Meet the Women Entrepreneurs Who Run the Small Business Space and Other Featured Stories of the Week


From ethnic Indian clothes to healthy plant-based food this week, SMBShistory has brought you stories of inspiring women entrepreneurs who meet the demands of their home country and have an impact globally.

These women have built their businesses from scratch, which are seeded and have solid goals to achieve.

Aparna Thyagrajan was only 12 when she first sewed a dress for her sister Ambika on her second birthday from an old sari.

As Aparna grew, her love for crafts and designs deepened. Ambika also sparked interest and the pair of sisters connected directly with many artisans and weavers to purchase sarees for themselves. It was Aparna’s first stint with Indian ethnic fashion.

After getting married in 2002, Aparna moved to Seattle, but what she missed most was buying authentic Indian ethnic clothes.

“Shopping for ethnic Indian clothes in the United States has not been a very satisfying experience. I have always felt short of variety and quality. On one of my visits to India in 2018, I was working with a Zardosi artist on saris that Ambika and I were designing for ourselves for an event. The karigar suggested that we open a shop and that he would work with us, ”says Aparna. SMBShistory.

Aparna pioneered the idea of ​​creating an Indian ethnic fashion brand that would meet emerging demands from outside of India. And the duo of sisters began Shobitam in March 2019.

Aparna started out by selling 15 saris, and in just two years, Shobitam has shipped products to over 30 countries. The brand has experienced annual growth of over 300% over the past two years and achieved annual sales of Rs 9 crore in fiscal year 21.

It has over 1,000 products listed on its website and is one of the best stores on Etsy, says Aparna.

Read the full story here.

Kirti Yadav had multiple health issues and was tired of seeing multiple doctors for treatment when she decided to take the matter into her own hands. She began to look for ways to treat her health problems naturally.

“The people say accha khao, sehat acchi hogi (eat good food, and you will be healthy), but who cares about eating a healthy, balanced diet every day? It was the same with me. But when I started my research on this and talked to various people, everyone was saying change your lifestyle. That’s when I thought, as I’ve tried everything else, let me try my luck too, ”Kirti said, in a conversation with SMBShistory.

Now the 38-year-old is a certified nutritionist and owner of a Bengaluru-based business. KuK Clean, a marketplace for plant-based vegan snacks, foods and essentials.

Kirti started this journey in 2019 via a Facebook group. She incorporated her market in January 2021, and within seven months Kirti claims to have earned Rs 14 lakh despite being seeded.

She even showcased her private label in addition to integrating local suppliers on her online store and caters to customers in Bengaluru, Pune and Delhi. She has also recently started supplying to the United States and Europe through collaborations.

Read the full story here.

Other featured articles of the week:

Kanchan Metals was founded in Kolkata as a ferrous and non-ferrous metal trading company in 1984 by Raghav Gupta ‘s grandfather and father, Sanjeev Gupta.

In the 1990s, the team wanted to branch out into other categories and started looking for opportunities to explore. Around 1996, they found an opportunity in the field of food industry equipment.

“Back then, FMCG companies were desperate to accelerate production-related technologies and increase their capabilities. They needed equipment of a special category, which was not readily available in India, ”says Raghav.

Kanchan Metals decided to start supplying food processing machinery to Indian food companies. Gradually, it turned completely to this new model and moved away from the metal trading.

The company started out by importing machines for making snacks and branched out into other categories like bakery, frozen foods, namkeen, instant foods, etc.

In 2012, Kanchan Metals saw a turning point with some key developments such as becoming a contract manufacturer for ITC Limited.

In addition, it has opened a new factory in Greater Noida for the manufacture of chips under the label and brand ITC Bingo !. This was also the year the company moved its base from Kolkata to Noida.

Today, the company has more than 1,000 businesses in its customer base, including consumer companies such as Britannia Industry, Bikanerwala, Haldiram, CCI, Vadilal, and several small and medium-sized food companies.

Read the full story here.

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