R. Parimala Rajan has a modest academic record, but gained recognition through a four-metal formula

She makes what every woman loves: jewellery. From a humble beginning, R. Parimala Rajan has come a long way today, and her story is a perfect example of self-driven success. This 47-year-old woman may not have a wonderful academic record, for she has only passed tenth standard, but she has something which many lack: the keep at what one is good at and excel in it.

She started off by making small gold-plated rings and earrings with the help of her husband, who is a goldsmith. She executed the orders that her husband got from big jewellery shops at her workshop — her home. The experience of making artificial gold jewellery sparked in her the idea of turning an entrepreneur.

In 2000, the couple set up a shop ‘Mangadu Amman Artificial Jewellery’ and started making jewellery sets in silver. The business kept expanding and now after 12 years, they have established themselves in Mylapore as well.

Parimala Rajan says: “I used to go walking in the park near our home in MGR Nagar to find customers. Women showed a lot of interest in my silver jewellery sets and I got many orders. I made necklaces, earrings, pendants in silver, with stones that are used in gold jewellery.”

But, not many could afford the silver sets. So, Parimala took a bold business decision and started making artificial jewellery in ‘Aimpon’ (a mixture of five metals).

Among her contacts is one Sowmya who suggested that she put her jewels on exhibition to attract more people. “In 2002, I approached the Lions Club and put up a stall in Saligramam. The response was great. In the same year, under the Women Development Corporation, I started a self-help group called Managadu Amman SHG. We have 15 members now.”

As the president of the SHG, she has conducted nearly 400 exhibitions. She has also been attending the international fair held on November 14 at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, for the past five years.

“Canara Bank has also helped me market my products. It has offered its premises for conducting many exhibitions. In a year, I conduct eight exhibitions at various branches in the city,” she says. Parimala has conducted exhibitions in Delhi, Mysore, Bangalore, Kerala, Punjab, Madurai, Coimbatore, Salem, Tiruchi, and various places in Chennai.

The price of the jewellery sets ranges between Rs.50 and Rs.5,000. Doing her part in women empowerment, Parimala trains women in gold and artificial jewellery making in order to make them self-reliant. The one-year course for gold jewellery making costs Rs.1,000 per month and Rs. 500 to Rs.800 for the one-day artificial jewellery making course. “I have trained over 1,000 women in Chennai and other cities. I have also taught children with intellectual disability to tie beads and do other small works,” she says. Parimala also conducts free classes for orphanage children in the government school at Siruseri. The material cost is sponsored by various IT companies. She can be contacted at 9380641437.