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.

Building a successful company, one stitch at a time

Some people wait for opportunities to come their way, and some people create their own opportunities, like Vikrant Guleria and Amit Jagdale. Hailing from the alpine district of Himachal Pradesh, Vikrant’s zeal and enthusiasm towers as high as the mountains in his hometown. He came down to Pune 8 years ago to complete his MBA studies in Marketing and International Business and has remained in the city ever since.

Amit, on the other hand, was born and brought up in Pune and completed his Computer Diploma from Pimpri Chinchwad Polytechnic College. An avid trekker and an ardent nature lover, the ‘explorer’ in him loves to take on new challenges.

They met, they learnt, and so it began

The two enterprising stalwarts first met while working at a garment manufacturing industry in Pune, where they learnt the nuts and bolts of manufacturing garments, right from start to finish. One fine day, a thought occurred to them- “If we possess all the necessary market knowledge, production knowledge, and know where the material can be supplied from, why don’t we start something of our own?” One thing led to another, and soon enough, they joined hands to start their own venture – AV Industries.

No money, no company

Amit and Vikrant were armed with all the necessary expertise and know-how, but they drew a big blank on funding. To start out successfully, they needed a loan to provide for machinery and working capital. This was their first roadblock – but soon, the tides of fortune turned in their favour.

deAsra – a friend in need

Amit and Vikrant’s desperate hunt for funding led them to deAsra’s doorstep. The deAsra team quickly moved into action – seasoned mentors guided them on different fronts – right from helping them create a project proposal to sending applications to banks for the necessary financing. They also assisted them in generating a 5-year project plan, allowing them to foresee the challenges and opportunities that could come their way.

With their initial obstacles cleared, Amit and Vikrant were ready to kickstart AV Industries.

A story with a happy beginning

Today, AV Industries stands proud and tall in the Tathawade area of PCMC. The company manufactures shirts and trousers for men, with the product category ranging from wholesale garments to corporate uniforms, uniforms for schools & hospitals and exclusive customized garments (which happens to be the company’s USP). Vikrant and Amit share the responsibilities wherein Amit handles the Sales & Purchase and Vikrant monitors the Production.

deAsra continues its association with Vikrant and Amit, by assisting them in future transaction plans, balance sheet maintenance and monthly/weekly follow-ups.

In the future, AV Industries plans to launch an additional two brands in the wholesale category. With a current team strength of 20 people and many ambitious plans in the pipeline, AV Industries is all set to drive the profit curve higher. deAsra is proud of this motivated young company and wishes the team a successful journey ahead.

 

deAsra Foundation offers end-to- end support and guidance to emerging and existing entrepreneurs in the small scale sector. To date, we have helped 100+ entrepreneurs grow and nurture their new and exisitng businesses into successful businesses. Thinking of starting out as an entrepreneur? Reach out to us at 020 – 65365300/11 for personalised guidance and help.