Suji Ladies Tailoring and Readymade Garments (owned by five members of Venkateswara SHG, Sneha Nagar, Vanam Thopu Centre) is a unit of upcoming women entrepreneurs of Nellore town and truly reflects the changing operational modes of small business firms or kiosks under the leadership of Nara Chandrababu Naidu in the recent years. The shift in the routines has been richly nurtured by MEPMA in promoting more and more number of women in the state of Andhra Pradesh towards taking cudgels to run business and line pockets with satisfactory profits. Like many other aspiring women, members of Venkateswara SHG formed the group with 10 women from the locality.
Of the ten, five members (M/s Suvartha, Prasanna, Mumtaz, Rama and Rajyalaxmi) have joined together to undertake business in garments and tailoring. Between the thought and its logical translation, there was no considerable time lost. They pooled up all their individual shares of the group loans sanctioned (two loans worth 1.5 lakh were granted to the group in the last five years) and opened a tailoring and garments shop in Vanam Thopu area of the town. Added, the group members were very proactive in acquainting them with latest programme schemes of the government and exploring possibilities of getting extra loans. Subsequently they approached SLF (Slum Level Federation under MEPMA), Stree Nidhi programme of AP Government and MUDRA scheme of Govt. of India in raising a loan of 3.5 lakh rupees.
The entire amount was pumped into the group venture. Most of the members were earlier trained in tailoring and designing of women’s garments. The past experience came handy to all the members in the group in such way that all of them are workers as well as owners at the same time. This very interesting combination of worker-in-owner saved money and time for them. During the peak business seasons they employ male tailors when they get business in male dresses. But this is a temporary phenomenon. The quantum turnover of the group today is amazing: sari lining work-30 pieces; designer blouses-3 pieces; blouses with heavy patch work designs-3 pieces; boat-neck blouses-4 pieces; maggam work-1 piece; chudidar dresses-8 pieces. In fiscal terms the day’s turnover is roughly put at rupees 10000. Most of the raw material is procured from Chennai and Nellore and the range of monthly spend is to the tune of rupees one lakh on this count.
The members of the group are modest enough to put their individual monthly earnings roughly at Rs. 30000. The tailoring unit today has dedicated customers, newcomers on daily basis and bulk orders during festive and marriage seasons. Timely delivery and perfection in adhering to the designs chosen by the customers are reported to be the bedrocks of their success. Growing confidence, procurement of household assets like bikes, progressive saving habits and ever-growing social confidence levels are considered to be the net effect of MEPMA’s role in promoting and strengthening women’s groups in urban localities (emphasis on the last two years, 2015-16).
Encouraged by customer support and regular loan facility extended by the promoting agency, the group members have matured their plans for future: to enhance the amount of business transactions; to open a ready-made garment shop in the same locality; to involve and help women from local SHGs by way of providing work; to diversify into related aspects like gents garments. Their plans for future are practical and are expected to be easily achievable. More than everything, the level of confidence ticking in their faces holds all the promise for future. For them, present is assured and the posterity is promising. They have already left behind a legacy of their own.