On February 10 and 11, Women on Wings provided training in marketing and sales for 35 women from ten sanitary napkins units in the state of Maharashtra. As one of the participants said: ‘During the workshop, we discovered that we all have what it takes. Our self-esteem has grown and we are convinced we will be more successful in selling.’ The interactive workshop, which took place in Jeur, a village in the Solapur district of Maharashtra, included a mood board session to create the story of the napkins, a product party, exercises in sales attitude and brainstorming sessions on selling methods.
Ten units have already started producing sanitary napkins in Maharashtra. Until recently, however, there seemed little vision on marketing and sales. No active sales force has been created and no structured marketing activities are being organized. As a result, the women at the production units lack the motivation to sell, leaving warehouses stocked full of napkins.
The two-day workshop kicked off with an introduction to business principles, which was explained using the ‘bangle & beads’ metaphor. To make a chain (the bangle), all the elements (beads), such as production, marketing, distribution, quality checks, innovation and entrepreneurship, are needed. If one of the beads is missing, the chain will be broken and the business will never be sustainable.
The main aim of this Women on Wings workshop was to create selling awareness among the female participants. Selling is not something that only saleswomen can do; almost anyone can sell if they have the right tools and expectations. In addition, the Women on Wings team of Jose van Aken en Maria van der Heijden also explained various other marketing elements, such as branding, USPs, customer satisfaction and promotion.
The workshop ended with a ceremony in which Jose and Maria handed over certificates to all 35 attendees.