ABHISAR INNOVATIVES- journey of THE BAMBOO LADY from Maharashtra

Abhisar Innovatives: “I was born in Sawargaon, a small village in Maharashtra. I always wanted to become a civil engineer and selected in a government college in Maharashtra. Though, my parents, who were labourers of Brick kiln, could not incur the college fees; made me quit on my dream. At the age of 22, I got married to Mukesh Walke, and started living with him in Chandrapur (Maharashtra). After my marriage, I used to spend my leisure time indulging myself in craft works like decorating plywood with Haldi, Kumkum and other home materials.

Abhisar Innovatives
Meenakshi Walke (The Bamboo Lady)

During the third year (2017) of my marriage, I suffered a miscarriage in the seventh month of my second pregnancy due to which we had to abort our child. While the family members solaced me, a family friend introduced me to the bamboo products (knowing my interest in crafting).

On his suggestion, I imparted a 70-day bamboo-product training from Bamboo Research and Training Centre (BRTC) in Chandrapur. After which I also got trained in Nagpur for the advancement of the skill. There I noticed the demand of bamboo product was quite high and decided to start business of bamboo products thereon. Chandrapur is enriched with bamboo plants, so I knew there would not be any obstacle to get the raw material.

Beginning of Abhisar Innovatives

In October 2018, I started my business of bamboo products after the name of my son (Abhisar-our first child) as “Abhisar Innovatives”. Initially, I started manufacturing bamboo lamps and baskets only which later was joined by several other products like Jwellery, Rakhi, etc.

The Price of my products varied from Rs.20 to Rs.2500. My husband managed Social Media accounts for our business. After some time we finally received our first order via Facebook from Delhi. In our first order we sold products worth Rs.2000, which was our first and biggest achievement as a company.

Award and Recognition

Soon, I got “Nari Shakti Samman” in “Top 20 startups”, an event organized at Ravi Bhavan in Nagpur. Thereafter, to cope up with the high demands of orders, we engaged some other women and paid them Rs.300 as daily wages. On 31st December 2019, I along with my team members introduced “Bamboo Crown” into a beauty contest organized for climate change where our bamboo artefact got recognition and appreciation.

As usual, this year we made lots of bamboo products to participate in three different exhibitions in Maharashtra. But due to ongoing Corona pandemic situation, we were able to participate in Nagpur’s exhibition only.

For every Raksha Bandhan festival, we make Bamboo-Rakhis; last year we sold 7000 Bamboo-rakhis. This time we got orders from Dubai for our Bamboo-rakhis but due to closure of international flights, we could not deliver the orders to them. Though we have managed to sell many Rakhis this year too.

Future ambitions

In future we want to setup several workshops for poor people, to make them learn the making of bamboo products. By learning which they will be able to earn money for their livelihood. Also, we would like to introduce our bamboo Jewellery into different beauty contests or fashion shows. However, we are now not financially that strong to do it. In future if we become capable or get help from others to do so, we will surely do it.”

-Meenakshi Walke, The Bamboo lady (Founder of Abhisar Innovatives)