Krishna Bhagabati

How an accident made her an entrepreneur

Krishna Bhagabati, 33, had to become an entrepreneur to enable her family to survive. When husband Sashindra Sharma met with an accident in 2016, a long period in hospitals left the family without any savings.

Sashindra lost his job.

Sashindra became suicidal.

Not so fast, said Krishna. Their daughter, then six, had just started school. Why not start afresh? After talking to friends and family and considering profit margins in various businesses, Krishna decided to sell whole spices. Sashindra backed her idea.

They began buying wholesale and retailing from door-to-door. They also became agents for big companies. Later, they added dry fruits to their range.

That was in 2018. Today, the couple’s monthly income is on average Rs 40,000. Their daughter is in Class 4.

When Krishna married Sashindra in 2011, life was comfortable. Sashindra was working in a private company that was in construction projects. Krishna was a graduate but did not have to work. Sashindra’s accident changed all that.

When Krishna began the business, they used to sell black pepper, coriander powder, sesame seed, dried red chilli, cardamom and cumin. Krishna realized that they could improve their profit margins if they bought in bulk from traders in the producing areas. They tied up with reputable companies in Punjab, Gujarat and Kerala.

Krishna now decided to take a loan for the next step and soon turned up at the office of Village Financial Services.

In 2019, she took a shop on rent and started stocking more varieties of whole spices and dry fruits, which she sold in packets and loose. Her shop is in Barkura in Nalbari. The VFS loan helped her add dry fruits to her range—almonds, apricots, walnuts, dates, pistachios and cashew.They place the orders online or through WhatsApp.

Krishna employs two salesmen and a shop assistant. She can afford to: she is the sole dealer and wholesaler for dry fruits and spices in the Nalbari area. The best sales happen during the wedding season and festivals.

Published on Apr 26, 2021 | Updated on Apr 13, 2022