Clothes make the woman!

By Surabhi Mishra,
Global Links Participant,
Kolkata, India

Bandhan Bank assigned me to one of their loanees, Minati Paul, who had been enrolled with them since 2010. Minati has her own hosiery business. It is a family run business and her son handles the production. During my initial visits, I met the family and learnt the basics of their business. They showed me the workshop and explained how they worked.

The main product was t-shirts that they produced for contract orders. The workshop employed 4 laborers, and employed a piece-rate system, where they were paid based on the number of pieces they produced.

After seeing their current business model and assessing their financial stability, I suggested that they should add customization to the products, in order to increase their products and thus, increase their customers. My suggestion was to start graphic printing on t-shirts to supply branded t-shirts for events and organizations in bulk. Another suggestion was to expand their workshop so as to increase capacity.

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Being a Global Links participant empowered me to help and empower Minati. I could help her learn how to grow her business and even help her with any problems she faced along the way. The program also let me address social issues when I stood up against child labor in such small-scale businesses. It may not be a big impact, but at least my client and her friends will never hire an underage worker. It is a small step to a bigger change.

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