The ‘home-shop' community-level marketing initiative of the Kudumbasree Mission has been garnering profits for its entrepreneurs. Within a short span of time, the mission could weave a network of 250 home-shop entrepreneurs in the district. Their collective income comes to around Rs.15 lakh a month.

The initiative, first launched in 2010 on an experimental basis in Panthalayani block panchayat, ensures a regular market for the products manufactured by the neighbourhood groups. The products are being sold by the home-shop owner by visiting houses in her wards. The thrust is on local contacts and personal contacts. The door-to-door marketing initiative has received good response in Koyilandy, Vadakara, Thodannur, and Kunnummal block panchayats.

The system is now functioning with the support of a three-tier committee comprising home-shop agents, community facilitator, and a management team. The Kudumbasree has recruited 15 persons as community facilitators and another five persons to the management team.

“When we launched the initiative, there were only 50 home-shop owners in the district.

“The figure has increased manifold now,” says K.G. Shiju, coordinator of District Kudumbasree Mission.

Through this initiative, the mission could promote locally made products at reasonable rates. People who used to make bulk purchases from supermarkets and retail outlets in urban areas are now keen on checking out these home-made products.

Researchers from abroad are keen on learning their marketing strategies built on personal relations. Last week, a team from Netherlands came to Kozhikode to know more about the project and interact with the rural entrepreneurs.

Marketing

“Chinese researchers too were here to study our marketing techniques,” says Mr. Shiju. Students and researchers from all over India have come here to collect data, he adds.

To strengthen this rural marketing scheme, the Kudumbasree Mission has introduced special insurance and savings schemes. A contributory pension scheme too is on the cards for home-shop entrepreneurs in the district.

Mithosh Joseph

Kudumbasree's ‘home-shop' initiative, based on a network of local contacts, has yielded good returns.

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