A Spicy Twist to Life

My Transformation
From worker to entrepreneur, with the potential to offer jobs to others.

My Story

Until a year ago, I was a supervisor in a pickle factory in Bangalore. That meant staying away from my wife and two sons based in Javadhu Hills, in Tiruvannamalai district of Tamil Nadu, and not being able to farm my ancestral land. I wanted to become independent and provide jobs to others.

SST sensed my dilemma and approached me. They took the initiative and enrolled me in a seven-day program run by the Krishi Vigyan Kendra, at Cheyyar, also in Tiruvannamalai. The program offers training in making 18 different food products that include pickles, pastes, spice powders and biscuits. After completion, SST also helped me get a bank loan of Rs. 15,000.

Today, six months after starting on my own, I earn almost Rs. 15,000 a month. I supply these products in Tiruvannamalai. I have paid back Rs. 4,000 of the loan amount in the past four months. I plan to take a bigger loan of Rs. 40,000 to Rs. 60,000 from the bank as I want to expand the business. My target is to earn Rs. 30,000 per month in three months. I have begun mushroom cultivation to boost earnings. Thanks to SST’s initiative, I am able to put up a stall at the TVS factory in Hosur four times a month. The stall, that starts operating at 2:30 p.m., sells 300 packets of edibles and gives me a profit of Rs. 4,000.

Today, I am happy that I can afford to live and work in my village and spend time with my wife and two sons. My next goal is to expand my business and offer employment to 10 people. 

The SST Way

Community Development Officer Mohan who worked with Vijayasarathi

When I first heard of Vijayasarathi, I thought of his life as almost a migrant labourer. Being away from the family was taking its toll.

The main goal of my job as a Community Development Officer with SST is to ensure that each family in the village is able to earn a minimum of Rs. 15,000 rupees a month. Though Vijayasarathi was earning, he and his family were unhappy because he couldn’t work from his own village. It was then that we got him enrolled in the Kisan Vikas Kendra program.

Vijayasarathi hasn’t looked back since. He took a room on rent for Rs. 300 and with the help of four people, got his business going. SST helped him understand a lot of Do’s and Dont’s in the areas of food hygiene and packaging. Take for instance, a simple but important thing such as wearing a cap on your head while working or choosing food-grade packaging. Vijayasarathi now plans to expand his business and offer jobs to others.

Our faith in him stands vindicated as he has now become a trainer. He has trained 90 members in his area of expertise under a tribal welfare program. He and other youth have joined a Joint Liability Group scheme with the help of NABARD and are working to provide expertise in the area of agriculture to others.

After seeing Vijayasarathi’s success, others are looking to follow him.

Our Takeaways

We identify problems unique to individuals, and depending on their receptivity and abilities, we work towards finding solutions.

We need in have the bigger goal in mind and know it takes time to get there. 

Working towards a greater purpose by focusing on an individual’s issues can be a catalyst to achieving positive change in the larger community.