Pooja wanted to continue her master’s project of soaps from donkey’s milk after college but her teammates backed out at the last moment and chose placements over this. After her teammate quit, there was a big pause in the journey because she was left with no support. Pooja too got a government job, but was confused as Organiko was her dream. Her family suggested her to take the job and to save funds to restart her business. She followed their advice. But right after she signed the contract, she was in dismay because she couldn't do what she truly wanted! Her elder brother continued to support her, and told her to take a bold decision to resign and come back home. Her younger brother began helping her in the mobilization of communities but none came to fruition. She also reached out to previous volunteering organizations to inquire about donkey herder communities but reached no end. Stuck for a month without clear plans to proceed, it was an uncertain period for her. Eventually though, her unwavering determination won out. After rigorous research, and support from her family, she finally found one donkey owner who was willing to help in exchange for Rs 2000 per liter. With that, Organiko started again.
She began participating in several competitions such as the Innovation Competition in Hyderabad where Organiko was covered by a Times of India reporter. This gave her hope and strength to do business alone. The big break for Organiko, came in at Women of India Organic Festival - Chandigarh, where another press #DainikBhaskar report on the enterprise went viral and thousands of people flooded the stall the next day, selling out the entire stock.
She participated in several competitions such as #AIC #womenpreneur that led her to receive incubation by Atal Incubation Centre. It marked an essential step in the life of Organiko as AIC helped them by mentoring and creating networking opportunities and provided technical skills and advice that has helped Pooja grow the enterprise. Since then, she has built a strong team that continues to nurture Organiko and impact the lives of several communities.
Pooja applied to #Givfunds during a liquidity crunch. With a lack of working capital, business processes slowed down and that is when our co-founder connected with her, conducted due diligence, and sanctioned funding. These funds helped Organiko expand its community base, create shelters for donkeys and train the communities in operations. The halted production was revived with the funding secured and thus, business and impact restarted, more strongly this time.
Pooja says, “We need such organizations like Givfunds who believes in you, and support them financially. The loan process here is easy, and co-founders are very gentle and caring people”.