Success Stories - Outsourcing

Entrepreneur Nuzhat Munawar Business Hand-Embroidered Dress
Age: 52 Monthly Sales: 100,000
Marital Status: Married Employees/Labor: 25 families
Dependents: 01 Location of Business: Home-based
Resident of: House # 4, Choti Gali, Sadar Years of Association: 03
Chalharan, Lahore with Asasah

Document date: 2010

In 2000, she started door-to-door selling of hand-embroidered ladies dresses in posh areas of Lahore as a sales-person on commission. But sooner she realized that she could start her own production too. She had only Rs 20,000 at hand, and borrowed Rs 10,000 from Asasah and started her own production. At start, she engaged women (home-based) skilled workers of the city in production. These city-workers demanded high wages, provided low quality work and didn’t deliver on time, this factor was seemed uncontrollable because in the beginning she suffered from a loss amounting PKR 20,000.

Then she started identifying alternatives to city-labor. On a tip, she traveled to Dera Ghazi Khan and found some women who could produce high quality work and was keen to get job. Seeing this opportunity, she travelled village to village in DG Khan and Bahawalpur districts and found a lot of families who had quality skill in producing embellished products.

She attributed her success to her husband’s full cooperation and support in her business. Her husband who is a rikshaw driver, has been supporting her in accessing home-based women workers in remote villages of Dera Ghazi Khan and Bahawalpur and then selling the products to the rich housewives living in posh areas of Lahore. She also gives full credit to the rural women producers, who worked hard in fulfilling her requirements of quality and timely delivery of the products. She ensures her turnover with producing quality products; especially she guarantees high quality cloth, thread, embroidery with reasonable profit margins, keeping the demand of her customers in her mind, which is not offered by the big outlets of the city.

When she started her business, she was living in a semi-pakka house (with wooden-slab ceiling) and her husband was driving a rented rikshaw. Now she has converted her house in double-storey building, got her daughter married, paid back a loan of PKR 100,000 and got a new rikshaw for her husband on lease.

At the moment 25 rural families (nearly 75 girls and women) in the districts of Dera Ghazi Khan and Bahawalpur are engaged with her business as piece-rate-workers, in other words her business is a major source of livelihoods of 25 rural families. She has helped her sister-in-law in establishing trading business; many other have been approaching her to get her advice. Since a Christian by faith, she is contributing/donating 10 percent of her monthly income to the church on regular basis. Her family has adopted two churches in this regard. Some of his extended family members and neighbors are used to borrow money from her.

She understands that establishing a production house and opening up an outlet will not ensure her business growth. She has devoted rural workers and a long list of loyal customers (rich families), therefore, she will not change method of doing her business.

At the moment, she travels on local transport with her husband to provide raw-material to her rural workers and to bring back finished products and then delivers products to her customers using rikshaw as transport. In this travel she is confronted by the police at different check-posts, therefore she has planned to buy a car to ensure safe and uninterrupted travel.

She has planned to bring her products in regional markets especially to Middle East (Dubai) and India. For the purpose she has been collecting business contacts in both countries. Both wife and husband have got their passports and planning to visit in either country in near future.