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Successful in the country, 6 women entrepreneurs want to expand their business abroad

by Afonso
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Now women are not staying at home. Besides giving time to family, some are working, and some are entrepreneurs. Running to different parts of the country for business needs. Again taking important business decisions alone. However, it is not that they are not facing obstacles on the way to this work. When it comes to becoming an entrepreneur, obstacles keep coming like the wind. In the case of women, this barrier increases. The hope is that the number of women entrepreneurs across the country is gradually increasing after overcoming hundreds of obstacles.

New Year brings different possibilities to everyone. Everyone has new dreams around the new year. Especially women entrepreneurs expand their dreams in various ways. They move forward with an eye on the future, learning from the bitter experiences of the past. All the strange experiences warn them to plan another year’s journey. In this case, their courage and morale is provided by the past victory. Talking to six such entrepreneurs, their initiative and success comes up.

Munya Zaman
Munya Zaman is the leader of ‘Kalindi’. Founded ‘Kalindi’ in 2021 to do his own thing. The main product of ‘Kalindi’ is jute bags. Here laptop bags, wallets, ladies bags and other types of bags are made of jute. Besides jute bags, jute floor mats are also made in ‘Kalindi’.

The jute bags here are called Chitra, Shitalakshya, Garai, Rupsa, Padma and some are called Ichamati, Teesta, Kajala or Titas. Munya named various bags after rivers. He said, ‘Brahmaputra-Yamuna basin is very fertile for jute cultivation. Keeping in mind the importance of the river in jute cultivation, each bag of Kalindi is named after the river. As a family we have jute business, own factory too. Kalindi bags are made from the remaining raw materials of that factory.’

In 2022, the first permanent display corner of ‘Kalindi’ was launched at Yatra. Apart from this, Shantibari and Banani in Lalmatia in Dhaka and Shibbari in Khulna have their own product display corner. Currently ‘Kalindi’ is also working with several established institutions. Apart from this, Munia Zaman said that there is an interest in offline sales of ‘Kalindi’ products in at least two other districts in the new year.

Munya thinks that in order to survive with domestic products in the country’s market, the product design needs to be changed every year. He said, ‘New products have already arrived in Kalindi. Several new designs are also in the works. At least 10-15 new designs are expected to be launched in the new year. Along with that, the price should be within the reach of the buyers, importance will also be given to that.

Ritisha Chakma
Ritisha Chakma Jancy is the mastermind of ‘Box of Ornaments’. Born in Rangamati town, Ritisha spent her childhood in the winding mountain roads. He was interested in jewelry since childhood. In 2017, this Master’s student started working with ‘Box of Ornaments’ with only 5 thousand taka.

Different types of jewelry of Ri.  Photo: Courtesy of 'R'The notable jewelries of the ‘Box of Ornaments’ are Alchara, Huji Haru (twist bangles), Azuli (Hansuli), Pai Kharu, Baju, Chandrahar and rayon silk jewellery. Ritisha was the first to use rayon silk as jewelry. Rayon silk is basically a type of fabric woven on a loin loom, which is woven by hill women. Ritisha said, ‘Just as our community has its own traditions, language, clothing, jewelry also has its own characteristics. We know very little about these jewels. So I would like to introduce this jewelry to everyone. Now the new generation knows these jewelries, knows the name. Many wear our jewelery in weddings as well, which is really admirable.’

At present, the jewelery of ‘Box of Ornaments’ is reaching beyond the city-village and abroad. Customers from America, Australia and Canada purchase products from ‘Box of Ornaments’. At present, the monthly income of Ritisha’s organization is like one and a half to two lakh rupees. In 2021, Ritisha Chakma received the ‘Joey Award’ from the Women and E-Commerce Trust (WE).

Ritisha wants to go further with her work. Want to increase their identity all over the world with new jewelry. Besides, he wants to make Bangladesh known to the world including his own community. Ritisha Chakma thinks, not only in the new year, but for the next half decade, women entrepreneurs will aim to increase the scope of business. Besides, women entrepreneurs will be economically self-reliant.

Different types of 'Dhabal' food.  Photo: Courtesy of 'Dhabal'Asma Haque Kanta
Asma Haque Kanta is the lead in ‘Dhabal’. He started washing with 3 thousand 500 rupees. In 2015, the work of ‘Dhabal’ was started by selling cow’s milk brought from the village. Slowly add honey, oil, ghee. Then pickles are added. So far Dhable is the biggest buyer of pickles. Apart from this Dhabal pitha, frozen snacks, daily frozen bread, parota, masala, date molasses are available.

Entrepreneurs have to keep many thoughts in mind for business needs. How to Sustain Organizational Success Customers can be won over. Asma Haque Kanta said, ‘New items have been added in keeping with the times of our business. In this case, I have kept in mind through which products people can go back to the beautiful memories of their life. For example: Pitha, Achar, Nadu – which are the most sold dishes in Dhabaal. Amidst the hustle and bustle of civic life, these dishes remind us of village memories, grandparent’s love, family happy times. ‘Dhabal’ makes traditional pitha with a rustic taste. This is why we often hear that you feel like you are eating the cake from your grandmother or mother. This is where our success lies.’

Kanta’s plan for the new year is to add some everyday agricultural products to Dhaba. At present 25 women workers are working directly in Dhabal. There are 7 male workers. Apart from this, another 10 to 12 people are indirectly involved in the supply of raw materials. Kanta said, ‘There is a lot of good that Dhabal has created employment for so many people. It has been 8 months since we took the outlet. Chinese, some Bengali items and our other products are also available there.’

Kanta feels that there is no need to drag women entrepreneurs by the hand. Just don’t let the family and society stop you. We women entrepreneurs will prove ourselves by working both online and offline.

Madhuri Sanchita
Madhuri Sanchita Smriti is the conductor of ‘R’. He started working as a designer from 2008. Rang started working as a designer in Bangladesh. After that worked as a fabric designer in Yatra, Arang, Aranya, Friendship for a decade.

While working in various organizations, Madhuri thinks that in order to maintain her identity, she needs to have something of her own. He started working with jewelery as a hobby. That hobby became his profession at one point. In 2018, he traveled to ‘Ri’ with his hobby jewelry. He always tries to make jewelery using different materials from nature. Most of the jewelry of ‘Ri’ is made of cords, oysters, wood, terracotta, jute rope and various types of seeds. Besides this, he also works with silver and gold. Sanchita said, ‘When I worked at Arang, I designed diamond and gold jewellery. But I am more attracted to jewelery design than fabrics.’

Madhuri Sanchita’s experience includes going to Germany and doing jewelery making workshops with pearl and wood materials. He made jewelry of various seeds including tulsi, haritaki, rudraksha, tamarind, bitter gourd, krishnachura. ‘R’ has a showcase at ‘Jatra Mela’ where selective jewelery is available. Outside the country, ‘R’ jewelery goes to India, Canada and South Korea. Sanchita said, ‘In the future, I want to make a center in Canada and India, where anyone can order and buy the jewelery designed by me. Dhamrai, Savar, Newmarket, Comilla, Tangail, Mymensingh, Pabna – roughly these are the places where ‘R’ is working. The number of women in jewelry making here is high.’

At the beginning of the year, Sanchita made a promise to herself to give ‘Ri’ a little more time. And a small desire in the back of the mind – to focus on the goal of introducing the beauty of ‘R’ outside the country this year.

Jeb Un Nahar Juthi
Jeb Un Nahar Juthi is the leader of ‘Padma Purana’. In 2016, he started working with woven Manipuri sarees from the Manipuri community with just six thousand rupees. Country Alpana, six seasons, agriculture, civil life, dancing women or hill women have come up in the Padma Purana sarees.

Sarees from 'Padma Purana' and various dresses.  Image: Courtesy of 'Padmapuraan'Yuthi was addicted to drawing since childhood. So along with Manipuri saree hand painted clothes are also made. Currently ‘Padmapuraan’ offers hand painted sarees, kameez, blouse pieces and other home designs and apparels. Yuthi said, ‘Padmapuraan’ mainly deals with hand painted sarees. Apart from this, any hand painted clothes, various home decoration items like curtains, sheets, paintings etc. are also done on customized basis. Not only flowers-vines-leaves, any known thing should get different characteristics due to the quality of design – ‘Padmapurana’ tries more.’

Canada, America, Germany, France, Australia and India have regular buyers of ‘Padmapuran’. One lakh to two lakh taka is earned during the festival. Juthi earns 40,000 to 50,000 rupees excluding other time expenses.
Juthi said, ‘I want to start working with new plans and new methods in the new year. I want to highlight various native motifs. Since Padmapuraan deals with hand-painted sarees and other fabrics, let’s go a little further. We want to bring out different kinds of Patchitra, Alpana, ancient lyrical stories in our work. Apart from this, I will make special arrangements for Bengali festivals. Let women entrepreneurs participate more in the country’s economy. Besides, create a positive attitude between buyers and sellers.’

Sabina Yasmin Madhavi
Sabina Yasmin Madhvi was born in Mohanganj, Netrakona. In 2017, he started the journey of ‘Madhavi Mart’ with Tk 10,000. Madhavi Mart’s signature product is Nakshikantha. Its customers have known Madhavi for Nakshikantha for the past 7 years. However, ‘Madhavi Mart’ offers various handicrafts as well as indigenous traditional clothes such as: Jamdani, Tangail loom sarees, Sylhet Manipuri sarees, Rajshahi silk, Comilla khadi cloth. Apart from that, eco-friendly products are available in various types of Hoogla leaves, kachuripana, super leaves, bamboo-cane products and clay products.

Various products of 'Madhavi Mart'.  Photo: Courtesy of Madhavi Mart‘Madhavi Mart’ has a showroom in Uttara. And the factory is in Sarishabari upazila of Jamalpur district. Madhavi said, ‘Women entrepreneurs should not only think about the country but deliver the products of Bangladesh to the whole world. We have to move forward with that goal. Nowadays, the whole world is at hand due to technology. In keeping with the modern world by using technology, women entrepreneurs have to increase their business skills.’

Currently, Madhavi’s monthly income is between one and a half to two lakh rupees. Madhavi wants to do a lot of work. One of the many plans of this bold entrepreneur in the new year is to open a showroom in Chittagong. And delivering quality products at affordable prices to everyone.


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