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working with a women's group on village level herbal enterprise...

amazing team, great enthusiasm, conviction is high. so, can they pull off a village level herbal wellness products based  enterprises?

i don't know. we  started a series of interactions with them to understand their needs and build the required capacity in them for furthering their skill and knowledge levels.

"how much do you want the business to grow?" - so, they decided to draw the bar diagram using their hands as measure!!
their issues on enterprise management is centered around relationships - with clients, with shop keepers, with suppliers, with the NGO promoting the venture, with their own families, villages and other community institutions.
here a larger group with the SHG women and the visitors from EKAM Foundation and CERES as well!!

their questions around conviction elicit a strong response, 'of course, we tell people about our products!' says one with pride. 'of course, we sound strong when we talk to them', says another. so we shoot them doing role plays of the same and will be analyzing their body language and their method of managing a 'sale' and a 'negotiation' with a shopkeeper in a village.

we decided that their markets are within 100 kms around them preferably as the veeriyam (potency) of such herbal preparations will not be very high and we need to shorten the shelf life - amazingly the traditional knowledge based recipes don't permit large shelf lives, which i think is wonderful!

'some people ask for items in the catalogue that we don't have with us on the given day, what to do?' was one of the first questions. i had asked them to carry products more suitable for the season rather than carry everything.

'people don't like it if we introduce ourselves with our names, village and other details. some of them ask us, 'what do you want to sell, we feel bad', another mentioned. i had asked them to always have a good introduction about themselves before they introduce the products during my first session.

'i  am illiterate, how can i negotiate' asked another.

the problems of a rural livelihood programme are plentiful... (this post will keep getting updated with each of the subsequent sessions)