Babita Gupta’s road to entrepreneurship began with a simple gesture.
In an effort to find more work for her housekeeper, Gupta offered her some basic home décor projects to work on. The extra income had a dramatic effect on her housekeeper’s life; it gave her the wherewithal to free herself from an abusive marriage. News of this life changing experience soon spread in the community and other women approached Babita for work.
As Babita supervised, explained and taught, it occurred to her that she had the opportunity to create an independent venture, one that could provide income—and empower the women in her community. Thus was born Nirmal Designs. In 2007, Nirmal started manufacturing and exporting household items such as cushion covers, bedspreads, and aprons to leading brands in the United States and Europe. Babita’s sister, Neeta, joined her in the venture, and together they grew the company.
The entrepreneurs made significant strides with their venture, but when the opportunity arose to push themselves further with the Walmart Women Entrepreneurship Development Program (WEDP) they didn’t hesitate. “I got selected as a participant and a lot changed for us. WEDP exposed me to a different world altogether. It broadened my horizon as I learned the nuances of running a business,” says Babita.
Nirmal is now a supplier to Walmart India. The company’s 35 women employees have learned to sew professionally, providing them with a valuable job skill. “Bringing underprivileged women into the workforce has given us the opportunity to empower others,” says Babita, who adds that these women, who have attained a new level of dignity and self reliance, provide the company with a loyal workforce in which absenteeism is rare. Her goal now is to continue increasing sales, while instilling in the women working with her the belief that if she can, they can.
Babita finds appreciation in the hand-written notes sent by her customers lauding her great designs & timely deliveries. She can be reached on 9873428040 and some of her designs created from surplus fabric can be seen on her website www.below300.com.