In the tranquil town of Kendrapara, Odisha, Ranjan Kumar nurtured a dream to start his Bakery Industry. This venture would fulfill his entrepreneurial aspirations and contribute to the thriving food industry. Little did he know that the journey ahead would be a rollercoaster of challenges and triumphs!
In July 2022, Ranjan took the plunge and founded Kaalki Corporation, an enterprise focused on producing bakery products. Armed with determination, he infused his 24 years of experience in the food and chemical sector to establish a unit that would bear his mark.
But his entrepreneurial journey wasn't so easy. For Rajan, the initial hurdle was securing the necessary capital investment. His vision needed financial backing. At that point, the PM Formalization of Micro Food Processing Enterprises (PMFME) Scheme emerged as a beacon of hope for Rajan. The scheme aims to formalize and support micro-food processing enterprises by providing them with training, capacity-building support, seed capital, and credit linkages. The Director of Industries, Odisha, Cuttack, is the State Nodal Agency for implementing the Scheme in Odisha.
He learned about the PMFME Scheme through GM, DIC Kendrapara, serving as the District Nodal Officer for the scheme. But applying for the scheme was a whirlwind process. Rajan received the support of Palladium India, the State Project Management Unit supporting SNA for implementing the PMFME scheme in Odisha, to secure a loan and get a subsidy.
Rajan secured a bank loan from UCO Bank amounting to Rs. 66,50,000 and also got the benefit of a subsidy amounting to Rs. 10 lakhs. This financial boost enabled him to acquire the necessary machinery to scale his business. Kaalki Corporation's products found their way strategically into local stores, retail outlets, and wholesale channels in Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur districts in Odisha. Today, the corporation is operating at a per-day production capacity of 1500 kg, helping Rajan generate a daily profit of Rs. 2000. Under the PMFME scheme, Rajan will be undergoing the Entrepreneurship Development Programme (EDP) training on essential aspects of starting and running a food processing business.
Rajan aims to expand his market reach by leveraging the power of social media platforms, websites, and e-commerce channels. He dreams of tapping into international markets by introducing an additional processing line to export cookies.
Vikash Pandey, associate director of Palladium, who leads the project, says, “Palladium India is supporting many such Food Processing Units in facilitating various aspects of the PMFME scheme’s implementation. Palladium aids in preparing roadmaps and project implementation plans for the scheme's effective execution. We facilitate credit-linked support to individual and group enterprises, capacity-building activities, and assist micro-enterprises in integrating into the organized supply chain and expanding their market reach. Kaalki Corporation is one such microenterprise supported by Palladium with bank linkage, acquiring a subsidy, and constant support at every operation step.”
“This is just one story within the sea of success stories where the PMFME scheme transforms people's lives. The scheme is fulfilling dreams and contributing to rural development by creating employment opportunities, reducing migration, and promoting economic activities in these regions,” Pandey adds.
“Rajan’s success is a testament to our dedication to empowering small-scale enterprises. Palladium as SPMU provides implementation support to the Directorate of Industries, Odisha, including market access and training support for beneficiaries. We have provided credit-linked support to over 1000 micro-food processing units and trained over 7500 entrepreneurs. Around 19,000 SHG beneficiaries were able to receive seed capital support amounting to ~ INR 57 Cr.,” says Amit Patjoshi, CEO of Palladium India. “These are not just numbers for us; each is a step towards mobilizing a huge wave of change in the food processing sector!”
Ganesh Chandra Behera, general manager of DIC Kendrapara, shares, “The PMFME scheme is an exceptional initiative to boost the food processing industry in our country. It promotes formalization, enhances competitiveness, and supports upgrading technology and building capacity. We have witnessed a huge impact of the scheme in our area, and it can potentially transform lives nationally."