Cultivating An Entrepreneurial Mindset

In post-covid time, the Indian economy went through an invisible epidemic of unemployment crisis and job shortage. Afeef Saifuddin Asre also lost his employment as his woodcarving unit remained shut during this period. In the pre-covid time, he provided jobs to three skilled workers in his workshop in Chiplun, Ratnagiri. Around five families depended on this workshop as it was their only livelihood source.

Two years after the pandemic Mr. Asre approached the HWF for financial support to restart his business. Mr. Asre inherited this workshop and skills from his family and thus had a clear strategy and training for expansion but lacked capital. He presented his idea and proposal to the HWF team. After a detailed feasibility study and need assessment the HWF supported him by providing CNC (Computerized Numerical Control) Machine to modernize the carving work.

Asre shares that when his father retired from the workshop, the earning responsibility fell on his shoulder. He has aging parents, wife and two children, and 4 school-going siblings to look after. The woodcarving shop was their only source of income. As it remained shut for a long time all savings were spent. Distressed Asre approached the HWF for livelihood support to restart his workshop. He needed a CNC machine to be competitive in the market. The HWF supported him as there was potential for regeneration of employment through the workshop.

The CNC machine has given Asre an edge over market competitors. Asre shares that due to the new machine he is able to make affordable products and deliver on time with good finishing touch. As a result, customer footfall has increased in his shop. As demand and profit grew, he now employs three salaried carpenters and four wage workers. Additionally, he has started giving training to local carpenters in in-house workshops on the machine.

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