Despite challenges, these businesses are making a mark in the MSME sector

November 13, 2018

From lack of funds to maintaining quality of products and sustaining the business, these entrepreneurs have come a long way in their entrepreneurial journey. While the challenges are many, the MSMEs have also significantly contributed for employment generation and promoted industrial development in rural areas.

SMBStory has compiled a list of a few MSMEs from across the country listing their aspirations and challenges to grow their business in the face of changing times.

Name of company: Green Castle Food and Beverages

Name of entrepreneurs: Naveen Kumar, Karthick Sukumaaran, Karthikeyan E, Mitlesh Kumar

Location: Chennai, Tamil Nadu

Sector: Food and beverages manufacturing (kulfis)

A brief about the business: Green Castle Food and Beverages was formed in 2017. It makes and sells kulfis under the brand ‘Boozo Kulfi.’ The company clocked a turnover of Rs 24 lakh in just a year. It got a business loan of Rs 26 lakh from Canara Bank.

Challenges at present: As first generation businessmen, the entrepreneurs went through a lot of struggle in understanding how the business world works. This includes negotiation, financial literacy, knowledge about taxes, etc.

They feel that upcoming entrepreneurs like them would benefit a lot from workshops and training about entrepreneurship skills (leadership, sales, marketing, and decision making), and financial literacy (accounting, tax, personal finance, and insurance).‍

Aspirations: To become a market player in the dairy industry and contribute to the nation’s growth by employing people and paying taxes. The entrepreneurs also dream of becoming a listed company, with stocks traded and all customers becoming shareholders in the company. By 2023, Green Castle aims to set up a dairy plant.

Vasudevan of Pioneer Coldstore and Cladding

Name of company: Pioneer Coldstore and Cladding

Name of entrepreneur: S Vasudevan

Location: Villupuram, Tamil Nadu

Sector: Manufacturing insulated panels

A brief about the business: Pioneer Coldstore and Cladding was launched in 2010. It produces over 1,20,000 square metres of insulated panels per month. The business clocked a turnover of Rs 47.5 crore last year. Over Rs 13 crore has been invested in the business. It also makes products such as profiled composite panels, cam lock panels, insulated doors, and refrigerated truck cabins. It supplies to different sectors such as food and beverage, pharma, healthcare, chemicals, and manufacturing.

Challenges at present: The main challenges have been large geographical distances and high delivery costs for transporting products to northern regions in India. Another challenge is changing market conditions and risks.

Aspirations: To set up a new facility in North India to cater to customers from that region.

Name of company: Pragati Milk

Name of entrepreneurs: Pradosh Kumar Rout

Location: Cuttack, Odisha

Sector: Food and beverages manufacturing (milk and milk products)

A brief about the business: The company aims to offer milk and milk products at reasonable prices. It wants to be unique by ensuring quality products, timely payments, quality equipment, and strong quality control. So far, Rs 6 crore has been invested in the business. It started in 2008 with the production of 5,000 litres of milk. It ventured into milk products in 2010 and cream milk in 2011. Now, it covers around 40 percent of the market share in Odisha.‍

Challenges at present: Payment of tax was a challenge initially. To stay clear of issues, the company uses cold chain management systems through refrigerated vehicles, and takes a 100 percent cash advancement from retailers, and does its own capital management.

Aspirations: The company is planning to set up a skimmed milk powder plant in order to safeguard the excess milk production by the farmers, and hopes the state government will support it at the earliest.‍

Name of company: DS Enterprises

Name of entrepreneurs: Deepak Sharma

Location: Faridabad, Haryana

Sector: Manufacturing metal sheets for automobiles

A brief about the business: Launched in 2010, it sought to manufacture metal sheets for various clients like Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors, and Ashok Leyland. The entrepreneurs invested Rs 20 lakh and the business has clocked a turnover of Rs 10 crore last year. It ventured beyond two-wheelers to become successful.

Challenges at present: The primary challenge for the company is fluctuations in the quality and pricing of raw materials. The company works with this raw material at each step of the process. The entrepreneur believes that this problem can be solved if there is a tie-up with vendors of other companies, which deal with raw materials. ‍

Aspirations: The next step is to expand the business into the Railway sector, and manufacture components for it. The entrepreneur also needs the government to ensure that companies such as SAIL, TATA, and JSW are giving optimum rates for raw materials.

Ramesh Kumar of Haryana Petro Chemicals

Name of company: Haryana Petro Chemicals

Name of entrepreneurs: Ramesh Kumar

Location: Karnal, Haryana

Sector: Petrochemical manufacturing

A brief about the business: Set up in 1986 to manufacture good quality machine oil and spindle oil, the company took help from the local and state governments as well as some other oil manufacturers and invested Rs 10 lakh into the business. It clocked a turnover of Rs 1.5 crore last year.‍

Challenges at present: The main challenge is maintaining the quality of the products and boosting production levels at the same time. Another challenge is to maintain records, document, processes, and transactions in writing.‍

Aspirations: The entrepreneur wants his products and brand to settle comfortably in the minds of the customers. The goal is to expand the business quickly.

Subhrarani Mohanty (left), founder, SS Associates

Name of company: SS Associates

Name of entrepreneurs: Subhrarani Mohanty

Location: Jagatsinghpur, Odisha

Sector: Manufacturing low-carbon kitchen cooking equipment.

A brief about the business: The business makes low-carbon cooking equipment. With the help of her husband, local government agencies, and Canara Bank, the entrepreneur invested Rs 13 lakh to launch the business in 2018 and commenced operations.

Challenges at present: Because of the low carbon emissions, the products are a step towards ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ and ‘Swachh Tahi Seva’. Despite this, creating social awareness about the problems and solving them is a challenge. There isn’t enough awareness among the public and the society about the products which are, in fact, beneficial for them.

Aspirations: To get help to supply products to the government and semi-government sector, and to tap and utilise CSR funds of big companies. The business also wants tests conducted and a performance report delivered by the concerned government agencies and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

Name of company: India Trading

Name of entrepreneurs: Devang Desai

Location: Bengaluru, Karnataka

Sector: Manufacturing, exporting, wholesale, and retailing of silver and antique jewellery.

A brief about the business: Under the brand ‘Dev’s Jewellery’, the company sells various types of silver jewellery, semi-precious and precious stones, and antique jewellery. It tries to change and update the product designs to meet new trends, and actively participates in the exhibitions organised by the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) and government-based handicraft stores.

Challenges at present: The main challenge is to source different types of jewellery from the artisans from various parts of India. The company has to source or give raw material to artisans based in different parts of India. Here, the challenge is the capital required to give raw materials or source jewellery from them.

Aspirations: To expand the business by developing a website and generating more sales. But sales through stalls at exhibitions are also a focus area.

Banita Panigrahi receiving an award

Name of company: Soft-Ed

Name of entrepreneurs: Banita Panigrahi

Location: Cuttack, Odisha

Sector: Educational services

A brief about the business: Launched in 2001, the company sought to upskill people through a computer training institute. After the company came in contact with the local Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises Development Institute (MSME DI), it also started on-ground government-sponsored training under various programmes. It upskills entrepreneurs by providing skill training, guiding them, and helping them in various processes like financial project preparation, Udyog Aadhaar Registration, GST Registration, ROC Registration, Balance Sheet, GEM Registration, and more.

Challenges at present: The company finds it challenging to grow in a society which is constantly evolving. For the entrepreneur, it is also hard being a woman in business, as people always doubt what a woman can achieve. Risk-taking is another challenge.

Aspirations: To keep moving ahead with the business and keep focussed on the goal. It also seeks to better manage cash flow and suppliers. It wants stakeholders to come together and create a large number of skilled entrepreneurs.

Name of company: Ele Farm Hub

Name of entrepreneurs: Sujayraj KB

Location: Bengaluru, Karnataka

Sector: Organic foods and medicinal products manufacturing

A brief about the business: Launched in 2016, the company makes and sells organic food and medicinal products at low costs. The entrepreneur invested Rs 40 lakh and has clocked a turnover of Rs 1.5 crore.

Challenges at present: Primary challenges include maintaining credits and margins, and stock maintenance without affecting the overall quality of employees and products.

Aspirations: To minimise or completely remove the middle management and make the community a healthier environment to live in. The entrepreneur also wants to provide complete support to the agriculture businesses.

Name of company: Highflow Industries

Name of entrepreneurs: Sumit Jaiswal

Location: Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh

Sector: Battery manufacturing for home appliances, solar devices and in automobiles.

A brief about the business: Launched in 2014, it manufactured around 20 batteries a day. These batteries were used in home appliances, solar devices and in automobiles. A breakthrough in e-rickshaw and solar battery manufacturing saw Highflow grow at a fast rate, propelling it to its present capacity of 300 batteries per day. So far, Rs 10 crore has been invested in the business, and it clocked a turnover of Rs 25 crore last year.

Challenges at present: Because lithium-ion batteries are the latest thing to invest in, the main challenge in this sector is to keep up to date with the latest technology coming in the market and not get left behind.

Aspirations: To target distribution channels for customer acquisition and achieve a Rs 100 crore turnover by December 2019. The company also wants to continue hiring good and trained professionals from bigger industries.

Name of  the company: Noble Jewels

Name of entrepreneur: Bhasker Verma

Location: Jaipur, Rajasthan

Sector: Jewellery trade

A brief about the business: Creates unique, personalised, custom-made, high-end jewellery along with providing special services like designing bridal trousseau, jewellery upgradation and jewellery redesigning. The founder used his personal savings of Rs 5 lakh as an initial investment and the company is seeing an annual turnover of around Rs 20 lakh.

Challenges at present: There is a lot of competition in the city, and the jewellery sector remains unregulated. There are heavy fluctuations in the prices of gold, silver and other bullion that creates a huge challenge.

Aspirations: Wants to increase the brand’s market presence and wants to cater to a global clientele in the future.

Snigdha Bihan of Trendmongers Pvt Ltd

Name of company: Trendmongers Pvt Ltd

Name of Entrepreneur: Snigdha Bihan

Location: Jaipur, Rajasthan

Sector: Kids clothes manufacturer

A brief about the business: The company launched the brand Little Pocket Store in 2015. It creates a fusion mix between traditional Rajasthani craft designs and contemporary clothing for kids at an affordable price. Trendmongers was started with an initial investment of Rs 10 lakh and now has an annual turnover of Rs 65 lakh.

Challenges at present: Block printing workers don’t want to continue with their traditional jobs and are going for higher paying jobs. Another challenge has been lack of awareness among the public for traditional Rajasthani handicrafts and arts.

Aspirations: Wants to explore potential markets in India and overseas.

Name of company: Caplon Techno Textiles

Name of Entrepreneur: Amod Bajpai

Location: Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh

Sector: Medico textile industry, manufacturing

A brief about the business: Manufactures a special type of anti-bacterial health socks.

The company was started with an investment of Rs 10 lakh in 2016 and has an annual turnover of Rs 50 lakh.

Challenges at present: Lack of training units, no special schemes or programmes for the upliftment of small businesses is a challenge. The entrepreneur seeks more help from the Ministry of Textiles and feels it needs to do more for the hosiery sector.

Aspirations: Wants to diversify and provide quality base niche socks made from natural yarns and stretchable lycra yarns in the coming years.

Nityashree Swami of Riches Laboratories

Name of company: Riches Laboratories

Name of Entrepreneur: Nityashree Swami

Location: Bengaluru, Karnataka

Sector: Manufacturer of organic personal products

A brief about the business: The company, which was set up in 2016, operates under the brand ‘Nesar’ and mainly manufactures organic health and beauty products such as homemade soaps, face wash, lip balms, etc. A total of Rs 15 lakh has been invested in the company till now and it is seeing an annual turnover of Rs 2 lakh.

Challenges at present: To make customers differentiate between real organic products and fake organic products, obtaining government licenses, and lack of awareness of organic products in tier-II cities.

Aspirations: Make Nesar a global brand and introduce a new range of soap with Moringa and experiment with new coffee-based products.

Founders of

Name of company:

Name of Entrepreneur: Jawahar Singh, Kalaivani Sadagopan

Location: Chennai, Tamil Nadu

Sector: Ecommerce, Handloom textile manufacturing

A brief about the business: Avishya was launched in 2016 in order to boost online sales of handlooms. The company was started with a vision to build a ‘best-in-class’ online platform that would bring together and showcase the handcrafted products produced by artisans, weaving societies, brands and designers across India.

Challenges at present:  Inventory costs, warehousing capacity, and marketing are some of the major challenges. Educating potential customers about the beauty and uniqueness of Indian handlooms, sourcing and management of fragmented production centres also pose a challenge.

Aspirations: Plans to reach out to tier II and tier III towns in India and the Indian diaspora abroad.

Name of company: Urja Gasifiers

Name of Entrepreneur- Ajay Kumar Jaiswal

Location: Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh

Sector: Manufacturing

A brief about the business: Set up in 2013, the company manufactures eco-friendly and renewable cremation systems for Hindu cremation.

Challenges at present: Changing the traditional mindset of the customers and making them switch from old, traditional method of wooden funeral pyres to electric cremation systems. Lack of exposure and awareness among the masses, lack of government support, no technological innovation, lack of funds, no strong policies to promote renewable eco-friendly method of cremation.

Aspirations: Looking forward to starting a joint venture for a business of Rs 5,000 crore in the next five years.

Name of company: Fabricology

Name of Entrepreneur: Bharathi Chandru

Location: Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh

Sector: Manufacturing

A brief about the business: Set up in 2013, the company manufactures and supplies shopping bags, tote bags and canvas bags made of jute, cotton, and other fibres. The founder had to take a loan of Rs 5 lakh from a bank to set up the company and is seeing an annual turnover of Rs 10 lakh.

Challenges at present: Lack of funds and proper marketing has been a challenge. There is no continuous order and credit flow in the business. The founder wants the government to reduce the interest on loans to promote entrepreneurs.

Aspirations: Bharathi aims to expand her customer base and diversify her product range. She also wishes to export her products abroad as well.

Name of company: Coiners Engineers

Name of Entrepreneurs: Robin Thomas, Pradip K Vijayan

Location: Thrissur, Kerala

Sector: Manufacturing

A brief about the business: Coiners Engineering was set up in 2011 and is involved in the manufacturing of various steel products, material handling systems, material storage facilities, and other customised engineering products for India and other countries. It also sells and manufactures products such as conveyor systems, conveyor rollers, and conveyor belts, etc., in Kerala and also does rubber roller repairing service. The company was started with an initial investment of around Rs 20 lakh, and has an annual turnover of nearly Rs 3 crore.

Challenges at present: The company has faced difficulties as there are a lot of formalities and procedures involved in setting up new businesses, in acquiring land, and machinery in Kerala.

It is also very difficult to get all the approvals from the government in a short time. The government should respond to our requests and applications at the earliest and use its discretionary powers so that the delays are reduced.

Aspirations: Robin plans to increase his exports to other countries and focus on his foreign clients, and also intends to supply to the multinational corporations in India.

Name of company: Ayurveda Health House

Name of Entrepreneur: Anirudha Aggarwal

Location: Bilaspur, Chattisgarh

Sector: Manufacturer, distribution

A brief about the business: Ayurveda Health House, founded in 1995, was initially started by manufacturing a few herbal products, mainly comprising of herbal churnas (a mixture of herbs). The company later diversified its product portfolio to syrups, tablets and capsule section. The products are marketed under the brand ‘Pawaan Herbals’ and the company has an annual turnover of more than Rs 50 lakh.

Challenges at present: The government should support the industries instead of being a hindrance by introducing abrupt policy changes. It should provide some relaxation to the local units in order to help them grow. The licensing procedure in Chhattisgarh is very complex and the policies are very strict when compared to other states such as Gujarat and Maharashtra, where diversification in products can be easily done, unlike here.

Aspirations: The entrepreneur dreams of establishing Ayurvedic Health House as the top Ayurvedic brand in India. We want to establish new pockets of distribution in different states and expand our marketing and distribution areas.

Prerna Verma of Creative India

Name of company: Creative India

Name of Entrepreneur: Prerna Verma

Location: Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh

Sector: Manufacturing

A brief about the business: The company, started in 2007, manufactures leather cords, cotton cords, leather bags, and other handmade leather goods. The business was started with an initial investment of Rs 3,500, and is seeing an annual turnover is around Rs 2 crore.

Challenges at present: Bargain for prices in the raw leather market, especially because it is filled with spurious products laid out as bait for newcomers. Some support in terms of technology upgrade and better management in this industry.

Aspirations: My main aim is to work with full dedication and grow my business in different countries.

Name of company: Servel Engineers

Name of Entrepreneur: Nandan Sherlekar

Location: Mangaluru, Karnataka

Sector: Manufacturing of machine components

A brief about the business: The company, started in 1959, makes metal castings for local industries as well as machinery components for domestic and imported machines. It is seeing a turnover of Rs 1.5 crore.

Challenges at present: Since the government has issued an online tender system, industries are bidding such low costs that it is not possible to supply high-quality products. If the government-owned enterprises will focus only on cost, then the small-scale suppliers will have their profit margins squeezed and will not be encouraged to invest in machinery any further. This way, the industry will not develop and will dwindle with time.

Aspirations: Plans to fight the odds and develop the business. He wants insurance policy from the government for business owners.

Name of company: Shree Nandan Creme Glacee

Name of Entrepreneur: Mamata Hegde

Location: Bengaluru, Karnataka

Sector: F&B service and manufacturing

A brief about the business: Started in 2016 with an initial investment of Rs 10 lakh, Shree Nandan Creme Glacee, an ice cream parlour, offers an extensive range of cold delights in a variety of flavours. Fruit ice creams, Italian Gelato, sundaes, and shakes are some of the top buys at the parlour.

Challenges at present: Labour in Bengaluru is very expensive. On an average, the labourers abscond within three months of joining, as somebody else lures them with a higher pay.

Aspirations: To open two to three more outlets in Bengaluru and establish her own brand. She wants to be on par with bigger brands such as Naturals and Havmor.

Name of company: Om Shanti Steel Works

Name of Entrepreneur: Sunil Chawla

Location: Panipat, Haryana

Sector: Manufacturing

A brief about the business: Started in 1995, the company makes almirahs and office furniture. At present, the company has a turnover of Rs 15 lakh.

Challenges at present: Shortage of labour. Eligible for less amount of loan because the loan granted by the banks is usually one-fifth of the turnover, and his requirement is more.

Aspirations: I aspire to expand my business. I have the experience and there is a demand for my products and the market is also huge, but I have no capital.

Mindbox packaging solutions

Name of company: Mindbox Packaging Solutions

Name of Entrepreneur: Anshuman Jain

Location: Jaipur, Rajasthan

Sector: Services

A brief about the business:  It is a packaging consultancy firm to help businesses with effective packaging and labelling, which makes the product look attractive, helps reduce handling costs, enhances sales, and communicates details of the product. The company was started in 2014 with an investment of Rs 2.5 lakh. It is now seeing a turnover of Rs 12 lakh.  

Challenges at present: Lack of knowledge about consultancy as a service, especially in the unorganised sector. People usually think they know better and hiring a consultant is unnecessary.

Aspirations: He sees a lot of scope in the packaging sector and believes the establishment of a dedicated information body by the government will guide the industry on the importance of packaging and can go a long way in improving the industry-wide adoption of global packaging practices and standards.

Name of company: Skyculture

Name of Entrepreneur:  Sunita Sonthalia

Location: Bengaluru, Karnataka

Sector: Services

A brief about the business: Set up in 2016, Skyculture is an educational firm that aims to develop innovative products (books) to help young minds realise their full potential through positive reinforcement. The company is currently seeing a turnover of Rs 4 lakh.

Challenges at present: Though the products are in demand, the entrepreneur struggles with the production of books in bulk. Because of a lack of skilled labour, she has to be involved in every process -  from designing and production to marketing.

Aspirations: Sees immense potential and says, “I want my company to grow exponentially, and cater not only to the pre-primary and primary school levels but go up to the college level as well.

Dr Ajit Rai Sabharwal, founder, Dr Sabharwal Manufacturing Labs

Name of company: Dr Sabharwal Manufacturing Labs

Name of Entrepreneur: Dr Ajit Rai Sabharwal

Location: Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh

Sector: Manufacturing

A brief about the business: The company, established in 1984, manufactures plaster of paris bandages and adhesive tapes. It was started with an investment of Rs 1.7 crore. In 34 years, Sabharwal Manufacturing Labs has gone from churning out two products at first to over 100 in 2018.

Challenges at present: A major issue has been the labour-related issues (union demands) in UP. The company is also facing a tough competition from neighbouring China as its products are priced lower because of better industry support by the Chinese government.

Aspirations: In the ever-evolving and advancing medical field, the entrepreneur is targeting and achieving a five to 10 percent growth every year.

Gobinda Dhupakathi Cluster team members

Name of company: Gobinda Dhupakathi Cluster

Name of Entrepreneur: Jangyaseni Jena

Location: Dhenkanal, Odisha

Sector: Manufacturing

A brief about the business: The business was set up in 2012 and is involved in the manufacturing of incense sticks (agarbattis) and sold under the brand name Kalashi. The entrepreneur mostly employs women and has 70 women working with her at present. Currently, her firm has a turnover of Rs 10 lakh and a capacity to produce 100 kgs of agarbattis a day. .

Challenges at present: She wants to expand her production as there is a lot of demand for her products. But since 2016, the government has stopped providing training to women free of cost and she is currently facing a shortage of skilled women workers. This is posing a challenge to expand her production.

Aspirations: Wants her brand Kalashi to come at par with ITC’s Mangaldeep Agarbattis. She also wants to employ 1,000 women in her company and dreams of owning a shop to sell her products.

Name of company: Eehan Industries

Name of Entrepreneur: Prince Arora

Location: Kurukshetra, Haryana

Sector: Manufacturing

A brief about the business: Established in 2016 with an investment of Rs one crore, Eehan Industries is involved in the manufacturing of gas stoves.

Challenges at present: In this sector, one needs a Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and Indian Standard Institute (ISI) licence renewal every year. But when an application goes for renewal, officials cite shortage of staff and delay the process. While there is a demand for the product, the entrepreneur is unable to produce more units until the licences are renewed.

Aspirations: Because demand in the sector is controlled to a vast extent by the government, Eehan wants to hedge risk and diversify into manufacturing of iron press.

Indo Bright Petroleum Pvt Ltd

Name of company: Indo Bright Petroleum Pvt Ltd

Name of Entrepreneur: Manjeet Singh Duhan, Rajesh Kumar, and Rakesh Chhokar

Location: Karnal, Haryana

Sector: Manufacturing

A brief about the business: The company is into the production of LPG for domestic and commercial use. It was established in 2013 with an investment of Rs 3.5 crore.

Challenges at present: With the government’s Ujjwala Yojana and Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme, their sales have taken a 50 percent hit, putting private players at a massive disadvantage.

Aspirations: To become number one LPG private player in India.

Name of company: United Foods

Name of the entrepreneur: Baijayanti Routray

Location: Cuttack, Odisha

Sector: Manufacturing

A brief about the business: The entrepreneur started the bread and bakery business in 2011 with an investment of Rs 25 lakh. Today the company has as an annual turnover of Rs 1.2 crore. The company has also bagged orders worth Rs one crore from the Indian Navy for INS Chilka.

Challenges at present: The entrepreneur says new and small businesses like them have a low margin because the competition is huge and the cost of raw materials has increased.

Aspirations: The company aims to acquire a 20 percent market share in Odisha by the end of 2020.

(With inputs from Rishabh Mansur, Vatsla Srivastav, and Mohit Sabharwal)

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