Meet the Spice Girls

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.

Uma and Group- Amudha, Uma, Thara, Thangamani

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.

Sindhu and Group- Kamatchi, Maheshwari, Sindhu

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.

About the author

Trishna Patel

Born in Denver and raised in Zimbabwe, California, Washington, and Colorado, Trishna is ever ready to explore a new region of the world. Her upbringing in a travel happy and multicultural family led her to major in International Business and double minor in Political Science and Finance at the University of Denver along with a study abroad experience “down under” at the University of Sydney. Upon graduation she spent five weeks backpacking from Belize down to Panama after which she joined Hitachi Consulting. As a Consultant, she has spent most of her time working on and leading ERP implementation projects. At the beginning of 2016, she chose to take a leave of absence for personal and professional growth. Her leave has taken her to Cambodia, Vietnam, India, and England. She will now spend the rest of her leave as a Kiva fellow in India focusing her energy on projects that have a greater social impact. Her goal is to gain experience in a role that combines development, entrepreneurship, and business which she views as the perfect trio of her professional interests. In her personal time Trishna enjoys photography, hiking the Rocky Mountains, and watching the Denver Broncos.