Preserving family & tradition
For the past 15 years, 47-year-old housewife turned entrepreneur Shakunthala Venu from Thottappilly in Alappuzha district of Kerala earns her livelihood by manufacturing clay potteries and cement rings at her modest workshop.
In doing so, she also preserves the family tradition which gives her household its significance. Her husband taught her pottery making and later Shakunthala perfected the moulding technique and learned how to use a foot-powered moulding wheel.
She has been looking for capital to expand their family business into next level as she was well aware of the potential of this business. However, without anything to provide as collateral security to financiers, she was unable to find any financial support. At the time, she was introduced to Muthoot Microfin by a friend and learned about the institution’s microfinance loans.
Shakunthala soon joined a JLG to avail her first cycle loan of ₹30,000 and utilised the entire amount to develop her business. She also employed 4 workers to help her in manufacturing cement rings. As expected, her business began to flourish and she started to receive big orders.
With the business acumen training and financial guidance provided by Muthoot Microfin, she managed her business efficiently. Meanwhile, she also expanded her product line. Her low cost but quality products gained demand and she began to earn around ₹ 1,000 as profit a day.
Shakunthala is currently training women from her community to work with her and has started saving from her profits for her family’s future. She is now providing quality education for her children, something she never got to have herself.
She wants to expand her production by adding latest machineries and plans to enter markets in large towns which could fetch more profit. The business, once born out of necessity, has turned into a source of steady income and pride for Shakunthala. Her determination is an inspiration to many women in her village.