This International Women’s day we are going to cover a story of Selfmade Entrepreneur , a Mother and a Social activist !!
‘You are a woman, why do you want a loan? Why don’t you ask your father or your brother?’
‘Why don’t you start a salon or something else that is considered more women-friendly?’
These were some of the questions Geetanjali Kapoor faced when she decided to start her own manufacturing and exports business of handcrafted beach wear and resort wear (GKMILAN) , with an aim to empower and provide livelihood opportunities to women.
“The biggest journey I have made is in learning to love myself,” Geetanjali told the audience in a talk where she laid bare her own personal struggles and journeys as a girl and a woman who fought the odds, prejudices, and judgment that marked her life.
Bolteraho Team got an opportunity to fix an appointment with Ms Geetajali kapoor where she have shared her complete experience with us and it is worth reading.
“With each difficulty I was assuring myself that I am crafted for doing something big.i think I faced everything an average Indian women must have faced or may be little more than that as my struggle started from my childhood only ,followed with Dowry issues, and acute alcoholic husband and so on. Even then we Indian women don’t give up and take all steps to save family. IVF and birth of my twins was an effort to improve situations. Unfortunately that also could not bring any change. With each failure in family life my determination to make women financially independent and secure was getting more strong. Not any more, I will not let any body suffer like me.No women will be beaten just to raise her kids and to get mere food and shelter.Financial independence is the only answer. Thinking this ,With my small but constant steps I established my business where I wanted to achieve my goal of making women financially independent and secure. I wanted to create jobs for women. Then they don’t have to suffer with domestic violation.I started manufacturing and exports business of handcrafted garments like beach wear and resort wear .I use to make women train in hand embroidery and we use to make beautiful garments. Later I could form New Age Woman Trust , where I am dedicated to work on achieving my objective.
That time was real real tough, my new orders was in production,I was handling kitchen, home, kids, production all alone with no money. Selling jewelry was a usual affair. But I was happy, Me and my staff we were growing. Duty timings was from morning 6 to late night 12 ”
“In 2012 I got my very first order from USA. In one room of my house I started my production work. I was so very happy to see my first product shoot. I manufactured for BIBA and KOOVS also to understand market demand, trends and process. Now I was all fit to go in International market to present My country’s art. Why I am saying my country’s art here is because we are manufacturing western and modern garments with Indian traditional technologies. My objective was to give jobs to woman, they needed immediate earnings.I myself went to USA carrying my samples and market it.In my first visit I got order from LA fashion District . Later from New York and Florida . Mexico became my big buyer.Then I travelled to France and Switzerland and got order from there. Australia was my destination after that, then got order from Caribbean islands and south Africa .now currently we are making for Mexico. In 2016 my alcoholic husband shut his doors out of jealousy because he use not to work and now he did not want me to work.. It was challenge for me now it was question of survival for me and kids along with my women’s. I was out of home, office, factory .my women workers was too scared of losing their jobs again. I shifted to another house, paid my workers pick and drop facility and continued somehow.I was working like arms of a watch.I set up and started my manufacturing again from my garage. It was a very tough phase. I thank my buyers who motivated me and I render my buyers Ms,Sally and Ms.Ilanit telling, it’s your work Geetanjali, place does not matter.Manufacturing garments and selling them, or getting higher amount of turnover is not my motive. My objective is to give woman more jobs , make more woman skill full and successful”
“Many orders I lost from buyers who visited and commented, oh you work from home. Yes,I do. I am not just s business woman, I am a mother too and from here I can take care of my dual responsibility and can work 24 by 7.
I want to thank my very young children who are 8 years old now. Supported me lime anything. I am sorry my kids, that you had to eat rice many of the times because I had no time to cook proper meals.
Bright future for everyone Is what I want to achieve and working on that. I am working on to create an organisation where woman are getting trained and they are becoming financially independent.
My one buyer from Switzerland , she made her entire range from me and hired a London based PR agency . I got surprised to see her website where my garment I sold her in INR 750 was being sold in 85 euros which is 6800 rs.”
“If she can sell my clothes, why can not I sell my clothes…….GK MILAN is result of that inspiration.And though I work mainly with Italian designers and bring MILAN a fashion capital of the world. I kept our brand name GK MILAN
Selling clothes is not my objective, in every nook and corner you will see boutiques in India. I need to create jobs for women for that I need to train her, skill her and with that she will be financially independent for all of her life.I represented my country by presenting our work in most of the continents. I am not focusing on no. Of my turnover, I am focusing on no. Of women I provide jobs, no. Of women are financially independent today.
Make them more independent. Because I believe strong women strong nation.Now I am planning to make women get loan, they should produce more garments and I should travel more and represent them on global platform
.We have created work from home opportunity also, for the women whose family does not allow them to go out even for work, so that women can work from home. Because with that big no. Of women will not suffer from domestic violence,big no. Of women will be financially independent, they will not be suppressed ,they will not commit suicide. Big No. Of children will eat adequate food and will get education.
Special thanks to my Mentor Mr.Mukand who has been supporting my mission and have been guiding me with his Intelligent business approach. Also big Thanks to my women workers for putting their faith in me and working with me hand in hand.
My dear women workers , thank you for putting your best .you never saw day or night but you worked and crafted the best.
Till Today we have worked with our buyers from USA,Europe, Australia, Mexico, south Africa, Japan, Switzerland, carrebean islands.We are happy to include Argentina and Nat Geo as our new buyers..”
Woman Like Geetanjali Kapoor is an inspiration to all of us . Thank you for bringing a change in the society and Happy women’s day!!