The mammoth wave of entrepreneurial activity in India has fueled the dreams of tens of grandmothers who wanted to prove their courage by fulfilling their dream of running their own business. These five female entrepreneurs braved age to prove it’s never too late to start something new.
- Harbhajan Kaur
Harbhajan Kaur, 95, began her entrepreneurial journey five years ago. Supported by her daughter, she started her sweet brand called ‘Harbhajan’s-Bachpan yaad aa jaaye’ under which she makes organic Besan Ki-Barfi which is sold at Organic Mandi in Chandigarh.
What made you do it? According to her daughter, she wanted to experience financial independence for once in her life, which prompted her to take the entrepreneurial leap.
“Life is about evolving. You will only do new things if you learn new things‘ she said in an interview.
2. Urmila Jamnada’s Asher
Urmila Jamnada’s Asher was quite upset when her grandson had an accident and lost his job, which shook his confidence. She knew she had to do something to cheer him up and support him financially. Back then, at the age of 77, she started her snack business with the help of her grandson. The menu featured cucumber, thepla, dhokla, puran poli, farali and other Gujarati snacks.
Within a year, her earnings reached Rs. 45 laces. The duo then hired more employees and also grew their business. She is now also a TEDx speaker and keeps traveling to different cities to share her story with others and encourage them to never give up in life.
3. Sheela Bajaj
Sheela Bajaj, a 78-year-old grandmother from Delhi, founded a knitting business called Caught Craft Handed with her granddaughter. The latter then created an Instagram page during the pandemic to show off the knitted designs and sell from there. The various products that Caught Craft Handed sells include crochet earrings, bags, hair ties, toys, warmers and home accessories.
4. Usha Gupta
87-year-old Usha Gupta lost her husband to COVID-19 last year. A few weeks later, she started a pickle business to ease her pain and the pain of thousands of families struggling financially due to COVID-19.
She started with three flavors – Khatta Aam, Grated Mango Chutney and Gulabi Meetha Achaar. The first orders came from friends and family. Gradually, she got many orders via Instagram. Within 2 months she was able to raise almost Rs 20,000 by selling cucumbers which she donated to those in need.
In an interview with SheThePeople she said: “We cannot escape suffering – The only way to deal with it is to connect with other people, empathize with them and help them alleviate their suffering. I’m sure my husband is watching me from above and is proud of what I do.” Watch her full story here.
5. Veena Malhotra
64-year-old Veena Malhotra founded Veena Ji’s Hair Oil in 2021 as a solution to the unusually severe hair loss she was experiencing after suffering from chikungunya and undergoing knee surgery. With an initial investment of just Rs 10,000, the company now sells over 30 bottles of hair oil every month, including herbs such as Ashwagandha (Indian ginseng) Shankhpushpi (winch)methi Dana (fenugreek seeds)Kalaunji (black cumin)kala to (black sesame) and amla powder (Gooseberry).