Successful business stories help us to learn how people reached from nowhere to the top. The story of Lijjat is a perfect example of how simplicity, team work and determination can achieve heights in business.
The journey started in late 1950s when 7 Gujarati women decided to make some papads as they had free time after doing household works and wanted to support their families financially. The seven women were Jaswantiben Jamnadas Popat, Parvatiben Ramdas Thodani, Ujamben Narandas Kundalia, Banuben. N. Tanna, Laguben Amritlar Gokani, Jayaben V. Vithalani, and 1 more whose name is not known. They borrowed Rs 80 from a social worker to start proceedings. After expansion, the number of women increased and Lijjat is still inspiring Indian ladies to come out of their homes and work.
Shri Mahila Griha Udyog Lijjat Papad organisation started in 1959 and later the name ‘Lijjat’ was chosen as it means tasty in Gujarat. Gujaratis are known for their business mind and these women had the skill of making tasty food too which helped them to serve people of nearby areas in the initial days.
Starting with only papad, Lijjat now manufactures several products including appalam, wheat flour, masalas, detergent powders, liquid detergents and detergent cakes.
Over 43,000 women in India work under Lijjat in 81 branches with a whopping net worth of more than Rs 800 crore. Lijjat made sure that workers earn a comfortable profit so that they don’t leave the organisation just for the sake of money. Sales agents are given good commission and retailer margin is also good.
Lijjat is a company made by women for women. It is one of the world’s oldest co-operatives to support women by providing employment. The company runs on 3 basic core values of business-
The USP of Lijjat is having the strength of women workers. The rabbit mascot of Lijjat still holds a place in Indians who were lucky to watch Lijjat Papd advertisements on Doordarshan. While word of mouth has worked best for this brand, magazines and TV ads have also contributed to Lijjat’s success.
To avoid duplication, the workers make packaging bags themselves and this ensures proper quality and rechecking of products.