From roadside wooden stall to Restaurant on Highway
This is Amarchand’s story, no less than a movie plot. 5 years back, he barely had funds to buy a tea pot and gas stove to start a tea vending shop. Today, he owns a small family restaurant at state highway.
Amarchand had a temporary tea vending wooden stall in front of a shop at state highway. When his tea selling started doing well, the shop owner asked Amarchand to remove his stall and shift elsewhere. Amarchand realized the place was very conducive for his business and instead offered to buy the shop. He put in all his savings and took hefty money from local money lender at high-interest rates and bought the shop. While he got the place security but all his monthly earnings were used in paying interest to local moneylender for the hefty funds he had borrowed. He could not shift in the shop either, as more funds were required for renovation. When we met him, we realized the highway attracted a lot of traffic. We advised him to open a family restaurant instead not just a tea and snacks shop. Amarchand didn’t even have a bank account. We refused to fund him until he opened a bank account. He got funds from us, with which he repaid his high interest bearing loans and converted the shop in a restaurant. Today, Amarchand is a happy man and an example of what courage can do, if supported well in time.
There are many Amarchands here, waiting for us to lift them up!
One inspiring story you can’t afford to miss
Ram Kishore is one of the most sought after craftsman in his region. Anyone wanting agriculture equipment like threshing machine, pulley, water tanker would come searching for him at his employer’s shop. Things were going good and Ram Kishore was enjoying his work. Though, he wanted to start something on his own but the funds and self confidence, 2 crucial ingredients required for entrepreneurship were missing. As luck would have it, his son met a serious accident and for 2 months he could not come to his employer’s unit. He took huge salary advance from his employer for the operation and medical treatment. When he returned to work, employer started taking advantage of his situation and a significant portion of his monthly salary were charged towards interest on advances taken, leaving him with just sufficient amount to run his household expenses. Even after 6 months of working and overtimes, salary advance was the still same. This is a common story where many like Ram kishore end up their life serving as bonded labour.
When we met him, he asked funding to repay the salary advances and some funds to start his business which included security deposits for the shop he was planning to take on rent, buying machines and raw material. With the funds given by us, he did exactly what he had planned. For his customers, Ram kishore is still the same, they get same quality equipments. Only difference being earlier they would negotiate prices with his employer and explain the specifics to Ramkishore, now they not only explain him the specifics but negotiate the prices with him only.
From self-employed on 3 machines to 10 machines in 2 units and giving employment to 4 village youths
It is a classic example of how Large scale Industry’s management principles can be applied on cottage industries. Subhash was running a cottage industry making dried whole milk (Mawa) with 3 units using traditional fuel like wood and coal. He soon realized, the labour work can be outsourced and he should concentrate on business development. With a small funding from us, he increased the number of units to 6 in his existing premises and took one more premises on rent where he employed 4 more units using new boiler technology, thus saving on fuel cost. Today, he is one of the biggest suppliers of dried whole milk in his region and has outsourced the labor work on his units. He procures order from nearby villages and has invested in working capital. 6 families are now directly dependent on Subhash for employment. And you thought “Asset light” was meant only for big businesses! Again one of those many more classic examples, we have set with these small entrepreneurs.
Woman empowering Women
Phooli devi has 2 sons. When his sons got married, Phooli devi wanted his daughter-in-laws to self dependent and become an earning member of family. In villages, typically women get married and confine themselves to household chores and taking care of family members. Phooli devi wanted to break the tradition and had different plans. She realised Milk production is the easiest way to engage them. She had only 2 cows, while she wanted to increase the number of cattle, finding enough space to raise the cattle was also an issue for her. Her family owned a small waste land in corner of the village. She got funds from us with which she developed the waste land, fenced it, arranged water and feeding facilities for the cattle and increased the number of cattle. Today she and both her daughter in laws sell the milk to local dairy and contribute financially as well to the family. We at NLFPL are extremely busy doing our bit to produce many more such role models for the society.