Tagline: An inspiring entrepreneur’s journey
Rinchula Ragui, a qualified graduate of Business Administration (B.A) and a true entrepreneur is engaged in multiple activities like weaving, running a grocery shop and poultry. She is a 37-year-old woman from Awotang block of Ukhrul district in Manipur. Her husband is a salaried employee.
Soon after marrying into a large family, Rinchula realized that her husband’s income was not adequate to fulfill the needs of her family. To overcome this situation, she utilised her skills of weaving which she had learned during her childhood and began weaving sweaters, shawls, and caps. She sold these in the neighborhood, from which she earned around Rs. 4,000 - 5,000 every month.
However, the income was not sufficient to sustain her family, so she ventured into the food processing business. From her savings, she bought fruits on a seasonal basis, which she further processed and packaged by herself. During other seasons, she sold these processed items by preparing candies, jams, and pickles at a premium price. The demand gradually started increasing and she further pursued to expand this business but faced challenges due to no availability of sufficient funds.
During this phase of her life, Rinchula got to know about Volunteers for Village Development (VVD) through her local community women. In 2015, she became a member of VVD and availed her first loan of Rs. 15,000 to further expand her business of food processing. Soon she increased her product range, adding different product variations including ice creams, chocolates, etc. Her monthly income from this particular business currently is Rs. 25,000. Gradually, she converted her small shop into a grocery outlet. Her progress and success being an entrepreneur made a positive change in her socio-economic status. Rinchula says, “Now my neighbors also want to start a similar business like me”
Continuous association with VVD and participation in the training undertaken by FWWB has enabled her to have a better life for herself as well as her family. She participated in the training programs conducted by Friends of WWB, India in April 2016 and 2017. Rinchula says “I got new knowledge about the various business skills, like different ways to earn more profit margins in business, an idea of promoting the business, budget making, and savings per day to fulfill future dreams. After attending trainings from FWWB, I am able to earn more in my business.” She shared that the business has not only benefited her economically but has also empowered her. Now she can bravely deal with any situation whether it is related to family, neighbours or business hardships. She believes that she is now better organized when it comes to managing her finances.
Walking the path of entrepreneurship along with support from VVD and FWWB has developed a sense of self-confidence in Rinchula. She is proud that being a woman, she has managed this feat. Her future plan is to earn more money and lead a comfortable life with her children.