Kiran Bala Choudhry comes from Ganjam, Odisha. She was born to a well-established family and lived with her parents and younger brother. Her father was a government official, giving them a lifestyle of comfort and happiness. Unfortunately, the happiness was too short-lived for the girl. At the age of nine, Kiran lost her father and the entire responsibility of raising two very young children fell on her mother, now a single parent. To say it was an uphill task would be an understatement. Nine-year-old Kiran became her mother’s ally in raising her younger brother, as it pans out in our country. Though she was always very ambitious and interested in her studies, her brother, being the only male member in the family now, came first. After she cleared her higher secondary examinations, she was informed that only one of the two siblings could attend college. And so, Kiran sacrificed her college education for her brother.
“Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out,” said John Wooden. Ms. Jenifer Y personifies this quoted line. Born and raised in Chennai, India, this young woman always dreamt of becoming a doctor from her childhood. However, her father did not have the means to support this dream financially. Not one to give up on her ambition, Jenifer chose to opt for something closest to becoming a doctor. She took took up Diploma in Dental Technology. While studying for the diploma, she developed a passion for the subject and graduated with sincerity. It was during the course that she discovered a great business opportunity in the field of dental technology. She immediately began saving for her business. Jenifer now lives in Ramapuram, Chennai with her husband, Mr. Shriraj. She is a mother to two daughters.
Today, the world’s focus is slowly but surely turning towards sustainable living and the important of organic produce and products. The impact of this worldwide concern has also reached the district of Chengelpet in the state of Tamil Nadu, India, where Jagadeesh Palraj is from. Born in Dindigul, another district of the same state, Jagadeesh was raised in Chengelpet amidst a lot of financial crises that his family faced. It is here that Jagadeesh runs M/s Jaga Enterprises, a wholesale shop selling a variety of handmade soaps made from goat milk, sandal and other organic products. They also sell pure coconut oil.
Sometimes, opportunities present themselves at the most unexpected times. The ones who recognise them and grab them, are the ones who usually taste success. COCOTANG, the world’s first exclusive tender coconut–milk shake brand, was also conceived by accident while its owner was pregnant. COCOTANG is owned by Dr. Neelima T. who completed her BDS and MBA and used to be a dental practitioner. Due to some medical complications during her pregnancy, she was advised bed rest and diet modifications. Coconut water formed an important part of her diet. She realised that the drink helped her cope well with her medical problems. It was then that she took interest in the fruit and started studying extensively about the benefits of coconut and coconut water.
Lalita Debi Shing, Owner, Jay Hanuman Paper Plates, based in the remote Amlabhata village in Rayagada district of Odisha state was recognised under the Medium Enterprise Category at the Vijayalakshmi Das Entrepreneurship Awards for 2020, instituted by SATYA MicroCapital, a Reserve Bank of India registered NBFC Micro Finance Institution. Lalita’s unit is an avenue of employment generation for local youth and underprivileged women. Lalita employs seven women directly, and has trained around 30 widows, school dropouts, elderly indigenous women, and adolescent girls, by giving them an opportunity to work at her unit on a part-time basis, helping them learn easy tasks, such as pasting or arranging finished products. She is thus helping develop the entrepreneurial ecosystem in this remote rural village that affords few opportunities for gainful employment.