palakkad district of Kerala has been associated with their family run soda making business for decades. Five years ago, Deepa decided to start her own venture, but to break into a market which requires some capital investment; she needed to find a suitable financier and an innovative approach to production.
Deepa wanted to be a small, artisanal producer with the ability to experiment and make changes to her products to assure greater success. She approached some local lenders but was doubtful in their demands. She was introduced to Muthoot Microfin at this time by a friend and was impressed by its simple and effective operations. Deepa soon joined a group and was granted the first cycle loan of ₹15,000. She utilised the entire amount to buy new machines for packing and bottling.
Deepa started innovations at her soda plant by experimenting with new ideas. Infusing sparkling mineral water with fresh ingredients like ginger, lime and citrus, she developed some flavours and all of them were accepted in the market. She also received business training from Muthoot during this time.
After a year, she availed the second cycle loan of ₹20,000 and used that amount to increase her market coverage to almost all areas of Palakkad district. Deepa’s artisanal approach to the business gave her competitive edge and helped her to land shelf spaces in big shops and supermarkets in Palakkad.
Her market is slowly expanding from Shoranur to Valayar and into neighbouring Thrissur and Malappuram districts. She plans to introduce two new flavours soon targeting these two districts. Deepa has now operating her business for five years with her revenue hitting a whopping ₹2500 a day after all expenses.
Deepa takes pride in serving as the lifeline for her family. Her husband Udayakumar, who helps her at the manufacturing unit also supports in marketing of the products. Deepa says, “Apart from my artisanal approach to the business, timely loans and training from Muthoot has helped my business become more competitive.”