Story of a budding entrepreneur in the North East
Together each one of us can make this world a better place. With whatever means at disposal and to whichever extent plausible. A small step at a time or one giant leap, the progress through collective efforts is one that includes us all.
The ‘First-generation entrepreneurs of Nagaland’ share a similar belief, the greater good of society. They have been leading the way towards sustainability through entrepreneurship, bringing solutions to recurring challenges, breaking the stigma around job security and so on.
They chose to believe in themselves and stepped into promoting the local culture, goods, products and tradition to such an extent that the diversity of the seven sisters is no longer esoteric.
We at Rang De are proud to associate with people in the North East and play a small role in their development. This blog brings forward the story of one such entrepreneur. Who has been in the business for quite some time and has fought many odds. Asenla Jamir, founder of ‘Deshen’ shared her journey with us from scratch to build.
‘Deshen’ which translates to ‘abundance’ is cohesive to the rich taste and culture of the North East. It explores the wide variety of food produced locally and makes it available to a larger market. Started in 2014 as a home-based food processing unit by Asenla, is now registered under her sole proprietorship for manufacturing food products.
Asenla had worked closely in the development sector in her early days. She picked up the idea of adding value to local products in order to enhance the lives of local farmers & producers. Which ultimately led to the birth of Deshen. The products available at Deshen range from pickles, tea, herbs, spices, juices, wild fruits and so on. Which are in rarity and completely authentic in taste.
Deshen leads the way in enhancing the local food chain & processing units to generate income for the community. It has empowered the womenfolk and producers who produce and procure these savouries.
The pandemic pushed them to come up with innovative solutions to keep running amidst the lockdowns and restrictions. Asenla also had to make a shift in the way she operated.
“The pandemic was a new experience, it enabled me to find new areas to increase my business stream. I linked up with two online commercial sites and began taking on-demand orders through WhatsApp.”
There were new sets of challenges too, she added. Fetching raw material got delayed at times. With limited transportation, the delivery of products was also affected. But with her prior experience, things worked out well.
She said that the mentoring and guidance from our Impact partner – Entrepreneurs Associates helped put her vision into reality. They linked her with packaging companies, local chains of distribution and with Rang De for her urgent credit needs.
Small businesses don’t have the legal compliances and structure that is needed to avail loans from banks. Heavy collateral rules out the possibility of getting a loan even if one has established documentation.
Credit is an essential part that can help the business sustain itself at a very nascent stage. Entrepreneurs can’t rely on a single source of income while setting up a new venture, they need easy and affordable credit to secure working capital and pay off debts.
Rang De enables entrepreneurs like Asenla to be independent and gives them financial assurance through customized credit.
With the low-interest loan from Rang De, she was able to make bulk orders for packaging materials. The loan enabled her to upgrade the quality of her product.
Entrepreneurs Associates linked her with Rang De and mentored her to keep her finances strong. She has successfully made the full repayment and is planning to open a second outlet in Dimapur, Nagaland.
If policies were less stringent & loan procurement from the financial institutions was hassle-free, there would be more entrepreneurs trying out new ventures. Now the risk associated is substantially high, resulting in many people shying away from executing their ideas.Tweet
Amidst lockdowns, the business has been severely affected and low-interest loans have turned out to be a saviour. It helped entrepreneurs stride through the uncertain times, instead of giving up on their ventures.
Social investment really helps small businesses sustain themselves. Cash flow and liquidity are essential to keep going, Rang De social investors have ensured time and again that potential entrepreneurs will be backed and help the community sustain.
To all those who want to seek entrepreneurship Asenla’s message for you is to persevere through your commitment and take no shortcuts. Be adaptable to change and always keep a positive outlook.
You can read more such inspiring stories , head onto our blog page and have a pleasent read. https://blog.rangde.in/