Lijjat Papad Company: An incredible story of women empowerment

10:26 AM Aug 10, 2020 | Team Udayavani |
The success of Lijjat Papad Company is an incredible story of women empowerment. Lijjat Papad company was started in South Mumbai by seven women on 15th March 1959. They started preparing papad at an operational cost of Rs. 80 and made a profit of 50 paise. They started with a loan of Rs 80, and now they have annual sales exceeding Rs 301 crore Shri Mahila Griha Udyog Lijjat was started in 1959 and at that time their only motto was empowering women by providing employment opportunities. This organization manufactures various products like Papad, Appalam, Gehu Atta, Masalas, Detergent powders, liquid detergents as well as detergent cakes. The central office is located at Mumbai with 81 branches and 27 divisions spread across different states all over India. According to Startupstories, They started with just seven women employees and it now has employees over 43,000 women throughout India The women took a loan of Rs.80 from Chhaganlal Karamsi Parekh. They made the papads at their own building and then made it into a group venture with the help of their neighbors. Every morning a group of women  would go to the Lijjat branch to knead dough, which is then collected by other women who roll it into papads. Later on, the women bought some equipment for the business, like utensils, cupboards, stoves, etc. In the first year, the organisation’s annual sales were Rs 6,196. The broken papads were distributed among neighbours. As once they had to stop the production for 4 months due to rain, the women brought a cot and a stove. The papads were kept on the cot and the stove below the cot so that the process of drying could take place in spite of the rains. The Lijjat papad became famous through word of mouth and articles in newspapers and by the end of the third year it had more than 300 members. They also extended their productions to masala papad, khakhra, atta as well as bakery items. They also began attracting global interest which included the former Vice President of Uganda Dr. Speciosa Wandira-Kazibwe. Also, In the Lijjat Papad Company, all the members are the owners of the company, which means profit or loss is equally shared among all the members. Every member has the power and authority to make their own decisions on their own initiative. Today, it is one of the most successful companies run by women.  

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