Where we are today

57 Women entrepreneurs – Trained and equipped to manage sustainable enterprise

We were super excited when we were empanelled by the Kudumbashree mission (Asia’s largest network for women entrepreneurship and poverty eradication by the Government of Kerala) as part of the SJSRY (Swarna Jayanthi sahari rozgar yojna) scheme by Government of India. The challenge in front of us was to mobilise, train and equip women to manage sustainable enterprises. It was an amazing experience travelling across Kerala with Kudumbashree. The process took 6 months and we trained 57 women across the state. With the experience in Kerala, we have set a challenge in front of us. To train and empower 30,000 women across the country by 2025.

Where we are today

Our journey from the past to the future.

Has it ever happened to you that you were digging into the past for some reason and you chance upon something futuristic there and wonder, “Well, why for heaven’s’ sake didn’t we think about this before?!” Well, something like that happened to us in 2012 and it resulted in ‘Soothika’: A company that sells Ayurvedic oils, exclusively for pregnancy care.’ It’s pretty amazing, the things said about Pregnancy Care in classic Ayurvedic texts. While modern medicine is still debating whether medicines can be taken for the ailments during pregnancy period, Ayurveda has extensive solutions for all those ailments. And what more, it’s tried and tested for thousands of years. If you are interested, take a look at the ‘Sarira Sthana’ section in ‘Ashtanga Hridaya Samhita’ written about 2500 years ago. You will marvel at the expertise of our ancestors.

Then we hit up on something; Something like a gold mine

We started Soothika as an online shop. There were two reasons – first, it’s more cost effective, and the second, we could reach out to more people in a wider geography in lesser time. We were rocking on social media and the word spread pretty fast. But as business started picking up, we noticed something; out of all the inquiries, a sizable number of people wanted not only products, but full Ayurveda pregnancy-care therapies. And quite surprisingly they were ready to pay whatever it takes.

We had done some number crunching before starting Soothika, and we were pretty sure about the market. So we thought, if people are willing to invest for therapies then why not? Thus began our search for traditional pregnancy-care therapists popularly known as ‘Pathichi’. It was a tough job finding them. There were only a few left who practiced this tradition, and they too were getting old. Their younger generation wasn’t interested in taking up this job. So, on one hand we had people willing to invest in pregnancy care and on the other hand we had a scarcity of therapists. What was wrong here? We kept wondering, until we met Sheela didi.

The therapist that changed us

Sheila didi, who didn’t have any formal education, had got into this profession, after her husband died. She was taught by her mother, who was a traditional pathichi. Sheila didi started handling 2 to 3 cases per month and started making 20 to 30 thousand rupees a month. With this money, she was able to put her children through professional colleges. Today Sheila didi’s kids are all well settled abroad and her household income is almost 3 lakh rupees.

Road to social entrepreneurship

Our initial plan was to find as many therapists as possible, train them and hire them for Soothika, because the demand was very high. But our search for therapists lead us to many places and got us closer to the bottom line of our society – to the women who are struggling to raise their children, uneducated women who don’t know their basic rights, the women who dreamt of a better future for themselves and their children but for whom…mere existence itself is a battle.

From Sheila didi’s experience it was clear that, we had a sustainable business model for them. Need for Pregnancy care therapies will never run out of demand and it does not require any educational qualification. Anyone with a little empathy, patience and will power can learn it & sustain it for a decent living.

5S Empowerment Model

Selection

There will be a selection process to have an understanding of your level of commitment

Survey

The selected candidates will have to conduct a survey in their neighbourhood to understand the feasibility of their enterprise.

Skilling

Skill training to become empowered entrepreneurs.

Setting up

Assistance for equipping with poducts, marketing materials & equipments needed for performing homecare therapies.

Supporting

Support in lead generation, and continuous training.

It’s more than just
Therapy training

We see all our trainees as an entrepreneur in the making. That is why our training is not just about therapies, it is just empowering the women. Along with the massage techniques for the mother and child, we train them in marketing, grooming, digital training, financial training and mobility training. The 30 day training session includes theory as well as practical classes and on-the-job training. It’s fun to do as a group. By the way, did we mention we train only women who are mothers?

Therapy Training

Training is given on various massage techniques for Mother and Child. This session includes theory and practical classes.

Marketing

We do have a lot of marketing materials, but it’s important that you present it the right way. Don’t worry, we will train you how to do it in the right way.

Grooming

How you present yourself is more important than you think in this job. After this session your self-confidence will reach to a new height.

Digital Training

Each of you will be trained to handle a smartphone. It’s both your marketing equipment and your security guard. We will train you on how to tame this people.

Accounting

Accounting is one of the most important skill an entreprenuer should have. Anybody can become rich, if you get this right. Our training make sure you get this right.

Mobility

Once you take an appointment, you should reach there on-time. We know how difficult is punctuality to maintain in this urban jungle, especially if you rely public transport. That’s why we give you training on riding two wheeler.

Quick Enquiry






Address

6th Floor, BCG Estates,
NH Bypass, Palarivattom, Kochi,
Kerala –682025, India.

Email

tm1@soothika.com