From Finance To Encouragement, A Rural Business Remains Deprived: Chayaa Nanjappa
Being passionate about improving the living standards of tribal people, Chayaa Nanjappa always wanted to empower and support small farmers so that the migration from rural India could be reduced. With this aim, she started a small business named Nectar Fresh Foods which has now become a well known brand and one of India’s biggest suppliers of natural food products.
However, Chayaa had to face many problems in making this business successful. She says one of the main challenges in running a business in rural area is not been able to capitalise on government schemes.
Speaking to Opportunity India she said, “There are many challenges in the rural area. One of the main challenges is that there are sections of men in our society which find it extremely difficult to admit that a women can do anything extraordinary. Another challenge is that we have not been able to capitalise on government schemes or subsidies because we don’t have availability of people to do project work for us.”
She said that finance has also been a challenge because banks do not trust most of the MSMEs in rural India and especially when it is headed by a woman. “Now I feel that we have overcome all that with dedication, passion and never give up attitude but there are issues in galore. Right now the highway project in rural India has been a nightmare for MSMEs. The government doesn’t address it,” she added.
When asked about the initial investment in the business, she said, “My unit (The Nectar Fresh Food), is considered as one of the most successful unit of the Khadi and Village Industries Commission, was started with a capital amount of INR 20-21 lakh and now stands at around INR 20 crore.”
She further elaborated, “The brand and rural social enterprise has grown during covid pandemic not depending upon subsidy and grants.We are very happy that we had received INR 2 lakh 14 years back from Khadi and Village Industries Commission, but if we were given the advantage of good backing, I don’t know how many more farmers would have been grown during the Covid-19.”
Founder of Nectar Fresh Food, who was chosen for the women transforming India award this year, says that she has empowered over thousand people through her company. “As a largest buyer of tribal honey in India, for the small farmers and tribal farmers, we have empowered over thousand tribal people in the area,” she said.
During the pandemic Chayaa has also set up a social enterprise “Naman” to promote tribal and rural artisans which will be opened within two to three months after getting delay due to several challenges.
“The building is ready and I will open this social enterprise that promotes tribal and rural artisans within two to three months. It was delayed due to numerous challenges faced by us at the hands of National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) officials,” she said.
She had also spoken to the honourable union minister Nitin Gadkari and conveyed the issues and problems faced by her, and the minister has assured the solution for the difficulties faced by the MSMEs.
“He is a wonderful human being but the government should look what is happening as it comes down to NHAI officials. It is pathetic,” she said.
She said that if there is a nexus between the NHAI officials and the local politicians then it could be a downfall for the genuine enterprise that has tried its best to sustain during the pandemic.
She said that ‘Naman’ will be first social enterprise in Atmanirbhar Bharat. “We from Nectar Fresh, want to take our journey to empower tribal to the next level by promoting artisan products across the globe. This venture will support 3000 tribal artisans and wherever they need skill development training programme, I hope we will do the needful,” she said.
Expressing happiness on the Occassion of World MSMEs Day, Chayaa who is also President of National Association of Businesswomen in Commerce and Industry said, “It is so wonderful that we have World MSME Day and we are contributing so much for the country’s growth and that is being acknowledged itself. I hope many more people get into entrepreneurship in the country to take forward our Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of India becoming a Vishwa Guru.”