Business Success Story: From Rs 80 To Rs 1,600 Crore, Story Of Lijjat Papad Driven By 45,000 Women | Companies News


New Delhi: Lijjat Papad is a household name in every state across India. But while most of us have enjoyed the traditional snack at least once in our lives, most do not know about the inspiration success story behind the making of the phenomenal brand that was started by seven women from their rooftop, with a meagre investment of Rs 80 borrowed for the initial raw material. Sixty years later, it was churning out a mammoth Rs 1,600 crore turnover in 2019, co-owned by 45,000 women (2021) who make 4.8 million papads every day.

The Lijjat Papad Story:

The brand is run by the women’s worker cooperative called Mahila Griha Udyog Lijjat Papad. Back in 1959, a group of seven women living in Mumbai’s Girgaum decided to take charge of their lives. Jaswantiben Jamnadas Popat, Parvatiben Ramdas Thodani, Ujamben Narandas Kundalia, Banuben. N Tanna, Laguben Amritlal Gokani, Jayaben V Vithalani and Diwaliben Lukka borrowed seed money of Rs 80 for their business from a social worker called Chhaganlal Karamsi Parekh. With the money they both raw materials and took over a papad making business which was badly failing.

The women started out with four packets on the first day and sold papads worth a little over Rs 6,000 in the first year. In 1962, the brand name ‘Lijjat’ was adopted after being chosen from a cash prize contest. Sales at the time were nearing Rs 2 lakh.

Slowly they grew from few hundreds to thousands of women who made the product and earned as a co-owner. Propelled by regional media coverage, the brand grew in a six-decade history to empowering over 42,000 women by 2002, and 45,000 by 2021. The enterprise has eighty-two branches and also exports overseas to countries like the US and Singapore. It also makes other products like detergent soap and rotis.

In 2021, Lijjat Papad enterprise’s 90-year-old co-founder Jaswantiben Jamnadas Popat was awarded the prestigious Padma Shri award by President Ram Nath Kovind.

How The Enterprise Empowers Women:

Every woman member of the Lijjat Papad enterprise earns according to their capacity of making papads and position in the organisation. Some women with the enterprise earn more than their husbands, The organisation’s president Swati Ravindra Paradkar was quoted last year.

The organisation recruits men only as drivers, shop assistants and helpers. structure is such that the people who roll the papad grow to manage. Their president Paradkar is herself a second-generation co-owner who started rolling papads with her mother at a young age after losing her father at the age of 10. “Some of our women earn more than their husbands — and their families respect them for it,” she said last year.


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