Sunita Bai Malviya

Furniture is fine, but brick mould is best-seller

Sunita Bai Malviya, 50, had been making wooden furniture and special items with her husband Ram Mohan for over two decades before she turned to Village Financial Services for a loan to scale up the business. The VFS branch, in their town of Pipariya in Hoshangabad district of Madhya Pradesh, got a good customer.

Sunita had inherited the business from her father-in-law, who got it from his father. They make wooden doors, windows, furniture and wooden moulds for casting clay bricks.

Sunita and Ram, 60, have been married for over 25 years. Sunita helps her husband with the designs and artwork, even though she is illiterate. They have two sons and two daughters, the youngest child, a daughter, being 16 years.

The eldest son, 30, dropped out of school after Class 10 and helps his father in the business.

Sunita used the loan from VFS to buy raw materials and scale up the business, which is now in the hands of the fourth generation. The costliest item they make is priced at Rs 30,000.

Sunita buys wood from the Itarsi and Pipariya markets of Madhya Pradesh. Although they make sought-after furniture, their best-selling product is a wooden frame for moulding bricks. They sell the moulds to brick-kiln owners for Rs 500 each.

Their monthly income depends on the orders they get and execute, but the peak time for their business starts from around Diwali and continues till Holi, in the spring. The couple hires workers at Rs 300 a day when they cannot handle the orders themselves.

Their shop is attached to their house, most of which is used as a factory.

Sunita and Ram Mohan seem to be running a “safe” business as they have no rivals in the area, although four families are also in the woodworking business. They have been repaying the VFS loan, and Sunita says she is happy with the VFS staff for guiding her.

Published on Oct 8, 2021 | Updated on Apr 13, 2022