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Suvarna Khedkar

An entrepreneur’s life may seem to be about freedom, being your own boss and living on your own terms; but, behind the scenes, it’s a different story. One that is gutsy, risky and hugely inspiring at the same time.

Entrepreneurship is about beating the odds. Entrepreneurship is about survival, about taking the plunge, about courage, about sheer nerves of steel, tolerance and patience and, most importantly, about never quitting. Suvarna Khedkar’s entrepreneurial journey is all this and then some.

Suvarna came to deAsra in dire circumstances – her husband had just lost his job and their only means of livelihood had been taken away from them. Suvarna’s whole world had suddenly collapsed around her. Suvarna runs a cottage business, a very small one, where she makes different types of flour and sells them to her family and friends. In the hard times confronting the Khedkar family, this business was to be their only source of bread and butter. deAsra Foundation understood this and came to Suvarna’s help. deAsra became her friend, philosopher and guide and worked with her on growing her business.

deAsra re-examined her entire business model – right from the products she made, to helping her with an appropriate location/shop; to working on her product display, to helping her rework and structure her revenue model, to teaching her how to calculate her profit margin. Not stopping there, deAsra made an end-to-end plan to grow her revenue by formulating a marketing plan, right up to guiding her in funding. In short deAsra helped her with her entire business set up.

deAsra, Suvarna and her husband were seen poring over plans, scouting for shop locations, working on the interiors, the product display in the shop and working on costing and revenues, almost every single day. With deAsra’s help, Suvarna decided on a good location for her shop in the heart of Akurdi Bhaji Bazaar (Vegetable Market). Since it was clear at the outset, that her flour business would not get her the right figures on her revenue sheet, deAsra helped her in deciding about adding products like juice, ice cream, Patanjali products and cleaning products in her shop. These would get in the revenues required; while the location would pull in a good crowd. If you happen to visit the busy Akurdi Bhaji, you cannot miss Suvarna’s shop!
Funding help by deAsra was another important aspect of Suvarna’s story. With deAsra’s help, Suvarna got her loan approved as a special case on very good terms.  This enabled her to buy all the equipment she needed – the juicer, deep freezer, mixer, etc. With the working capital now rolling, Suvarna’s financial worries eased and she could focus on growing her business and keeping her customers happy.

Suvarna is in the first month of her new business and is progressing well. In another month, deAsra will visit her shop, measure her progress and suggest ways to better her revenue, operations and customer service. Suvarna has been and is an important part of deAsra’s impact. A lion’s share of the credit goes to her; she stood by her husband through thick and thin and took charge of their life. She also entrusted her livelihood to us at deAsra. We are extremely satisfied and happy that we could help her even the odds and earn a decent livelihood.

Today, Suvarna is doing well. Suvarna’s husband helps her in this business. Having emerged from the trauma of losing his job, he is now in top gear and plans to start a business of his own shortly, even as his wife settles in hers.

deAsra, of course, will be there to guide him.

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