In the heart of Jayantara village in Jajapur district, Odisha, a group of remarkable women known as the "Siba Baba Brahma Kumari" Self-Help Group (SHG) are inspiring others with their success. Common across India, SHGs are often groups of local women who work daily wage jobs and form a loose union of sorts to save money and support each other in times of need.
These six women run a thriving turmeric production business in their village, but their journey wasn’t easy.
Initially, the group crafted incense sticks and processed turmeric into powder. Over time, they recognised the potential in refining raw turmeric into premium turmeric powder. But due to a lack of both financial assistance and the machinery needed to process their products, growth was impossible.
The turning point in their story came when Siba Baba Brahma Kumari SHG received support from the Pradhan Mantri Formalization of Micro Food Processing Enterprises (PMFME) Scheme, which formalises and supports micro-food processing enterprises. The scheme is led by the MSME Department and the Government of Odisha, and supported by Palladium as the State Project Management Unit.
"The SHG applied for seed capital through Odisha Livelihoods Mission (OLM) under the scheme and received a grant of US$2,170, which empowered the group to acquire necessary machinery, such as a grinder and packaging machine,” explains Vikash Pandey, Associate Director, Palladium. He adds that the team provided assistance to the SGH through the seed capital component.
Empowered by modern machinery, their production capacity soared, enabling them to better cater to and meet increasing demands. The grant didn't just enhance productivity; it paved the way for diversification. The SHG expanded its product offerings to include chilli, coriander, and cumin powder.
"Under the PMFME scheme, Palladium's team also facilitated Entrepreneurship Development Skilling training for the SHG members," Pandey adds. "This comprehensive training covers various aspects, including identifying business opportunities, creating business plans, setting up enterprises, acquiring management skills, adhering to hygiene and food safety standards, and meeting regulatory requirements."
With the right guidance and support, the Siba Baba Brahma Kumari SHG saw an impressive surge in revenue. They are now planning to venture into e-commerce under the brand 'Shanti,' with plans for district-wide wholesale partnerships.
"It is truly inspiring to witness the exceptional growth and resilience of this remarkable group," says Amit Patjoshi, CEO of Palladium India. "With access to the necessary credit support, training, and other resources, these women are not just improving their own lives; they are raising the bar for the quality of their products and services. This benefits them individually while contributing to the socio-economic development of their community."
Patjoshi adds that this is the story of just one of 915 such SHGs that the team is providing support to across the region, ultimately benefitting nearly 8000 members. "Our overarching goal is to cultivate an environment conducive to sustainable business development, ensuring they attain consistent growth and establish a promising future for their enterprises.”
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