Meet Surekha MachadoJuly 28th, 2022
"I had never dreamed of running a business, and I am still learning, especially in this new role. But it is exciting!"
BUSINESS LEADER, RANPHUL MAHILA MANDAL COOPERATIVE
"There are two things that I am most proud of," declares Surekha. "One is that I married the man I loved even though my family, especially my parents, did not approve and did not come to my wedding. My husband is not from my community and I understand the social pressure they were under. Also, I was very young, only 20. My husband has been very supportive and we have 2 children, a daughter (Swninda, 23) and a son (Loren, 21)."
"The second thing I am proud of is that I was one of the founding members of RMM Cooperative." The cooperative started with 7 members and Mary, the Business Leader. "It was all very new and it was a good experience to meet other women and the staff of MarketPlace in Mumbai." They had to travel for an hour and a half on very crowded buses and trains for the training at MarketPlace. "We would leave very early," she remembers, "after waking even earlier to prepare food for our families." The training encompassed not only learning to sew, but also information about running a business, ordering fabric, planning and tracking production, cashflow and accounts. She recalls that it was very challenging, especially at the beginning. "It required learning a lot of new things, not just the sewing, but that kept me motivated."
When Mary resigned from the leadership, she recommended that Surekha take her place. "I was surprised that the whole group supported me and that they had confidence in me," she recalls. Now she is busier than ever, but her family tells her they are very proud. "I had never dreamed of running a business, and I am still learning, especially in this new role. But it is exciting to learn new things!"