How Sangeeta Pandey Started Her Business
Sangeeta Pandey from Gorakhpur wanted to generate additional income for her family when they were going through a financial crisis, around 10 years ago. She envisioned herself making sweets and began her business’s journey with just Rs 1500 and a cycle.
Her Struggle with Balancing Work and Motherhood
When Pandey took her daughter with her to work, people criticized her for not being able to take care of her child and work simultaneously. Faced with this challenge, Pandey struggled for a while before finally getting work in an institution at a salary of Rs 4,000 a month. However, she eventually quit her job because she wanted to nurture her daughter and not deprive her of a mother’s love.
Her Path to Success: From Rs 1500 to Rs 3 crores
Pandey’s business started with a cycle and Rs 1500 but has now crossed the Rs 3 crore mark. She began working out of her home, and her focus also lay on collecting capital. She would purchase the raw materials by cycling through Gorakhpur and sell the finished goods in the market. Despite not having prior knowledge of the market, she went ahead and spoke to businessmen to calculate the input cost and profit per box. Later, when she realized that raw materials were available at a cheaper price in Lucknow, she mortgaged her jewellery to take a gold loan of Rs 3 lakhs to transport raw materials.
Expanding Her Business
Pandey’s business kept growing, and she soon ran out of storage space at home. She took a loan of Rs 35 lakhs to set up a factory and another Rs 50 lakhs to increase her business. Slowly and steadily, she began to expand her delivery options from cycling to two hand-driven carts to now owning a tempo and a battery-operated rickshaw that makes deliveries. Her clientele mainly consists of renowned shops of Purvanchal, pizza, cakes and sweets outlets. She visits Punjab, West Bengal, Gujarat, and Rajasthan in search of quality raw materials.
Nurturing Women and Differently-abled People
Pandey employs 100 women and around a dozen men. Artisans from Delhi have been hired to ensure that the products are of top quality, and they work and train others as well. Pandey has not forgotten about the struggles she went through and tries to send raw materials to the homes of working women who have small children, so they can work, provide for their families and also take care of their kids. Pandey hires not just women but also handicapped and deaf people to work in her business.
Despite facing numerous challenges, Sangeeta Pandey’s determination to succeed allowed her to turn her initial investment of Rs 1500 into a thriving business that provides for her family and employs numerous individuals.