‘Think Like A Customer To Make It Work’ Says Sharmila Hadawale About Her Thriving Garment Business

Sharmila Hadawale's profits in the garment business soared after she took financial support and put in the hard work needed.

Seven years ago in Pune, Sharmila Hadawale began her journey from a dedicated IT professional to a pioneering entrepreneur. Despite the challenges of motherhood, she pursued her passion for financial independence and started her own business. She opened a boutique filled with the latest women’s clothing. Even as she operated from a modest rented space, she skillfully balanced her customers’ needs with the demands of her family. With the help of her loved ones and Mahila Money, Sharmila underwent an impressive transformation, fueling her business and increasing her earnings.

In this WomensWebXMahilaMoney impact series, we bring you entrepreneurs like Sharmila Hadawale 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. 

Sharmila’s morning routine begins with setting Whatsapp status messages, showcasing her shop’s latest and trendiest products. It has become a ritual she cherishes, as her excitement and passion for her business shine through each post. Located just a stone’s throw away from her home, her shop quickly buzzes with eager customers as the clock strikes 11 am. Sharmila tends to each visitor, displaying the carefully chosen stocks she has personally curated with care.

She manages every aspect of her business alone, but sometimes her husband joins in, becoming her trusted partner in this incredible venture. This dynamic duo share not only the responsibility of the business but also the joy of seeing it flourish with each passing day.

Dealing with the initial struggles

The initial struggles of starting a business with no prior experience did not stop Sharmila as she fearlessly embraced the challenges. Reflecting on her journey, she shares, “At the beginning, it felt like scaling a mountain, but I persevered and grew to love every moment of it. The joy of helping people find the perfect attire for their special occasions fills my heart with immense satisfaction. This passion for what I do fuels my ambition as an entrepreneur. When you truly love what you do, success becomes an unstoppable force.”

As Sharmila’s boutique flourished, she noticed a fascinating trend — an unprecedented surge in demand for sarees among her customers. Women from all walks of life were captivated by these traditional garments’ elegance and timeless appeal. Sharmila saw this as a golden opportunity to scale her business.

Sharmila embarked on a quest to create a dedicated saree section in her shop to meet her customers’ desires. She immersed herself in extensive research, exploring the diverse world of sarees — delicate organza sarees that exuded grace, multicoloured sarees that celebrated life’s vibrancy, and comfortable cotton sarees perfect for everyday wear. “I wanted to curate a saree collection that would make every woman feel like a goddess,” Sharmila explained, her eyes ablaze with passion. “The saree is not just a piece of clothing; it’s a symbol of strength, beauty, and tradition. I wanted every woman who walks into my shop to find the perfect saree that speaks to her heart.”

Applying for a loan

Sharmila’s quest for capital solutions and starting her saree collection led her to Mahila Money – a fintech platform helping women entrepreneurs with tailored financial needs. She earned a monthly income of at least 50,000 to 60,000 INR. Approximately 30000 INR is spent on business expenses, and an additional 6000 INR is paid for shop rent.Therefore, she sought capital to expand her inventory and draw in new clientele to sustain her monthly profits.

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With a clear vision and detailed plans for her business expansion, Sharmila approached Mahila Money for a loan of 60,000 INR for 12 months. The loan was approved, and Sharmila wasted no time investing it wisely to advance her venture. Sharmila was beaming with joy when she shared, “I felt thrilled when I received the loan from Mahila Money. It gave my business endless possibilities to explore.”

She used a portion of the loan to source products from Mumbai, (Dadar) and Surat, allowing her to add a new saree section to her shop. Sharmila’s business acumen proved fruitful, as sarees offered the highest margins, a staggering 40%-50%. “I believe in providing quality products at reasonable prices,” Sharmila said proudly. “Customers appreciate the value they get, and it keeps them returning. Also, I always keep myself in the customer’s shoes before buying stocks.” Sharmila says you have to think like a customer to make it work.

Elegant, eclectic pick of sarees

Sharmila’s saree section became synonymous with elegance and sophistication as the days became weeks and weeks into months. Her clientele expanded beyond imagination, and she realized that her business had transcended its humble beginnings.

“I never imagined that a surge in demand for sarees would be the turning point for my business,” Sharmila said, reflecting on the exhilarating journey. “It showed me that when you pay attention to your customers’ needs and take bold steps to fulfil their desires, success naturally follows.”

With her stock now more diverse, including trendy tops, kurtis, leggings and sarees, Sharmila witnessed an exponential rise in her income. Her monthly earnings increased from 60,000 INR to an impressive 100,000 INR. Her thriving business and financial freedom filled her with immense joy. “Mentally, emotionally, and financially, I feel empowered,” Sharmila shared. “I am grateful to Mahila Money for believing in me and my dreams.”

Sharmila plans to seek another loan from Mahila Money to expand her business and stock up for the upcoming wedding and festive season. She envisions a broader range of sarees and dress materials that cater to the ever-changing fashion trends.”I want my shop to be a one-stop destination for all women’s clothing needs,” Sharmila says passionately.

Sharmila’s #JiyoApneDumpe journey from an IT graduate with a dream to a successful businesswoman showcases the possibilities that arise when womenare supported to pursue their growth aspirations.

Image source: by bdspn from Getty Images Free for Canva Pro

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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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