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Kerala - Kozhikode Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

SSIs showcase their expertise

By Our Staff Reporter

KOZHIKODE, FEB. 16. C.T. Manoj, a native of Mukkom in Kozhikode district, has successfully set up a small-scale pottery unit. After completing his graduation in B.A. Economics at the Zamorin's Guruvayurappan College, Manoj did not "waste time hunting for white-collar jobs."

"My interest in pottery took me to a teacher in Nilambur in Malappuram district. Then I set up a small-scale industrial unit under the guidance of my mother. That was almost three years ago," says Manoj, who has put up a stall at the exhibition on small industries fair and is also holding demonstrations in Kandamkulam Jubilee Hall here.

The 10-day exhibition, organised by the Kozhikode Corporation and the District Industries Centre, was inaugurated by the Mayor, Thottathil Ravindran on Wednesday morning. As many as 50 stalls on pottery, photo frame, hosiery, bags, footwear, bags, handloom, note books, handicrafts, handloom, ready-made garments, Ayurveda products, ice-cream, soaps, soft toys and edible homemade products displayed at the fair have a success story behind their business.

If the case of Manoj is an example for young job-seekers, Thomas Kavilaveettil is the apt role model for retired persons and lay-off staff. Following closure of the Kerala Soaps and Oils at West Hill, he set up a unit - Teem Agencies and Chemical - to manufacture detergents and cleaning materials. The unit now manufactures a bio-chemical product to control house flies, multi-action tropical mixture to ward off mosquitoes, bleaching powder, washing powder, liquid soap for car washing and dish washing and bathing soaps.

Women entrepreneurs

Likewise, the Kerala Readymade Garments Society with units in Kozhikode, Kasaragod, Manjeri, Kannur and Thamarassery reflects the entrepreneurship prowess of women. The all-women unit was established five years ago. It manufactures shirts under the brand name `Wahl Clipper'. Twenty-two women are working in two batches at the Kozhikode unit.

"The women were trained in Chennai in cutting, designing and stitching shirts using modern machines. We procure the cloth from Ahmedabad and Bangalore. Around 150 shops in North Kerala are our clients," says K. Prasanna, the society's working supervisor. Another worker, A. Jalaja, says that stiff competition from the branded- shirt manufacturers is making a dent into the revenue of the society." Still we hope the Government will bail us out by giving aid to overcome our financial crisis," she adds.

C. Mohammed of Palazhi who has a shop with two others in the city to manufacture bags is another exhibitor. He began the unit 13 years ago. "Well, the business is doing fine," he chuckles. C.P.Ashraf, owner of the neighbouring bag and suitcase stall chips in to give an opinion about the low- prices of goods made from small scale units.

"The raw materials are bought from Bangalore. We sell quality bags in the range Rs. 60 to Rs. 300 and suitcases costing between Rs. 120 and Rs. 400," he says.

Another attraction at the fair is a stall set up by a housewife K. Muhsina from Feroke. Her stall displays soft toys and homemade jams and pickles.

"Halwa made from cucumber, beetroot and carrot are my specialities. I have also given them a brand name- Jaiva," she says.

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