Technological advancement and leap towards modernity have enabled women entrepreneurs from across the globe to step into a new world of increased awareness and ability. As women in India and globally continue to surpass milestones of success, platforms like WhatsApp support them in their journey of becoming financially independent.
Turning her passion for cooking into a business, Latika Devkar started tiffin service 14 years ago, and that was a stepping stone towards her success. She started by making sweets and snacks for her neighbours and other acquaintances. With growing popularity and introduction of new products, Latika now sells 25 types of products and earns around INR 30,000 in a month. Her husband works for a security agency. She shares that his salary used to be insufficient to run the house and now she is glad that she is able to contribute to her home.
Some time back, she attended a digital marketing and financial literacy course run by the Mann Deshi Foundation, which encouraged her to create a Facebook page and a WhatsApp business account. “I have always worked from home and relied only on walk-in customers. These mediums have opened a whole new world for me. Now, almost 70-80 per cent of my customers contact me through WhatsApp or Facebook,” says Latika, “I also have three hotels in Satara who buy my products in bulk every day.”
When her business was shut during the lockdown, she started supplying tiffins and earned INR 24,000 a month – receiving orders from her customers through WhatsApp. Latika intends to invest in setting up her own store next year. “The demand for my products is growing and I think it’s the right time to scale up,” she says confidently.
Another example of the success of Indian female micropreneurs is Ashwini Sangrekar who now, earns a respectable income and has created a good life for herself and her husband. Eight years ago, she started tailoring work from home and later started a ladies shop. Holding patience for at least six months before profit started pouring in was tough, but Ashwini didn’t give up.
When she got introduced to Mann Deshi Foundation, she discovered a whole new world of microentrepreneurs like herself. She got a chance to participate in a digital marketing training programme where she learnt to design and launch her own business page on Facebook and create a WhatsApp Business account and since then, almost 30% of her customers have been contacting her through WhatsApp or Facebook
“I never realized how powerful these tools are. I would attribute the fast increase in my customer base and subsequently the income to my decision of adopting digital tools,” she says excitedly. Ashwini is the proud owner of a two-wheeler that she has bought with her hard-earned money. For the future, Ashwini is looking at setting up her own store alongside selling products online.
WhatsApp continues to salute and support strong women like Manisha and Manjushri, not only in India, but across the world – by opening up various avenues for them and their businesses.