One Stitch at a Time: Sunita Malage’s Success Story

“Simple living and high thinking” is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear Sunita Malage speak. This young woman, who is the owner of ‘Shreya Boutique’ has some interesting thoughts on entrepreneurship that could inspire many a budding businesswoman. Persistence, determination, and hard work have all played a crucial role in shaping Sunita’s successful venture. Today, she is one of the leading clothes designers in Dhayari, where her boutique is set up. Here’s the story of her eventful journey from a fashion technology diploma graduate to owner of her own boutique.

Into the world of needles and thread

Sunita, a fashion technology diploma holder was inclined towards the world of apparel and stitching right from the beginning. She worked at a 9 to 5 job for a few months, but her passion drove her back to the sewing machine. She then started designing and stitching clothes from home itself. To her delight, her work received a positive response and she earned many satisfied clients. This planted the thought of expansion in her mind.

One stitch at a time

Sunita’s husband was extremely supportive and helped nurture her dream. Since she had no prior business experience, she initially started a small boutique by partnering with her husband who ran a computer business at Dhayari Phata. As expected, her little venture was an immediate success and after operating for 7 months there, she decided to spread her wings.

A dream comes true

In 2013, Shreya Boutique was set up in Dhayri Gaon with three more employees working under Sunita. She took the shop on rent and named the boutique after her daughter. Her mother-in-law offered to take care of her two daughters, and she could balance both work and home due to her mother-in-law’s support. Shreya Boutique started operations in full swing, and Sunita succeeded in acquiring a loyal client base thanks to her innovative designs. However, the passionate entrepreneur that she was, Sunita did not want to stop here. She realised she needed a loan e to procure more material required for her boutique. She tried to get a loan from Central bank where she held an account, but unfortunately, she was unsuccessful in her attempts.

deAsra to the rescue

Where this is a will, there is a way! And Sunita eventually did find her way. In 2016, she saw an advertisement in the newspaper about deAsra’s business seminar. Sunita’s husband, who played a major role in her business journey till date, encouraged her to approach deAsra. The two then attended the deAsra seminar and were impressed with deAsra’s efforts to help small entrepreneurs grow their business. The deAsra representatives guided Sunita on how to run a business and suggested that they focus on marketing her boutique with the help of WhatsApp messages to regular customers, along with flyers and pamphlets. Moreover, the deAsra representative spoke in Sunita’s local language (Marathi) which immediately put her at ease.. The icing on the cake was that deAsra helped her get a loan from Bhagini Nivedita bank for Sunita.

Spreading her wings

With the help of the loan, Sunita procured more material such as lining, fall, laces etc. This helped attract more customers since she could provide high quality stitching services in the stipulated time frame. Being the only high-quality boutique in Dhayri, Sunita has become famous in a short period. She herself oversees all the work and ensures that she does the cutting of the cloth herself. Her staff then completes the stitching. Sunita’s husband is also an integral part of the business and takes care of the accounting and marketing aspects. Together they make a great team and are slowly taking Shreya Boutique to greater heights!

Sunita was very happy to have received help from deAsra and looks forward to taking their support again in the future. So what’s Sunita’s message to budding businesswomen? “Strive hard and don’t consider yourself any less than a man. Dedication of time and effort is crucial for the success of any venture, so learn to be independent and not be dependent on anyone. Lastly, it is important to lead by example—only if we as business owners work hard, will our employees follow our footsteps.”

Here’s to a great entrepreneur and leader in the making! deAsra wishes Sunita the very best ahead.

Srabana Chowdhury’s Success Story

From helping Srabana procure a bank loan for raw material to advising her on how to expand her market base by selling online, deAsra has been guiding her every step of the way.

Srabana Chowdhury set up a fashion designing business, using Kosa silk from West Bengal to create ethnic garments in varied hues and colours. To procure this raw material from West Bengal, Srabana needed a cash credit of a few lakhs from the bank. To her good fortune, she met the deAsra team, who were aware of a bank that had a special scheme for women entrepreneurs. After visiting her business premises, they helped her prepare a Project Plan and advised her to submit it to that bank.

Unfortunately for Srabana, after a visit to her premises and scrutiny of her Project Plan, the bank was prepared to give her only a small amount, which did not meet her requirements. Once again, deAsra came to her rescue with advice to resubmit the application as well as meet the bank officials personally to explain the details of her requirement. This advice bore fruit and Srabana got her loan approved.

Once her business was set up, Srabana once again reached out to deAsra to help her understand the rudiments of keeping accounts, especially stock statements and other bank related statements, which deAsra readily did. They also helped her get her VAT registration. To help her expand her market, deAsra advised her to exploit social media to showcase her merchandise. Helping her set up her merchandise online with a tie-up to sell it through Flipkart and Amazon was the cherry on the cake.