In India, women have entered different fields of business, and have established their own successful business empires. They are indeed, contributing towards improvement of their socio-economic conditions, and also the economy of the country. Government of India has highlighted the importance of women empowerment in the country and also introduced several schemes for the development of women entrepreneurs.
There are success stories guiding budding women entrepreneurs in Himachal Pradesh. At the same time, these stories are a powerful testimony to the growth of Himachal, where women are also playing key roles. As we interact, new names are getting inscribed in this aspirational story, which speaks volumes about the progressive changes which the state is witnessing.
Here are some women entrepreneurs who created history in the state of Himachal Pradesh.
> Amshu CR, Founder & CEO at THAPASU Foods
Thapasu is a supply chain integrator of native agricultural produces, a for-profit social enterprise currently operating in Himachal Pradesh to bring the Himalayan Food Culture and Heirloom Knowledge to their consumers’ table, as Amshu puts it. The goals are – to bring sustainably sourced health products to the world to up heal nutrition; to build supply chain creation for tribal produces and integration for already existing native produces; to establish value chain models for better market opportunities, subjecting heirloom and wild produces of North-Western Himalayan regions to the health and wellness market. Focus Areas are: Agriculture, Supply Chain, Nutrition, Community Livelihoods, Sustainable Production and Consumption, Revival, Food Security and Conservation of Native Produces.
Since 2016, Amshu has been working with the tribals of Trans Himalayan and Higher Himalayan regions in a range of activities. It includes reviving indigenous food, building a supply chain, integrating existing agriculture channels, technology transfers through institutional partnerships, and post-harvest technology interventions. Working towards cluster formations through the FPC model and building ‘Farmer Mapping systems’ through data frameworks and data gathering systems. She has won a number of awards like – 2018 – ‘Best Women Entrepreneur – Himachal Pradesh’ and in 2019 – ‘Thapasu – Best promoter of Native Produces – Himachal Pradesh’.
> Manisha Sud, Co-Founder, Himachali Rasoi
Manisha and Himanshu Sud started Himachali Rasoi in 2015 September. They also the founders of Wake and Bake Cafe. Being in the food industry they realized that there was no place serving authentic Himachali Cuisine. It was strange that Shimla being the capital of Himachal, had no good representation of the food of Himachal. Significantly, food is one of the most important aspects of culture. Himachali culture being so rich and diverse also has very unique food which really needed a voice. This thought inspired the couple to set out on a journey of making Himachali Rasoi a reality.
A speciality here is the Dham which is unique. Earlier, the only way to taste Dham was to be invited to such an occasion, now with the efforts of this couple from the hills one can enjoy Dham anytime at Himachali Rasoi in Shimla.
> Suruchi Bhanu, Co-founder, Gym
The Mukhyamantri Swavalamban Yojna (MMSY) launched by the state government of Himachal Pradesh is playing a significant role in fulfilling dreams of many aspiring women entrepreneurs. Suruchi Bhanu, a resident of Bhuntar in Kullu district, embarked on her journey – a path of self-reliance, along with her brother. Under this scheme, she got a loan of about 40 lakh rupees for opening a gymnasium in 2021.
Suruchi and her brother have employed two trainers, who are training around 51 youth from
the area. Many of them want to join the police or the army. They earn a monthly income of
up to 1.5 lakh rupees from this business, as she pointed out.
> Sanjana Sharma, Founder, The Royal Cascade Restaurant, Mandi
Sanjana Sharma, a resident of Ratti near Nerchowk of Mandi district, also benefitted from Mukhyamantri Swavalamban Yojna (MMSY).
Sanjana and her family had been settled in Bangalore for a long time, and she was working as a teacher and dietician, while her husband worked as an engineer there. Sanjana had a long time dream to return home and the MMSY came as a ray of hope, and she soon decided to start her own business.
MMSY proved beneficial for her as a loan of Rs.11.50 lakh was sanctioned under the scheme, for her to start her own restaurant – The Royal Cascade Restaurant Nerchowk Mandi Himachal Pradesh. The scheme has indeed, proved a boon to identify and benefit the youth and women at large.