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Lijjat Papad --- Original Indian Ethos of practicing management
Shri Mahila Griha Udyog Lijjat Papad, popularly known as Lijjat, is a cooperative run by women that manufactures consumer goods. The aim of the organization is to provide employment opportunities to women in the country.
Founded in Mumbai in 1959, the organization has grown from a small number of women to 42,000 employees nationwide. With 67 branches and 35 divisions in India, Lijjat is one of the most remarkable and successful initiatives undertaken by women. And today, Lijjat is a household name for ‘papads’ in India.
A woman is recruited into Lajjat once she promises to adopt the values of the organization. Since papads are prepared in a woman’s residence, the management team conducts a check on the woman’s house to ensure that she has space in her home to roll and dry the papads.
Also, the management team checks if the premises are clean for the preparation of papads. Only when these criteria are met does a woman get the ‘green signal’ to prepare papads. If a woman does not have sufficient space in her home for rolling and drying the papads, she is given other responsibilities such as kneading dough, packing papads and testing them for quality.
Packed papads are sealed in a box and these boxes are transported from the centre to the nearest depot. In Mumbai alone, there are six depots. These depots serve as collection and storage areas, as well as pick up points for distributors.
The distributors pick up the required number of boxes and make the payment in cash. This money is then distributed to the employees every day.
The management team calculates the demand for papads and informs the employees on the production quantity. This way, the organization does not pay a huge amount for storage. Lijjat’s responsibility begins at the home, where papads are prepared, and ends at the depot, where papads are sold to distributors.
The corporate culture of Lijjat is unique, no doubt, but it is also highly successful. Through this organization, women are empowered and they gain financial independence and freedom.
Employees of Lijjat have the opportunity to take care of household matters and earn a living at the same time. By providing employment to poor rural and urban women, Lijjat has shown the country and the world that poverty can be eliminated by implementing innovative ideas.
Today, women employed by Lijjat are financially secure and are equipped with necessary skills to make their ends meet.
Lijjat has a fair and transparent compensation system. There are accountants in every Lijjat branch and centre who maintain daily accounts. If there are profits on a certain day, accountants distribute the money to women employed in that branch.
This is an additional incentive for women to work hard and help their peers. Only when all the women work closely and help each other will the business flourish. And a booming business means more money for all the employees. This is an ingenious rewards system, which prevents employees from becoming complacent.
All employees of Lijjat are owners of the organization too. Lijjat believes in the ‘Sarvodaya’ philosophy, and ensures that all the women are benefitted from this cooperative.
Lijjat is one of the very few organizations in India where democratic values are upheld and all women, regardless of religion, caste and language, are treated equally and given equal value.