Sita started with a small investment of Rs5,000 and took a Rs30,000 loan from the women’s group. She bought the candle-making mould and raw materials, and started making candles in her small one-room apartment, using her own cooking stove and utensils to make candles from molten wax. The next big challenge was to find buyers.
“I went on foot to find the right market and potential clients, carrying hundreds of candles. I did not sell too many in the beginning, but I was determined to make it work,” remembers Sita.
The candle business was competitive, and most buyers already had their own manufacturers. Sita explored the market further by visiting hotels, restaurants, shops and department stores. It was her participation in farmers’ markets and handicraft events that finally brought her exposure — getting noticed by big hotels, restaurants, retailers, companies and rich individuals.
Sita’s sales increased and her income skyrocketed, from Rs10,000 per month to Rs30,000, rising to Rs100,000 during festivals. She says she learned a big lesson: even someone without education could run a business and make a living.