Benjamin, 40 an enthusiastic entrepreneur of BYST, has leaped at the chance of modifying his business from manufacturing cloth bags to manufacturing masks, thus turning the situation to his advantage. Ever since the lockdown Benjamin’s cloth manufacturing has seen a halt leaving his employees in despair. As his employees are predominantly women and belong to the bottom rungs of the society with minimal income, Benjamin has an additional responsibility to ensure their decent survival. He has at least 45 – 50 workers (direct & indirect) dependent on him. After giving a lot of thought to the situation and ways to support his employees, the idea of manufacturing masks struck Benjamin who immediately started exploring the same. Benjamin, a successful Grampreneur™ belonging to a scheduled caste community in Erode started his entrepreneurial journey in 2016. Supported by BYST with a term loan of 5 lakhs, the business was also a way of giving back to society, especially to the downtrodden community. He was instrumental in engaging women as tailors into his business. When he zeroed-in on manufacturing masks, he quickly did some research on it and after some guidance from his Mentor, Victor Joseph, he worked on identifying the leads to manufacture them. He proposed to produce a three-layered mask using non-polypropylene material, suppliers for which are from Madurai, Tamil Nadu. Even though his proposal was in place, the major challenge lies in the transportation of his raw materials amidst the lockdown. Meanwhile, BYST staff & his mentor urged him to submit a proposal to the district collector permitting the transportation of his goods. Being the proactive person he is, Benjamin advanced the procedures, fixed an online appointment, and got the proposal sanctioned from the collector! Currently, he is all set to start his production within a week. He has priced the masks at a nominal rate of Rs.9 per piece and would be supplying to his existing customers, who are mainly owners of shops, bakeries & confectionaries. He is also networking with his contacts for attracting more customers. By 2022, he plans to expand his business unit to a bigger level.