Story of financing for a small business
Snehal Machile, a food entrepreneur based in Pune, has been running her venture named KWC Foods since the past 4 years. Before deciding to start her venture, Snehal was working in the private sector as a part of the customer relationship management department. However, after a certain time period, due to familial reasons, Snehal had to discontinue her job. In the next 6 months post leaving her job, Snehal could start feeling the void of not having an income come into the household. As a result, she decided to venture into the idea of starting her own business. Her first business attempt was to explore selling of ladies’ garments. However, as she started exploring it in depth, she could see that the investment required to sustain a garments business was very high and the demand for the products in the business were ever changing according to changes in customer preferences. Therefore, Snehal decided to drop this business idea and started exploring the idea of a food business. She started off by selling Diwali snacks to gauge the demand and preferences of customers. Her research activities also included taking part in exhibitions to understand from customers about which products should she be kickstarting her food business. Snehal’s confidence started building up and after a year of engaging in different permutations and combinations of selling the snacks, she decided to curate her own snacks and range of offerings. This led to offering services such as catering for small parties. However, after the pandemic hit the country, Snehal reached a roadblock and did not receive any orders for a long time. She decided to utilize the spare time to innovate her products and started experimenting with different unconventional flavors for some popular snack items. After testing her products on close people, she gained the confidence to introduce them to her customers. After much contemplation on restarting her business in the pandemic situation, Snehal started selling her newly curated products. After a period of resorting to self-financing, Snehal decided to explore the deAsra-Gromor MSME loan initiative and received working capital through the initiative. Due to the lockdown, pricing patterns had changed and Snehal could see that the price for the packaging she would routinely use for her products had increased. She wanted to keep the customers’ best interest in mind and therefore dismissed the idea of increasing the price of her own products. The working capital availed through deAsra-Gromor helped Snehal attain her usual packaging material. Thereby, allowing her to not compromise on the quality of her delivery and also enabling her to keep the product pricing structure unchanged. She has also successfully been able to pay back the loan taken from the deAsra-Gromor initiative. Snehal’s future plan for her business involves diversifying her products and starting a shop of her own.