In the deep south of India there are two Kiva borrower groups that are the hot topic amongst villagers. After spending a part of my day with them, I have dubbed them the Spice Girls.
Unlike Scary, Sporty, Baby, Ginger, and Posh Spice in the 1990s, Sindhu and Uma's groups are gaining notoriety in their respective villages not for their vocal talent but for their masala powder packet business.
Masala is the heart of Indian cuisine, it is a medley of grounded spices and making a specific masala can be hard work -- you must have a grinder to grind all the spices to a nice powdered form and have the right ratios of each spice to get the perfect masala. Sure, you could go buy a packet made by a big name company at a local grocery store, but you are just settling for mediocre masala. These women are making their masalas in their home and tailoring it to local tastes. Both groups make about four different masala mixes that can be used for traditional south Indian dishes such as idli, sambhar and rasam.
The two groups have received positive feedback from families and neighbors about their new venture. In fact, Uma and her group are selling 1 KG per masala mix each week! Not only are the groups running their masala enterprise, each woman is supporting other family businesses like flower vending, a petty shop, a tailoring business, or a flour mill business. Juggling their many entrepreneurial ventures is impressive and selling their masalas in their village is just the beginning. They hope to expand the types of masalas they make as well as start selling their packets at local fairs.
Without a doubt their business is sizzling.
Spice up the life of a borrower by funding a loan today! Loans like these were facilitated by Kiva’s partner Milaap, more loans waiting to be funded in India can be found here.