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April 04, 2017 @ 01:15 PM

April 04, 2017 @ 01:15 PM

K. J. Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research, Mumbai

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Aparna Banerjee

Reading success stories of great professionals stimulates motivational enzyme within us and we all wish to emulate them on our path of success. 
MBA Rendezvous is presenting you on every Saturday a motivational story of successful Professional. 
Read story of Aparna Banerjee
Aparna Banerjee, a social entrepreneur who started Project Sukanya in 2005, is popular not only in Kolkata but the rest of the country. 
While Aparna Banerjee was pursuing an MBA degree in Supply Chain Management at the Xavier Labour Relations Institute, she simultaneously began work on a distribution model on micro-management, where the aim of the project was to connect rural suppliers with urban consumers. And thus began Aparna Banerjee’s journey of Project Sukanya.
Since young, Aparna Banerjee wanted to be her own boss. When she was 17, her father quit his job, and when money became scarce in the family, Aparna Banerjee started manufacturing transformers to earn a living. And in the first three months, she managed to earn Rs 18,000. Even as a teenager, her entrepreneurial skills were strong and by the age of 21, her earnings went up to Rs 1.8 crores. 
Given the success of her first business venture, Aparna Banerjee decided to hone her entrepreneurial skills and build upon her strengths. This is something that all youngsters can learn from Aparna Banerjee. It is important to understand our strengths and weaknesses. 
All of us are gifted with certain skills and abilities and it is our responsibility to identify our strengths and put them to good use in our personal and professional spheres of life.
Project Sukanya is a platform for skilled women to promote handicrafts and homemade products and in turn earn a living – this is how Project Sukanya generates employment for women. Mobile carts bearing the word ‘bou’ are placed at major intersections in Kolkata and products such as handicraft items and homemade snacks, pickles and jams are sold under the name of Project Sukanya.
So, employment is created in two areas – production of goods and sale of goods. There are 54 roadside mobile kiosks that are manned by 141 women, who work in shifts. Apart from these women, 3,500 others who are involved in the production of the items also benefit from the project.
This project has gotten the approval from Dr Manmohan Singh, who has assured Aparna Banerjee that he would provide assistance in times of need. Apart from having mobile stalls that reach out to consumers, Aparna Banerjee established a common facility at Topsia so that women from rural areas can congregate at one place to showcase their samples before they are graded and transported to mobile stalls for sale. 
Sample products are graded and divided into three categories – products of category A are those that can be sold immediately, products of category B require attractive packaging before they are sold, and products of category C are those that are plenty in the market and hence, have reached market saturation level.
This way, Aparna Banerjee ensures that only items with economic value and returns are produced by women. Aparna Banerjee’s Project Sukanya is a life-saver not only for women but for families too. 
Education should not only help individuals but the entire society, and this is something that we can learn from Aparna Banerjee’s initiative. If we want the nation to grow as a whole, it is important to give back to the society and improve the welfare of the poor. If everyone thought and acted like Aparna Banerjee, India would be a much better economy today.
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