Bagging a venture
It all started as a part time work that earns her a few bucks for 41-year-old Arpineni Padmavathi, but soon her small venture of Rukmini Paper Bags manufacturing unit turned into a booming business now with a turnover of Rs 50 lakh a year, besides providing livelihood opportunities to hundreds of people, especially physically challenged.
Kothagudem (Khammam): It all started as a part time work that earns her a few bucks for 41-year-old Arpineni Padmavathi, but soon her small venture of Rukmini Paper Bags manufacturing unit turned into a booming business now with a turnover of Rs 50 lakh a year, besides providing livelihood opportunities to hundreds of people, especially physically challenged.
Until 2010, with her academics not getting her far after Intermediate, she was like another homemaker in the coal town Kothagudem where her husband Venkateswar Rao is a dumper operator in the state-owned coal company Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL).
An initiative to create awareness among the masses to discourage the use of plastic bags by the Singareni Employees’ Wives Association (SEWA) made all the difference for Padmavathi. She along with other women of the SEWA took a weeklong training in making handmade paper bags at the Khadi Gramodyog Maha Vidyalaya in Hyderabad.
After that she never looked back. While training hundreds of people in the making of paper bags back home, Padmavathi also started her own manufacturing unit on the land provided by the SEWA at Babu Camp colony in the town.
After she met the success with the paper bags trade, Padmavathi, who identified the demand, also set her eyes on the manufacturing jute bags, gift boxes and show pieces made of paper.
After spreading the business locally, the firm is now also exporting paper bags to other countries like US and UK. There is also an outlet with the products of Rukmini Paper Bags at Masab Tank in Hyderabad. Even Amazon, said to be India’s second largest online marketplace by shipments, has recently asked the firm to send some sample bags to verify the quality of the products before placing its order. She is now waiting for an order from the Amazon.
Speaking to The Hans India, Padmavathi said “I owe a lot to SEWA and my financier – State Bank of Hyderabad, without whose support I wouldn't have achieved this success. Apart from this, I feel immense satisfaction working for the cause of environment by promoting paper and jute bags in lieu of polythene bags.” Besides this, I also feel happy by training differently challenged and creating livelihood opportunity to them, she added.
She said her customers include Apollo Hospitals, Capgemini, a consulting technology outsourcer and, ADP payroll, statutory and HR solutions. There are 50 people employed in her unit. Besides this, 100-odd persons, most of them are
students and housewives, do piece work.