Britannia Marie Gold, a 60 year old favourite brand of homemakers and the 3rd largest biscuit brand in India, today at an all-virtual finale event announced the ten winners of its annual women entrepreneurship initiative, Britannia Marie Gold My Start Up initiative.
Under the aegis of this initiative, the 10 winners were felicitated and awarded Rs. 10 Lakhs each to kick-start their business ventures. Britannia Marie Gold My Startup is a platform for aspiring homemakers to fuel their entrepreneurial dreams, become financially independent and transform themselves into job creators.
In addition to financial assistance, the current edition of the Britannia Marie Gold My Start Up initiative provides 10,000 homemakers access to India’s first-ever customized online skill development program, in partnership with National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC).
The online course imparts these homemakers with the necessary entrepreneurial skills, boosting their confidence as they take their first step towards a self-reliant future. Britannia is confident that many of the homemakers who undergo the skill development training will move on to become entrepreneurs.
Launched in February 2020, the 2nd edition witnessed, within a span of 3 months over 1.5 million applications from across the country and an overwhelming participation form 32 states and Union Territories. The means of entries was opened to include telephone call, web and WhatsApp. Over 25% of the entries came in via WhatsApp. Following weeks of deliberation by an external jury who mulled over lakhs of applications, the Britannia Marie Gold team shortlisted 50 finalists.
With the strict social distancing protocols being observed in the country, the company decided on a digital finale where all the finalists from across the country, presented from the comfort of their homes to an eminent jury comprising of entrepreneurs, media persons and a select leadership team from Britannia. The all-digital felicitation ceremony was also a powerful example of the company, brands and consumers effortlessly adapting to the new normal.
Gunjan Shah, Chief Commercial Officer, Britannia Industries Ltd. said, “This is a very important initiative for Britannia driven by one of our flagship brands, Britannia Marie Gold. In its current edition, the initiative is touching the lives of over 10, 000 women and their families and we are privileged to be able to do so. Britannia is committed to provide a platform for aspiring women entrepreneurs to present their business ideas and stand a chance to gain financial help and skill development to set off on their entrepreneurial journey.”
Vinay Subramanyam, Head of Marketing, Britannia Industries Ltd. said, “Becoming entrepreneurs enables our award winning homemakers to also become job creators who can transform many lives around them. One successful woman entrepreneur opens a wide window of opportunities for many, as was proven by our last year’s winners. We are delighted that through this initiative, we are introducing to the entrepreneurial world 10 more homepreneurs and skilling 10,000 homemakers to power their entrepreneurial journey. We strongly believe that when women become self-reliant and financially independent, entire families and societies and eventually, the country progresses.”
Britannia Marie Gold My Start Up Initiative 2.0 Entrepreneurial Women from across the country:
Zarina MV, from Hyderabad in Telangana plans to use the winning amount to start her very own line of Linen Baby Clothing. Zarina understood that although the market is flooded with options for baby clothes, there are no clothing lines that offer pure linen and designer options. Her business would focus on producing an exclusive line of clothing for babies and toddlers (up to the age of 3) made out of linen and pure cotton, making them a desirable option for mothers looking for comfort with style for their children. Zarina would be providing jobs to several women from economically backward communities in the manufacturing of these products, in turn offering them with a steady livelihood.
Shahnaz Tabussum from Patna in Bihar is planning to start a Reflexology Self Treatment and Training Centre. The thought behind her idea lies in creating a large, positive impact on society and the core idea for the business is “Prevention is better than cure”. The centre would focus on traditional holistic treatment and would also provide training to women, enabling them to realise their own dreams and create their own identity. In the course of setting this centre up she plans on providing a stable income to hundreds who she employs and trains.
Narmatha Vasanthan from Thankavur in Tamil Nadu plans to start a Computer Training Centre. A Civil Engineer herself, Narmatha is adept in Estimation, Auto CAD and MS Office and comes with work experience, but had to quit her job post pregnancy. With her baby now 8 months old, Narmatha wants to start her own computer training centre where she can share her knowledge with students in a simplified manner. This business would also become a source of additional income for her family and enable her to support her husband – a driver – who is currently the sole wage earner and manages all the loans and expenses of the household.
Ragini Kumari from Jamshedpur, Jharkhand plans to start a Flower Plantation along with the production of other eco-friendly products. Currently seedlings are prepared in plastic cups/pots that are later disposed off and can create great harm to the environment. Ragini’s business idea makes use of pots made out of cow dung that are eco-friendly and turn into natural manure, in turn helping the plants to grow. Besides pots, cow dung can also be utilized for preparing fire wood thereby reducing deforestation and are available at much lower costs, opening up a huge market opportunity.
Shikha Dey of Durgapur, West Bengal will be utilising the seed capital to start a Bioflock Fish Farm. Bioflock Fish farming is a growing industry in India where fish is cultivated indoors rather than traditional pond methods, using advanced equipment. Shikha’s business would involve raising the fish from when they are fishlings and then selling them to local markets as well as to other states in India.
Archana P from Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu plans to open a Science Museum for Kids in Coimbatore. Her business idea aims to create a lively educational environment for children filled with experimental and real-time learning and performances that inculcates a feeling of innovation in them. The winning amount would provide Archana with the support required in procuring necessary equipment, as well as in the maintenance of the museum infrastructure.
Elakshi Phukan of Jorhat, Assam will use the winning amount to setup her own Homemade Cakes and Assamese Sweets Catering Service. With a passion for baking, Elakshi has always enjoying baking and preparing traditional Assamese sweets that are sugar-free. She realised that there aren’t many bakers or catering services that offer recipes that are sugar-free, giving her the edge to make this idea a success.
Deepali Bansal from Ambala, Haryana plans to produce a Vegetable and Fruit Sanitizer that removes all traces of dust/pesticides/bacteria/virus from fruits and vegetables. With the current scenario around the globe, hygiene has become a priority for everyone and while many claim organic products to be safer, not everyone can afford them and there is no guarantee of how safe they are. Deepali came up with a product made out of natural resources that washes off the germs and ensures everyone can eat healthy.
Sareena C of Kozhikode, Kerala plans to start her own Cage Fish Farm. With the high demand for fish within the country and outside, as well as the various schemes implemented by the Kerala government to support Cage Fish Farming in the area, there lies a huge opportunity for Sareena. Being close to a coastal area, she plans to motivate other women in her neighbourhood to work together and generate an additional income of their own.
Sumathi R of Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu had a dream to open a professional Eye Care Clinic in her village of Orikkai in Kanchipuram. As a prospective scholar in the discipline of B.S.(Opt), BITS University and MBA (Hospital management), Anna University, Sumathi has 9 years of experience as a consultant optometrist. She left her job sometime back to take care of her two daughters and was now looking for an opportunity to fulfil her dream to continue to service people. Being a developing area, Orikkai currently does not have an optical shop, giving Sumathi an opportunity to start something new and provide the people of her small village with better vision.