How Nandhini Grew Her Agarbatti Making Business To Skyrocket Income By 40% And 3 Times Her Workforce

Read Nandhini's impactful story of overcoming capital hurdles to expand her agarbatti-making business, making enough profits to expand her venture.

Nandhini, a 31-year-old mother of two from Parandapalli, Tamil Nadu, had always dreamed of being financially independent. Despite facing obstacles, she remained determined and never lost sight of her aspirations, even with limited qualifications.

In this WomensWebXMahilaMoney impact series, we bring you entrepreneurs like Nandhini who had not just the ambition to grow, but took the steps needed to bring their dreams to fruition. Apply for a loan of up to 25 lakhs to fuel your business growth by downloading the Mahila Money App on Google Playstore or visiting the website here. 

After leaving her job due to low pay, Nandhini embarked on a new path by starting an agarbatti-making business. Her journey towards success would soon be accelerated with the help of Mahila Money.

“Getting married at a young age and being unable to pursue education beyond the 10th standard, I refused to let that limit my path to financial success. I have always been a hard worker, and I never shy away from putting in the effort. Whether it was my time in a watch manufacturing company or a medicine company in Hosur, I always gave my best. However, due to my limited educational qualifications, I faced the challenge of being underpaid. It was a turning point when I realised that taking control of my financial destiny was crucial. That’s when I left my previous jobs and dared to embrace the opportunity to build something of my own,” Nandhini shares, reflecting on her journey.

Starting small, dreaming big

Driven by careful planning, Nandhini entered the agarbatti market six years ago with her business – ‘Srinivasa Agarbatti’. She formed a small team of five employees and set up a store and a dedicated space to store raw materials in her godown. Nandhini’s entrepreneurial spirit was fueled not only by recognising the potential of the agarbatti market but also by her connection to the art of agarbatti making and its ability to bring positivity to people’s lives.

Talking about her journey, she says, “For me, starting my own business was more than just a practical decision. I saw the promising opportunity in the agarbatti market and felt a strong spiritual connection to this aromatic craft. I believed in the positive impact that agarbattis could have on people’s lives. This belief pushed me to overcome challenges and take this transformative journey. Today, I am grateful to have combined my passion and purpose to create a business that succeeds and brings peace and joy to those who experience its fragrant offerings.”

Overcoming hurdles in her way

Despite her initial success, Nandhini yearned for further growth and expansion. Her dream of purchasing two additional agarbatti-making machines, each priced at ₹75,000 INR, seemed out of reach due to limited capital. She was already paying  ₹6000+ INR to her employees besides investing in the raw materials needed in the business, which made it difficult for her to invest in additional machinery.

However, her path took a fortunate turn when she discovered Mahila Money, a fintech dedicated to providing capital solutions to women entrepreneurs. “I had achieved a level of success with my agarbatti business, earning up to ₹40,000 INR per month. While I was proud of what I had accomplished, the desire to grow and expand my business lingered within me. I knew that to take a big leap, I needed access to capital. I kept looking for solutions that could provide me with the right kind of financial backing,” shared Nandhini.

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Applying for a Loan

Nandhini wasted no time and applied for a loan of ₹75,000 INR, which she planned to repay over 24 months. This loan would enable her to purchase two additional agarbatti-making machines, a significant step towards scaling up her business. Her excitement was palpable when she got the amount credited to her account.

Sharing her loan journey, Nandhini says, “I was thrilled to discover Mahila Money and their commitment to supporting women entrepreneurs like me. The process of applying for the loan was incredibly smooth and hassle-free. I appreciate that they didn’t require collateral, making it accessible for someone like me with limited resources. What made the loan process even more unique was that I didn’t need any intervention from my husband to secure the loan. It was a moment of triumph for me, knowing that I was taking charge of my financial journey and paving the way for the growth of my business.”

Dreams taking flight

With the help of the new loan, Nandhini soared to new heights in her business. The loan enabled her to acquire the much-needed agarbatti-making machines, but its impact went far beyond that. “With the loan amount sanctioned by Mahila Money,  I was ready to take on new challenges and embark on the exciting journey of setting up a new manufacturing unit near my shop. The future holds immense possibilities, and I am eager to see how far I can go”, shares Nandhini with a smile. Nandhini’s confidence skyrocketed as she expanded her team, bringing in three additional individuals to support her operations. What was once a modest team of five now grew into a robust workforce of eight to nine members, strengthening the foundation of her business.

A leap in profits

The impact of the loan on Nandhini’s business was evident from the significant profit increase. Previously, her monthly income stood at an average of ₹45,000 INR. However, with the infusion of capital and the expansion of her team, Nandhini’s business thrived. “Before taking the loan, I was earning around INR 40K-50K. Now, my profits have soared to around INR 70K. I’m thrilled to see my progress, as is my husband, who has supported me from the beginning. My kids are my biggest cheerleaders, who are always there, rooting for their Amma’s success,” shares Nandhini.

Nandhini’s plans fo the future

Nandhini plans to build her agarbatti brand, cementing her mark in the industry. As she looks ahead, Nandhini excitedly shares her plans, “I am now gearing up to market my agarbattis under my very own brand name. I’m still contemplating the perfect name, but I’m leaning towards “Nandhini” as it signifies a woman who brings joy and is another name for the goddess Parvati. It feels like a fitting tribute to my journey.” With a smile, she eagerly anticipates the next chapter in her entrepreneurial endeavour.

Nandhini’s story inspires aspiring women entrepreneurs who face similar challenges on their path to financial independence. As Nandhini forges ahead in her entrepreneurial path, she represents a pillar of strength, inspiring women to live life on their own terms and #JiyoApneDumPe.

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Mahila Money

Mahila Money is a neobank for women supporting entrepreneurs with productive capital via loans and a community platform for business success and other financial products like insurance and investments. Mahila Money facilitates loans for businesses, read more...

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