Manipur woman started organic food brand with just Rs. 500!
Yangmila Zimik, a single mother-turned-entrepreneur from the Ukhrul district in Manipur has proven again that hard work, faith, and determination can help anyone make their dreams come true. Back in 2015, she purchased gooseberries and sugar for Rs. 500, made candies, and distributed them among neighbors and friends. Cut to 2019, she founded Shirin Products and is now selling those candies across India!
A workshop encouraged Zimik to start her own business
Zimik and her siblings were raised by a single father after their mother's demise. Although she could not continue schooling due to financial constraints, a 2015 training program on food processing encouraged Zimik to start her own business. "I gave the local shops some packages of the candy to see if they can sell them. They sold out fast," the 47-year-old told YourStory.
Zimik makes jams and candies with various locally-available fruits
Zimik was fascinated by food products and processing from an early age. As her candy-making became a huge success in a short span of time, many small grocery stores in the vicinity approached her to make more products. Therefore, she started collecting locally-available fruits like plum, gooseberry, wild olive, and guava and making jams and candies by processing them at her residence.
Krishi Vigyan Kendra officials helped start her business venture
Zimik attended another workshop in 2017 organized at the local Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) to learn pickle-making. Impressed by her enthusiasm and talent, KVK officials helped her set up a small working unit at home by providing her with a wooden oven, gas stove, and jumbo box under the Socio-Economic Action Plan. She also attended two of KVK's seminar-cum-training on vermicompost and food processing.
She has employed six local women under her
Currently, people from several cities including Imphal, Delhi, Guwahati, and Dimapur consume Zimik's products. Shirin Products now produces 35 different kinds of purely organic food items. Starting as a solo entrepreneur, Zimic has engaged farmers from 30 villages for fruits and other locally-available ingredients. She has also hired six local women, four of whom work full-time and two students work under her part-time.
Zimik earns between Rs. 70,000-80,000 through physical stores alone
Talking about her unique products, Zimik told YourStory, "You must try the guava green tea, it is supremely healthy and flavorsome." She distributes her products in 30-50 stores in Ukhrul and manages to earn between Rs. 70,000 and Rs. 80,000 just through the physical shops.
She has received several awards
Recently, Zimik was honored with the prestigious Assam Women Entrepreneurs' Award for being an impactful entrepreneur in the rural category. She was declared the first runner-up entrepreneur of the year in 2021 under the micro section by Satya Microfinance Vijayalakshmi Das Entrepreneurship Award 2020 in Delhi. She has also received a grant of Rs. 1,20,000 from GIZ, a German non-profit organization.Share this timeline