Farmer Turned Entrepreneur From Uttara Kannada
proves it’s never too late to chase your dreams.
Yellapur, a small town in Karnataka’s Uttara Kannada, is best known for areca nut cultivation and has emerged as one of the major trading centres for the same. According to official data, nearly 90 percent of the population cultivate areca nut and paddy. Areca nut (Areca catechu), a tropical crop, is popularly known as betel nut, as its common usage in the country is for mastication with betel leaves.
Nandini Nagappa Shetty and her family have been cultivating areca nuts for generations. The 51-year-old resident of Udyama Nagar lives with her husband, two daughters, and a son. When her husband fell ill, she became the sole breadwinner for the family and was working in the fields, cutting areca nuts with help from her eldest daughter while her younger children were still in school.
However, the money she made harvesting areca nuts was not enough to sustain the family and Nalini decided that she had to take a new approach to boost her income.
“I joined a self-help group called Supriya in 2016. They were conducting an entrepreneurship programme promoted by an NGO called Manuvikasa, which is working to empower women through various programmes for a sustainable livelihood,” says Nalini. During the training, the women were taught how to start their own business and make it financially viable.
After the business venture program — led in relationship with the EdelGive Foundation — Manuvikasa assisted Nalini with getting a Rs 1 lakh credit from Syndicate Bank through the SHG and upheld her to begin a paper plate business. Nalini likewise took an advance of Rs 50,000 to begin an incense business.
“We utilized the cash from the credit to construct a little shed with a machine to make paper plates. “I buy the raw material for the paper plates from Bengaluru. We make plates of different sizes using the machine. My son also helps me with the business in his spare time. When the paper plate business was doing well, we decided to start a small incense-making business, which has also been doing well,” she says, adding that she still goes from shop-to-shop marketing and collecting order for the plates and the incense.
Nalini says that she utilizes five quintals of paper ream, and she contributes Rs 5,000 for each quintal. “Subsequent to making the paper plates, I procure a net benefit of Rs 1,500 for each quintal, reimbursing the advance on schedule and as yet acquiring
Rs 7, 500 every month. Our business is developing, and I need to begin selling the paper plates and incense sticks in different towns also,” says Nalini, who accepts that individuals are never too old to even consider beginning their enterprising dreams.
“I began as a business visionary in my late forties with no proper business preparing. I need others like me to be propelled to follow their fantasies and take a risk,” she says, adding that the family is creating more pay now than any time in recent memory and that their future is gotten.