While several women put a full stop to their career after pregnancy, it was the opposite for Jaya Saritha who began her career after becoming a mother. With a zeal for starting a business of her own, Jaya, a hospital administration post-graduate from Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad, thought a lot about what could be useful for people and the environment in the long run. That’s when her hidden interest for jute rang a bell.
“I wanted to do something to promote eco-friendly practises and stop using plastic bags even for their day-to-day shopping. Soon after my son Saran was born, I approached Narsimhulu garu, promotional officer, National Jute Board in Hyderabad for guidance. I then started my business with a small unit by name ‘Saran Jute Bags’ in August 2010 by purchasing four industrial sewing machines,” shares Jaya who had 35 employees working for her until before lockdown.
Having produced over 500 bags in a day before lockdown, the company is very proud of its quality and variety. “We import the knitted jute fabrics from a jute mill in Eluru, Andhra Pradesh. We have a variety of jute in different price ranges. The jute is cut as per the required designs of the bags; printed more than twice for neat visibility on jute and finally stitched by our tailors,” shares Jaya whose company has over 90 per cent women employees. The company also undertakes orders for weddings and other functions.
Beyond her own venture, Jaya wants to promote the cotton and jute industry as a whole. Jaya and other jute and cotton manufacturers from the two Telugu States have formed a society called ‘Dharitri jute and eco-friendly products’. Jaya who is the founder and chairman of the society wants to bring all the manufacturers under one umbrella and ensure that there is work for everybody. In addition, the society also conducts workshops to train people into cotton and jute product manufacturing.
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