I started my journey as an entrepreneur in 2013. Before that, I worked in different NGOs for 16 years. However, I always wanted to have something of my own. Be it a small initiative, but it has to be something of my creation. This line of thought encouraged me to leave my long-term job in the Business Development sector and start Unique Agro Service Center, an enterprise that helps women entrepreneurs in rural areas to learn advanced marketing skills.
It all started with an initial investment that was a shared contribution of my savings and my mother’s. After 4 years, a local bank saw my work and motivated me to take a non-interest loan to expand my business. That’s when my business made a drastic improvement.
I conducted several focus group discussions with the local women community. Here, we tried to make a proper market plan where they can nurture and raise livestock. It took us 2 years to realize the strategy. Initially, 100 rural women got 20 local breeds of chicken and ducks from my farm. Also, they got some seasonal and local vegetable seeds such as gourd, sweet pumpkin, papaya, Pui Shak, etc. to grow in their backyard. They nurtured the livestock without much hassle. After that, I bought the produced meat and eggs from them. This way, I managed the supply chain, and the women got proper nutrients & payment.
I have talked with some people from Dhaka who are looking forward to buying my livestock and vegetable production. But in reality, the local demand is enough to keep my business running smoothly. All combined, the monthly sale of my farm’s production is around 7,50,000 to 7,75,000. Currently, I have more than 600 women working with my farm and some male workers to maintain the balance. Therefore, the women in my locality are becoming independent and empowered.
While the business was sailing well, it all came to a standstill because of the pandemic. At first, the lockdown and the severity made all of us fear for our lives. The production stopped for almost 76 days during that time. It still took us 6 months to stabilize and start farming again. So, the pandemic was a disastrous chapter of my life as an entrepreneur.
I already have some plans for the future. I know that the demand for these livestock products will not decrease. So, making my farm a well-polished local brand will enable me to appeal to a wide range of customers. By adding a local delivery system and detailed packaging, I can create a justified market. The reason is that vendors who buy products from my farm at a lower price tend to sell them by increasing the price. If I can successfully introduce a home delivery system, the cost will be more efficient for the customers.
Now, I aim to increase the skills of the local workers. While they are efficient in their current jobs, they can get better. LightCastle Partners made me realize that even though my market is local, I need to think globally. I also joined many international organizations to learn more. There are tons of areas to explore, different market strategies, models, and everything. That’s why I want to teach my workers and women more skills about the market and keep them up to date. So, a training program will definitely help them to know more about marketing and its components. For that, I seek assistance from any helpful and experienced organization. Lastly, I can say that after working for a long period, I truly believe anyone can become successful in life if they are willing to work hard.