#Small Businesses

These Women Entrepreneurs Defied Age To Build Their Businesses

women entrepreneurs defied age
The mammoth wave of entrepreneurial activity in India has fuelled the dreams of umpteen grandmothers who wanted to prove their mettle by fulfilling their dream of running their own ventures. These five women entrepreneurs defied age to prove that it is never too late to start something new.
  1. Harbhajan Kaur
Sells Besan Ki Barfi

Entrepreneur At 94: Woman Follows Dream, Sells Organic ‘Besan Ki Barfi’

95-year-old Harbhajan Kaur began her entrepreneurial journey five years ago. Backed by her daughter, she started her sweet brand called ‘Harbhajan’s-Bachpan yaad aa jaaye’ under which she makes organic besan ki barfi sold at the organic mandi in Chandigarh.

What drove her to do so? According to her daughter, she wanted to taste financial independence once in her lifetime which drove her to take the entrepreneurial plunge.

“Life is all about evolving. You will do new things only when you learn new things,” she said in an interview.

2.  Urmila Jamnadas Asher 

Urmila Jamnadas Asher was quite upset when her grandson met with an accident and lost his job which shattered his confidence. She knew she had to do something to cheer him up and support him financially. That’s when she started her snack business at 77 with the help of her grandson. The menu included pickles, thepla, dhokla, Puran poli, farali and other Gujarati snacks as well.

Within a year, their revenue touched Rs. 45 lacs. The duo then hired more people and expanded their business as well. She is also a TEDx speaker now and keeps travelling to various cities sharing her story with others and motivating them to never give up in life.

3. Sheela Bajaj

Sheela Bajaj

Picture credit: Instagram/ Sheela

Sheela Bajaj, a 78-year-old grandmother based in Delhi, started a knitting business called Caught Craft Handed along with her granddaughter. The latter then created an Instagram page during the pandemic to display the knitting designs and sell them from there. The various products Caught Craft Handed sells includes crochet earrings, bags, scrunchies, toys, warmers, and home decor items.

4. Usha Gupta

Usha Gupta, Usha Gupta pickle business, Viral pickle nani

87-year-old Usha Gupta lost her husband to COVID-19 last year. A few weeks later, she started a pickle business to lessen her pain as well as the pain of thousands of families who were struggling financially due to COVID-19.

She started with three flavours – khatta aam, grated mango chutney and gulabi meetha achaar. The initial orders came from friends and family. Gradually, she started getting a lot of orders through Instagram. Within 2 months, she was able to raise close to Rs 20,000 by selling pickles which she donated to the needy.

In an interview with SheThePeople, she said, “We can’t escape suffering–The only way to deal with it is by connecting with other people, empathising with them and helping them ease their suffering. I am sure my husband is watching me from above and is proud of what I am doing.” Watch her full story here.

5.  Veena Malhotra 

64-year-old Veena Malhotra established Veena Ji’s Hair Oil in 2021 as a solution to the unusual amount of hair fall she was experiencing after suffering from chikungunya and undergoing a knee surgery. With an initial investment of just of Rs 10,000, the business today sells over 30 bottles of hair oil every month which include herbs like ashwagandha (Indian ginseng) shankhpushpi (morning glory), methi dana (fenugreek seeds), kalaunji (black caraway), kala til (black sesame) and amla powder (gooseberry).