From working in swanky corporate offices to getting up close with rural India

My first field visit at Women on Wings was with Ronald (our Managing Director) to a prospect in Belthangady (Karnataka). First we assessed the organization and its management to see if we could collaborate in bringing about change & livelihood sustainability in villages in and around the district.

Reaching Belthangady was a long hall: a flight to Mangalore from Delhi followed by a night stay at Mangalore & an early morning road journey of 2 -3 hrs to finally reaching our destination. Currently, over 5,000 rural women spread across 295 villages in Karnataka work under the umbrella of the prospect, making a range of products starting from apparels, food items, cleaning material, incenses & bags.

To understand the operations of their strongest sales & distribution channel we went to see the company owned retail outlets, which work as a one stop shop for all its products cutting across all ranges & categories. There after started our journey of visiting the numerous rural processing plants from, potato chips processing to pickles to incenses to cleaning material & processed nutritional food items. The spread of products and the uniqueness of each processing unit was a delight to watch, which engaged rural women from all walks of life.

After spending 1.5 days in understanding the operations & their complexity we had the honour of meeting the founder of the organization who was sharp in articulating his vision and what challenges he senses in the coming future, most important being the ability to increase the number of associated villagers and increase their earning opportunity by scaling the business and bringing viability to operations. The organization has clearly spelled out objectives for itself and has its own challenges to manage. The management was forthcoming in accepting areas where they can learn and improve.

Being with these wonderful women full of grit and determination, making a mark in their own villages and society by working towards a better future for their families was an exhilarating experience for me. My first assignment with Women on Wings in finding out what can we do to impact more lives and bring sustainability to their employment was truly priceless. Excitedly looking forward to contributing my bit by generating more and more sustainable employment for women in rural India.

Shashank Teotia
Senior Business Consultant
at Women on Wings