UKHRUL, Jun 19: As an entrepreneur who started her business with an investment of just Rs 500, a single mother from Ukhrul district has set a good example for the younger generations to never give up in the face of adversity.
Yangmila Zimik, a single mother, started her food processing business with an investment of just Rs 500 with a dream to own an enterprise someday.
Speaking to this correspondent, Yangmila Zimik stated that she started her business by investing only Rs 500 in 2015 and went through many challenges before expanding her business.
Single mother of a lone son, Yangmila Zimik hails from Pharung Village in Ukhrul district and was raised by a poor family.
Through sustanied hard work, she gradually succeeded in establishing her own enterprise under the label "Shirin Products" in 2019.
According to Yangmila, she got the inspiration to start a business after attending a food processing training programme held at Ukhrul.
After attending the training programme, Yangmila purchased some sugar, salt, packaging materials and started collecting other ingredients such as goose- berry, wild apple, olive etc and processed the fruits at her residence in Viewland, Ukhrul.
Her products became well known in the locality and seeing her enthusiasm in entrepreneurship, a local NGO - Volunteers for Village Development (VVD) gave her a loan to expand her business.
Fortunately, one of her close friends introduced her to the officials at the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and ICAR provided her necessary equipment (stove, packaging machine, jumbo box, cooking utensils) on seeing her zeal.
This support from the ICAR rpoved to be a big boost to her business as her products became popular in Ukhrul town after that and it led to the establishment of "Shirin Products" in 2019.
She also participated in six trade fairs organised at different levels.
Yangmila was adjudged the 1st runner up in the micro enterprise category of the Vijayalakshmi Das Entrepreneurship Awards in 2021 as an acknowledgement of her expertise in food processing business and for empowering other women through her entrepreneurial journey. This year, Shirin Products was honoured with Assam Entrepreneurs' Award -2022 for being an impactful entrepreneur (Rural).
According to Yangmila, the turnover from her business has risen to Rs 3-4 lakh and she currently employs at least six persons.
She further stated that her son has completed post graduation. According to her, Shirin Products produces more than 30 food items which are purely organic such as pickles, candies, jam, juice etc while the fruit wastes are decomposed in a vermicompost pit and supplied to a floriculturist at Ukhrul town.
She takes her raw materials from over 50 farmers from different villages and has been marketing the processed food items at Imphal, Dimapur, Guwahati and even Delhi.
With the Shirin Products becoming more and more popular, Yangmila Zimik is unable to meet the demand of the customers due to the lack of mechanised processing machine, work shed and a godown.
Presently, items of Shirin Products are processed manually in a congested dwelling house at Viewland, Ukhrul.
Yangmila said that she had applied for a loan under Manipur StartUp and other schemes for Government assistance with a detailed project presentation to enhance her business venture but to no avail so far.
In her message to young local entrepreneurs, the single mother reminded them not to get too disheartened but instead embrace their vision and work consistently to see the light of success.