“We have a lot of talent, but it has to come out and then only can we become independent.”
Working quietly in the city of Indore, is Rajkumari Patidar, a woman entrepreneur, who took the first step ten years ago. She talks to Shree Lahiri about how she started the business, how she has been constantly fighting challenges and how she wished she could expand her business. Read on….
- How did you start your business?
It started ten years ago, when I got the idea to start my own business. And I knew stitching, so I thought why not? Initially I started ladies clothes and then I got a team of 15 ladies together. But it was very difficult. Now I supply clothes to a boutique.
In Indore they are many ready-made clothes that silaiwalle take up. And I tried this for sometime. The order was for shirts for gents. But the income was very low, as margins were small. So, I gave it up and started making only clothes for women like lehnga cholis, frocks, tops, kurtas, patialas, palazzos, churidars, salwars and so on. Whatever is in fashion, we try to make. I have five women working and we supply to boutiques and women who place orders.
- How are you funding it?
In the beginning no one supported me. But my family was a great help. My husband has his own work, but he supported me. Even now, I am supporting myself. Now my daughter helps me in my accounts.
Certainly, we would like to get big orders and make more money.
- Do ladies need to be independent?
Yes, ladies need to work and move ahead. We have a lot of talent, but it has to come out and then only can we become independent. There is a big Mahila Sangh here and we came to know that there is a movement to help ladies go forward.
- Do you require any training? Do you need any better knowledge of government incentives that will help you to move ahead?
Yes I would like to undergo training. We need to upgrade our knowledge of markets. The government has announced many incentives for women, but we still have to really experience it. They have not reached us.
- What sort of training will help you to improve awareness of your business?
I would like to improve the quality of my business, so maybe I would like training in making better quality clothes, using better machines. And I would like to know how I can reach better markets. Market information will be useful
- Would you like to meet other women entrepreneurs?
Yes I would like to many other women who are in business. Then maybe I will be able to reach out to better markets.
- In the next two years, what is the future you can foresee?
By then the new government will come in. We hope we get more help and we can make our business bigger.