Indrani Devi: A tale of a successful woman entrepreneur

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he sometimes forget to have meal, doesn’t feel tired and sleepy even in the night if she is on work. Every moment is precious for her and never wastes time in unnecessary matters.

She dedicates 18 hours a day in her work, and this is probably the reason why Loukrakpam Indrani Devi, 53, has become a successful entrepreneur who has added the prestigious Women Exemplar Award in her kitty.

In recognition of her effort to become a self-employed woman and her contributions in imparting training of local handicrafts to a number of women and empowering them financially, Indrani was awarded with the Woman Exemplar Award 2012 for micro enterprise by Confederation of Indian Industries, an association formed by the conglomeration of various industries of India.

The award comprised of Rupees 1.5 lakh, a citation and a medal.

Indrani said that this trade could provide good earning to many people. She added that she would welcome with an open heart if anybody comes at her workstation to learn the trade.

Indrani Devi was at her workstation concentrating on her job when Manipur Times recently visited her for an interview.

Regarding her dedication to work, Indrani sarcastically said, “I want to do lots of things and add lots of items in my workstation, but unfortunately I have only two hands.”

“Will-power and passion is a must if one has to achieve something in life”, she added.

Indrani, founder of Indrani Ideological Crafts Training Centre, Tera Loukrakpam Leikai inherited her skills from her mother in law. She started crafting these items since 1972. At that time she was very young.

Items like mattress, pillow, phingairuk, mon-mai, bags, mondum, montek, side-mon, cap, cushion, blanket etc are some of the basic items she uses to work on.

Indrani has always been a hard worker. Before she got married to Loukrakpam Kumar of Tera Loukrakpam Leikai she was a weaver. She used to make Wangkhei Phi, one of the most favourite handloom items in Manipur.

Tera mattress is one of the major products of her workstation. Since the mattress and pillows are the indispensable items for marriage ceremonies in Manipur, orders are enormous during marriage season says Indrani with a smile on her face.

Till now she has given training to a number of women while many are still waiting to get training from her. Indrani Ideological Crafts Training Centre is a registered industry, during off season Indrani conducts training in her centre.

At times Indrani goes to customers’ house to make mattress. Indrani charges Rupees 400 for making a small mattress and Rupees 500 for making a big mattress.

As she can make a large mattress and a small mattress in a day she can earn about Rupees 900 a day at times. However, during normal days, Indrani easily earns Rupees 300 to 500 daily at her centre.

A double size tera mattress of 5 feet in breadth consumes about 25 to 30 kg of tera and a small mattress of 4 feet in breadth consumes about 20-23 kg of tera.

A set of two mattresses, two pillows and a side-mon (supporting pillow) decoration nowadays costs up to Rupees 14,000.

The price of tera mattresses differs according to the size and consumption of the raw materials.

The raw materials which are being used to produce her products are tera, fibre, cloths, fabrics and shinny decorative etc.

At the initial stage, Indrani did face some financial problems. However, as her centre became growing with each passing day, she could solve all the problems.

Her occupation has not only brought lots of changes in her life, but also supported her family in financial needs.

Earlier she used to convince the customers to sell her products, but now customers are searching for her says Indrani. She wishes to have a proper work-shed where she can stock the raw-materials and finished products. And she hopes that one day she will be able to realise her dreams.

Photo Credit: Manipurtimes

The knits, the tiny fingers way, the creativity in such art work and the speciality of the indigenous products are processed in the minds of a hard working people like Indrani. The indispensible work irreplaceable by the global market is being keep up in a laborious work shed like Indrani Ideological Crafts Training Centre, Tera Loukrakpam Leikai.

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