VFS microfinance customer at readymade garments unit

Dipa Das

Bengal woman does Facebook Live to keep sales going

When Dipa Das and her readymade garments business ran into the COVID19 lockdown in 2020, she was staring at an abyss till her younger daughter-in-law showed her the magic of selling on Facebook Live. Dipa’s sales recovered.

For people like Dipa, the Facebook Live pitch is simple: join a FB group, hold up various items and announce the price. Nothing fancy, but good for sales as people in the group live close by.
(Now her brick-and-mortar sales have also picked up.)

Dipa, 50, had dropped out of school after Class 10 because of poverty and began helping her father in his garments business, effectively becoming an entrepreneur at the age of 19. When she got married to Panna Das around 29 years ago, she decided to start her readymade garments business at her husband’s place at Chatramiloni village in West Bengal’s Nadia district.

The shop, branded D. Das, followed a stint selling garments door-to-door.

She has been a customer of the Chakdaha branch of Village Financial Services in West Bengal’s Nadia district for nearly ten years as a retailer of readymade garments. She has proved to be a good borrower. Recently, VFS upgraded her to its highest category, Sambriddhi, where the loan goes up to Rs 200,000, and the borrower does not have to be part of any group.

Dipa’s first son, 29, stitches men’s kurtas and gives the finishing touches at a unit she set up for him at her house. Her younger son, 24, runs a shop in the weekly market.

With her first loan of Rs 5,000 a decade ago, she had bought ladies’ garments. Later, she widened the range.

Deepa claims her monthly income ranges from Rs 10,000 to Rs 50,000. She runs the business without the help of any workers or staff.

The way ahead? A shop on Chakdaha Main Road.

Published on Dec 31, 2021 | Updated on Apr 13, 2022