Drivers of Change : Sandra Gangiah

Date: March 18, 2020
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2017: At the start, Sandra was very unsure about the business she wanted to do. She heard that people was buying items on wholesale and selling them in retail. The idea of doing a similar business crossed her mind and she went in the capital city of Port Louis to locate the place where items such as bedsheets, under-wears, women accessories etc were being sold.

She got to know a wholesale shop and tried to buy a few items with the money she had. When she sold these items in her locality as retail and with a retails price, she was surprised with the fact that she got a lot of customers and the profit she was gaining was surprising enough. With the money she gathered when selling the retail items, she used the profit made to buy other times. She does a ‘va-et-vient’ from her locality to Port Louis to buy her items each month. Her business started to take form in a few month time and she got regular clients who would buy items from her. Given that she was based in the locality where she was living, she easily could attract customers and she knew her neighbours and friends in the region very well. Soon enough, the marketing of her products was done from ‘mouth-to-mouth’. Sandra is growing her business and wishes to expand the variety of items she sells based on the demand of her clients.

In 2018, Sandra attended several workshops and training sessions where she got the skills to make handmade flowers. While her business of retails selling items was working well, she added to her list of products the handmade flowers. Since, she already had a pool of regular clients, she exposed her work of handmade flowers to them. People became interested to buy her flowers and she was also getting demands to make more flowers to be used in occasions such as birthdays, christening ceremony, weddings amongst other occasions.

With time, the quality of handmade flowers made by Sandra improved a lot with the training she was having. Sandra believes that she has more to learn and keep working hard to meet up the demands of her clients. Her aim is to reach a large number of buyers in the locality and in the neighbouring villages so that they will not need to go to the Capital City of Port Louis to buy items. In that sense, her business will grow even larger. Sandra is generating approximately Rand 20,000 monthly with the items she is selling. For her it is a plus point as she does not need to rent a place to sell her items. She is delivering her products door-to-door. Her clients also come to see her at home where she has a place where she keeps all her items. In this way, she is able to handle both her work and family life at ease.

Moreover, Sandra is using social media to market her products as well as she is posting regular updates on her Facebook account regarding the items she has in stock. She also used the social media to get to know more of people demand and hence when she goes to buy items from the wholesale shop, she knows exactly what she needs to buy.

As a result of the training, Sandra coincided two businesses as one. With her personal training with making hand-made flowers, she added this to her existing business of retail item selling. Her expansion is not only due to client demands, but the fact that Sandra wants to grow and improve her skills. She wants to generate more income and one such way was to produce hand-made items.

It was not difficult for Sandra to access the market compared to finances. The money she generated was invested in purchasing new items for sale. At first, Sandra found it difficult to manage her finances as she was not sure of how to calculate the profits. Through the training given to her by Gender Links, she got a better knowledge of how to keep up with her finances.