Whoever said that being a homemaker is an easy task surely has never done the job. In this article, we bring you the story of five homemakers, who excelled at managing their home, and also stepped out and became successful entrepreneurs.
These stories will not just inspire you to take the plunge but also serve as a great reminder of the fact that where there is a will, there is always a way!
1. Menaka Thilak Raj
It was the birth of her first child that led Maneka, and her late husband, Thilak Raj, towards the path of entrepreneurship.
The couple wanted to find and feed the child with good quality and organic rice and cereals, and began researching various rice varieties.
In this process, they found that the traditional varieties of rice that they had grown up eating were now fading away and farmers were mostly unaware of their existence.
“On the one hand, we are urging the government to create jobs and help farmers, but on the other, we are ignoring our traditional varieties, in favour of imported ones. Where is the sense in that?” she asked in an interview with The Better India (TBI).
What started off as a pet project has mushroomed into a company called Aswat Eco Organics, which Menaka manages. With the organic market in India booming, the demand for such produce is also ever increasing.
2. Namrata Goenka
This former lawyer chose to be a stay-at-home-mother after the birth of her son, Vedant. Not one to sit idle, she decided to use her time at home to grow vegetables in her terrace at home. In an interview with TBI, she said, “While raising Vedant, I had time to look after my terrace. Even though it is a small space, we grow veggies like lettuce, herbs, radish, greens, tomatoes and beans for our daily consumption.”
Spurred by an interest to grow her own vegetables, Namrata attended a course at the Indian Institute of Horticulture Research (IIHR) on spawn cultivation and used the information she had learnt to cultivate mushrooms in her 10×10 feet terrace.
She first started on a small scale to enhance her skills and check the market. Having her own home and terrace reduced the costs, and much of the equipment was bought from a mushroom unit that was shutting down.
With time, she was able to start her own venture, Green Apron, and currently grows 100 bags of mushrooms, with each kilo of substrate yielding 200-400 gm of mushrooms.
3. Patricia Narayan
For Patricia the saying, ‘necessity is the mother of all inventions’ rings true. Married at 17 and divorced at 18, Patricia had a rather difficult time while she grew up.
She had nursed a passion for cooking for a long time, and the need to re-invent herself and achieve financial independence led to her taking it up full time.
“It was a question of survival for me. I knew I should either succumb to the burden or fight, so I decided to fight my lonely battle,” she had said in a story published in TBI.
She started out by preparing and selling jams and squashes. Once she was confident about her cooking skills, she established a food kiosk at the Marina beach and slowly but steadily, she managed to start supplying food to various office canteens in Chennai.
In 1998 she entered into a partnership with an existing restaurant in the city.
Unfortunately, yet another personal loss pushed Patricia into a two-year mourning period.
Finally, she returned to work, stronger and more determined than ever. “I started my business with just two people. Now, there are 200 people working for me in my restaurants. From 50 paise a day, my revenue has gone up to Rs 2 lakh a day,” said the inspiring woman.
4. Nisha Madhulika
If you like me, enjoy trying out new recipes then the chances are that you have seen at least a few cooking videos that have made Nisha very popular.
After her children moved out in 2007, 55-year-old Nisha was going through an empty nest syndrome. She had some free time on her hands, and somehow, started cooking.
She started by uploading recipes on a blog, and as that gained popularity, she moved on to vlogging.
She uploaded her first ever cooking video on May 16, 2011, and has come a long way since then.
Referred to as Nisha Auntyji, today, she has more than 6.5 million subscribers on her YouTube channel, and this number only keeps increasing. With various awards and accolades under her belt, Nisha sure inspires!
5. Sandeep Riat
A business management graduate, Sandeep had joined her fathers business after the completion of her course.Little did she know that the responsibility of running the entire business would soon fall on her.
While working with her father, she came to know about some of the debts that he had taken for the company. Eventually, the stress of it all took his life as he died of cardiac arrest and brain haemorrhage in 2004.
Following this tragedy, Sandeep was appointed as the Managing Director.
The task ahead was an uphill one, but she did it all—from bringing the sick unit back on track, paying off the creditors, dealing with the multiple court cases and bank recovery agents.
The company is now a profit-making venture and receives orders from vehicle manufacturers like Tata Motors, Mahindra and Mahindra, etc.
Sandeep was awarded the Parman Patra award by Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal in 2011 for contribution in business. She has a factory in Ludhiana, two offices and over 350 workers.
A story of true grit and determination.
If these women inspired you and you would like to read more such stories, do write in and tell us.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)