Good shoes take you good places!

By Ankita Roy,
Global Links Participant,
Kolkata, India

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When I was assigned my Bandhan Bank loanee that I would be working with, I was excited to meet them and get to know their business. More so, I was enthusiastic about this journey that we would take together to grow by being a part of the Global Links program.
It was a beautiful April morning when I met my client. She introduced the business and operating model to me. Diljit, my client, has a shoe business and works very hard to meet demand in the market. Raw materials are imported from China and also brought from places within the country and the they are cut according to shape and sizes. After the cutting is done, they are pasted and sent for final manufacturing to the shoe manufacturers. The raw materials required are PVC soles, leather boards and rexine. The suppliers that the material is currently being brought from are based in China, Chennai and West Bengal.

After the raw materials are brought, they are cut into shape. There are 4 machines to cut the leather board and rexine according to shape and sizes. There are iron dice of different sizes to cut the materials according to the different size required. Dices are different for men and women. All these technicalities were new to me and my client explained how different combinations were used for different varieties and designs. The whole process of making a pair of shoes takes two days. To expand capacity, Diljit has ordered a new machine which will make the work much easier and faster. The processing time will be reduced to just a few hours.

During my consecutive visits, I felt that the client’s husband, Mr. Hussain mostly takes care of the business. The client is aware of the financial part of the business but there is very little active participation from her side in the business. One of my tasks was to educate her on all aspects of the business and better prepare her to handle future decisions.
This business can be used to promote social entrepreneurship in the sense that people are able to use their skills and work for something they believe rather than making money. This can encourage other women in the society to set up their own business and be independent. Thus this example can be used as a useful tool for women empowerment.
This experience has helped me learn a lot and use my enthusiasm to contribute to the society. I think that being a part of the Global Links program was the best decision took and I thank Tupperware, Dr. Banerjee and Dr. Conway for the experience, guidance and a wonderful opportunity.

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