It’s 2022 already, the world is smaller than it ever was, connected through various innovative means. And yet, the phrase “Women in STEM” draws out a collective sigh. The percentage of women in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) workforce is under 30%.
Considered a male-dominated field, even more so in India, not many decisions made by women to enter the field of the sciences are welcomed by all. Luckily for Amruta Mangale from Pune, she was born into a family that did not feel the same way. She completed her Masters in Organic Chemistry from Indapur district in Pune, well supported in her decision by her middle-class family, despite their struggles. The real challenge for Amruta started post her education when she started looking for a job. Even with a Masters degree, she could only secure a job in the quality control department of a local dairy in her district. Her salary was INR 10,000 a month.
But Amruta had a different mindset from the beginning. She wanted to utilise her education to the maximum and start her own business. After she married in 2015, she found the perfect partner to take this idea forward with. Her in-laws were very supportive of her ideas and stood by her decisions even as she decided to sell her jewellery to arrange for funds to make her dreams come true. Thus began her journey to shatter the glass ceiling.
Today Amruta runs Hindavi Solution Pvt. Ltd. the only company manufacturing adhesive tapes for packaging boxes in Pune under the brand name of Beestofix. The use of adhesive tapes offers many advantages over binding techniques such as sewing, mechanical fastening, thermal bonding, etc. These include the ability to bind different materials together, to distribute stress more efficiently across the joint, the cost-effectiveness of an easily mechanized process, an improvement in aesthetic design, and increased design flexibility. Her company was launched in 2018.
Needless to say, Amruta’s knowledge in Chemistry has been her greatest weapon. She developed the products inhouse and scaled up the production to the commercial level without compromising on product quality or cost effectiveness. An intelligent businesswoman, Amruta got involved in this business only after conducting a careful and extensive market research. She earlier had a not-so-successful run with a CCTV installation business. Her research revealed that the adhesive required for packing tape in Pune is supplied from companies based in Gujrat, Wapi and Daman. There were no Pune-based manufacturers. And yet, there are around 7-8 big companies manufacturing packing boxes with an average monthly requirement of around 160 tons of packing adhesives.
However, when she approached Bank of Maharashtra for a business loan to expand her business, her application did not go through because she had no collaterals in Pune. The bank manager took notice of her and referred her to BYST. BYST helped her and facilitated the process of loan application. With BYST’s support a loan amount of Rs. 20 lakhs was disbursed.
Her mentor at BYST is Mr. Kiran Nawathe, a veteran automotive design engineer, sought after engineering and management best practices speaker. Amruta says her journey would not have been possible without her ‘guru’. Mr. Nawathe helped focus on taking an innovative route in manufacturing adhesives for packaging. With his guidance, Amruta has been able to understand the market, changing customer needs, where to sell and how to expand. She also learnt to optimise working capital, diversify her products, maintain and improve product quality, importance of after sales service and low credit period from her mentor and is putting it to good use. During Covid19, when inter-state transportation was shut, her mentor guided her to approach the packaging units to sell her adhesives. All the new strategies she keeps learning from her mentor makes Amruta confident to hit the INR 10 crore mark by 2022. And she is already at INR 7.5 crore.
Today, Beestofix also produces tape pigment, solvent cement. They are planning to launch wood working adhesives in the future. She grew by building strong & lasting social relationships within the community. She also generated employment for the residents, hence contributing to national development. She has paid GST amounting to INR 2.79 lakhs in just the first year of business, contributing actively towards the economic growth of the country. Today, Beestofix manufactures over 300 tonnes of industrial adhesive, 1500 kg of printing ink and 5000 kg of colour pigment every month.
Amruta’s business was just a year old when the Coronavirus pandemic broke out. She started her business of manufacturing adhesives in March 2019. And yet, she has managed to achieve a turnover of INR 5 crores in FY21. After the pandemic hit and the lockdown followed, her business was completely shut. However, her sound financial planning enabled her to tackle the situation better and she could pay staff salaries, rent of the unit and other expenses of the business. In fact, once she settled into the rhythm, amidst the pandemic, she soared.
Utilising the lockdown situation to her advantage and executing all she learnt from the various webinars organised by BYST on digitisation and social media marketing, she started using digital platforms to grow her business. Through her social media handle she reached out to many prospects, understood their requirements, sent quotations, sealed orders and her business was back in action. She also manufactured product samples and sent it to prospects. That helped convert them into customers. Amidst the lockdown, Amruta managed to expand her sales nationally by going digital. In November 2020, Amruta competed successfully with over 1,000 entrepreneurs from 54 countries to win the prestigious ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year’ award conferred by Youth Business International, UK, an organisation working in 65 countries to enable underserved young people to realise their business ideas.