Mahabubnagar: Shruthi, a Self-Help Group (SHG) member, who is into making paper bags, was having a harrowing time to market her products. She had to struggle a lot to find consumers and improve sales. The situation, however, changed in the past couple of years with the district administration launching Maha — Mahabubnagar Mahila Products — brand under which SHGs in the district are now selling over 65 different products.
“With the launch of the brand and our products being sold under the Maha brand name, consumer confidence has shot up. Earlier, it was tough for us to convince consumers about the products,” says Shruthi, who is from Addakal mandal in the district.
Sales have been steadily increasing since the launch of Maha brand. Due to proper presentation, branding and marketing, orders are aplenty for marriages, birthdays and other occasions in addition to regular sales, says Shruthi, who now produces paper bouquets as well.
Tie ups with some e-commerce websites for online sales by the district administration has also increased the brand promotion of Maha products. There are about 11,500 SHGs in Mahabubnagar and 8,500 of them are into making products such as soaps, eatables, savories, detergents, bags, pickles, pain balm, among others.
These SHGs now promote their brands under Maha and are reaping good benefits. A few women from Chakrapur thanda of Musapet mandal are into making good quality ropes, which are useful in farming and factories but despite the quality, sales were not encouraging. But, under the Maha brand, sales have increased considerably. They now approach people with the brand name with lot of confidence, an official from District Rural Development Authority told Telangana Today.
Mounica, who is into making soaps, says after the branding was introduced, women from neighbouring areas have been enquiring about the support being extended by the district administration, especially promotional activities.
Stores being planned at different places
After the success operating a store in Mahabubnagar town, the district administration plans to facilitate setting up of four more shops in Jadcherla, Deverkadra, Bhootpur and Mahabubnagar.
Women from different SHGs can display and sell their products at the store which will help the groups increase their consumer base besides promoting their products effectively.
All this is being done in addition to the tie up with a few e-commerce websites for brand promotion and increasing sales for the SHGs, says S. Sharada, Additional DRDO. From the time Maha brand was introduced, sales turnover has been encouraging for the SHGs. During the last two years, the turnover was about Rs 1.05 crore. This is excluding the sales managed by the SHGs individually and those operating under MEPMA, she explained.
Many SHGs have been participating in different exhibitions across the State and in other States. And, Maha products are definitely drawing more customers’ attention, she informs.
In tune with the sales, efforts are now being intensified to extend bank linkages for many SHGs under SERP. Last year, Rs 230 crore bank linkages were extended to 8,500 SHGs and this year, the target is Rs 259 crore, she said.
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