Hyderabad: Despite getting bogged down by the Covid pandemic for over 18 months, self-made entrepreneurs in Hyderabad who had taken a substantial hit have now started to gradually bounce back. One such enterprising businesswoman is Rama Ayyagari, who started Aadhunik Jute Creations six years ago at New Nallakunta.
Before Covid, she had a staff of eight women to whom she imparted training and depending on experience, gave a remuneration of anywhere between Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000. For the past 18 months, thanks to the pandemic, Rama’s business graph had gone south, but the fight in her did not. With the easing of lockdown restrictions, the business has started to gradually look up, which has given a lot of hope for the entrepreneur.
Explaining how her transition took place from working in the administration wing of an engineering college to an entrepreneur, Rama said, “Once while I was returning from office, I saw a cow eating plastic near a dustbin and I felt bad about it. The incident forced me to do some research on alternatives for plastic. I stumbled upon jute which is biodegradable and eco-friendly. I also explored how I can make a difference and do my bit in protecting the environment. As luck would have it, a few days later I came across an advertisement where ALEAP was providing training to women on manufacturing jute bags. I decided to sign up.”
About 32 women had joined the training course, she recalls. Due to numerous reasons, many had to dropout in the middle of the course but Rama was the only trainee who managed to complete the training and went on to establish a manufacturing unit ‘Aadhunik Jute Creations’ in New Nallakunta. “As the name suggests, I am trying to create new trends in jute and supply to customers,” she says.
Rama’s company manufactures lunch bags, shopping bags, laptop bags, schoolbags, sling bags with kalamkari works, travel wheel bags, vegetable bags with compartments, and customised bags with log printed on them. Apart from that, she also does jute wall decorations, dolls, etc. And the price starts from Rs 70 and Rs 1,000 depending on what the customer wants.
Being a woman entrepreneur, Rama understands the problems faced by women, so she procured high-end Jack industrial sewing machines to stitch the bags. “With ordinary sewing machines, there are possibilities of one getting back and leg pains as the jute material is very hard and the women have to apply a lot of pressure on their legs and back while working the sewing machine,” she explains.
Till now, Rama has trained over 20 women and made them independent by teaching them the craft. Though Covid has affected Rama’s business, she still is providing employment to her dependents. She has not lost hope and says, “The government must support small scale industries, and in government-related programmes, if they use such eco-friendly products, it will be helpful for many entrepreneurs like me.” Rama Ayyagari can be reached at: 98660-86355.
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