Mehboobjaan Shaikh is a young lady 27 years of age from Roddam village. Married off at a very young age of 14 straight after her 6th class, to a dynamic young man who also happens to be her cousin, she lives with her husband, mother-in-law and young son.
She, her mother-in-law and Zakir Hussain, her 35-year old husband, runs a masala packaging business since 9 years. This business could be initiated with the loan his wife took from Anantasakthi in 2005. Since then, the family has worked very hard, taken Rs.96,400/- in loans from Anantasakthi, and has repaid every single penny. It was these loans that were not only the foundation stones, but also the steps through which Mehboobjaan’s family could climb into economic well-being.
While Zakir Hussain travels around, researching the best places to buy his products, and buying from the most economic markets. He also, along with Mehboobjaan, travel to different local markets (shandies) to sell their packaged products. Zakir buys a variety spices, dry-fruits, lentils, etc. in bulk. Mehboobjaan and her mother-in-law package them into small packets that are sold from Rs.5/- onwards. Zakir is very conscious of the quality he buys. He says, “it is finally the quality that gives me an edge. People know that when they buy from me, they can be sure the product will be clean and fresh”.
Mehboobjaan, herself has gone through a business training conducted by Timbaktu Collective. Here she learnt the basics of business – managing inventory, purchasing and selling, pricing etc.
She and Zakir have big dreams. They plan to set up their own grocery store very soon. They will require a lot of money for this, but they are working hard, saving judiciously and then there is Anantasakthi which will always help.