President and Cofounder
Sonal Rochani is a member of:
Shakti foundation is a registered NGO working for socio-economic uplift ment of rural women. Founded in august- 2011 our sole objective is to provide better livelihood opportunities to women. We found agarbatti making - the most sustainable livelihood activity for rural women. Hence, As of now we have employed 165 women in Surat district's 5 talukas - in agarbatti making. We have got our brand "Shakti" agarbatti and we have our presence in Gujarat, MP, UP, Chhattisgarh, Orrisa and West Bengal.
Innitially we used to make raw agarbatti and sold them in different territories. It was a tough task to identify proper beneficiaries. But with awareness campaigns we could reach to them. For more than a year we roamed around in Surat district as we wanted the most needy women to take advantage of our activity. My role was to aware them, motivate them, train them and convert them into entrepreneurs!
Relationship with potential investors
My potential investors were actually the beneficiaries of rural areas, the poor and down trodden women whom I wanted to uplift. Reaching out to them was difficult initially as them did not know their betterment! But gradually coming in continues contact with them they could identify with my intentions for them and they put trust in me. Today each of my rural women are earning 3000 to 10000 per month form agarbatti making activity and that to being at home!
About culture as the company has grown
Shakti Foundation is a family of 165 women coming from different cultures and backgrounds but today we have united our streangh to make Shakti - an international brand and to spread the fragrance of our hardwork in the whole world.
To launch any new brand in the market is a difficult task indeed but our funda was very clear from the beginning as to promote our product as a product of rural entrepreneurs and when a person buys our product - he/she would help a poor rural women for a livelihood- this was our clear msg to the customers. More over " women empowerment" , "building a new society - building a new era" are the messages we have given on our products. Theses are our back bones!
Advice to young entrepreneurs
We are automatically empowered when we empower others. So always keep faith in the capabilities of your people. They will never let you down!
Key thoughts about Entrepreneurship
I personally believe in " poverty eradication through profit makin". Let us do business but keep the poor and needy in mind as how they will be benefited. Women empowerment is my favourite subject so I shall always try to motivate women to come forward and try to become a entrepreneur by joining hands!