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Production of Clay Oil Lamps

Name of Borrower: Gallage Sandhyangani Pramila Malkanthi
Address: No. 746/A, Sudawila Road, Ranala
Branch: Lak Jaya Battaramulla Branch
Centre: Diri Piyasa

Ms. Malkanthi joined Lak Jaya in 2008 to obtain financial facility for supporting her husband’s business of selling exercise books. As a side line business to supplement family income she started producing clay oil lamps in a small way and she could produce about 500 oil lamps with a hand driven pottery wheel which had been in use from the time of grandparents.  Business, at the time was very small due to the use of an old hand driven pottery wheel and the daily production was as low as 500 lamps, earning about Rs. 8,000/ a month. In the meantime her husband’s business failed and he started working as a three wheel driver.

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Yet she continued to pay the loan installments regularly from my small business. With the second loan of Rs. 25,000/ supplemented with little money she had saved, she managed to buy an electric pottery wheel and with that she could double the daily production. Using the third loan, she constructed a small workshop for housing the project. With the fourth loan she added another electric pottery wheel and hired an additional hand in the project. With the expansion of capacity a problem arose in supply of sufficient raw material. She had been buying clay sufficient for one week’s production and had to curtail production when sufficient stocks of raw materials were not available. Further, it was a problem to burn to operate the oven during rainy season. With the next loan of Rs. 50,000/ she was able to buy stocks of clay sufficient for one month’s production and add another burner. A noteworthy aspect of her business was the financial discipline exhibited by her. She was very careful in using her loan money strictly in business while paying all loans regularly. She was also very careful not to take too many loans or very large loans that she could not afford to repay. Her current loan is Rs. 120,000/ and daily production is about 5,000 lamps. She has now two paid workers in her business. Quality of her lamps is good and she faced no problems in selling. Currently, her husband is also fully engaged in her business and the mother also assists in the process. An unresolved problem is drying and operating the oven during the rainy season. With the next loan she is determined to resolve that problem too. She is hoping to open her own shop for selling her products. She is grateful to Lak Jaya for continuous financial help and advice received over the years for building a successful business.

Vehicle Tinkering and Painting

Name of Borrower: Karannagodage Chandra Malkanthi
Address: No. 137/3, Makumbura. Pannipitiya
Branch: Kesbewa
Centre: Rana Mayura

Ms. Chandra Malkanthi joined Lak Jaya small loan scheme in 2010 by obtaining loan facilities for expanding her husband’s tinkering and painting business. Her husband had followed a training programme on vehicle tinkering at German Technological Institute. They started the business at their half finished house and were earning around Rs. 7,000/ per month. She used her first loan of Rs.15,000/ plus Rs. 10,000/ of her own savings for constructing a shelter for the vehicles brought for tinkering and painting.  Since then she continued with repeat loans and presently she is on her 6th loan of Rs.100,000/.

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They have expanded their business steadily over the past six years and presently they are making around Rs.80,000/ profit from the business. They have provided employment opportunities to 3 persons, in the process. Their workshop is popular in the area and they have no problem in attracting vehicle sufficient clients. In a day at least 5-6 vehicles come for repairs at their workshop. Their plan is to open another vehicle repair shop in a different location. The problem he is facing is the shortage of skilled workers for expansion of the business.

Ornamental Ola Leaf Packing

Name of Borrower: E. H. Malani Ranatunga
Address: Kandegedara, Maharachchimulla
Branch: Narammala
Centre: Damsara

Ms. Malani joined Lak Jaya 2014 for improving her business of producing ornamental tea packs which she had started 35 years ago with the assistance from Dambadeni Development Foundation. The foundation gave technical training in various self-employment projects. Tea packs are produced using processed tender Ola leaf (Leaves of Talipot palm tree). These containers are also used as wedding cake boxes as well. She was running this business in small scale, with monthly net income of around Rs. 10,000/.

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With financial assistance from Lak Jaya she has expanded her business by increasing the working capital and presently earning a profit around Rs. 30,000/ per month. With the expansion of business she started hiring additional hands and at present there are four persons employed in the business and her products have entered the export market as well. There were many problems faced by her during these long years. The most difficult problem was the supply of raw materials and transport of raw materials and finished products. She was able to survive the project with the help from family members. With continuous financial assistance from Lak Jaya she expects to expand the project and she expects that Lak Jaya will stand by her in this endeavor.

Garments Productions

Name Ahangama Liyana Arachchige Eranga
Address: Weligama
Project: Garment Production
Branch: Weligama

Eranga who worked as a helper in a tailoring shop in her area, after her schooling, started to work as an employee of a large garment factory in Weligama. With the work experience of about four years in the garment factory she thought of starting her own business. She approached the Lak Jaya branch in the area and with her first loan of Rs.25,000/ supplemented with her savings bought a sewing machine and material for her small project. She faced enormous difficulties in selling her products in the beginning.

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She took samples from shop to shop in Matara and Colombo. Gradually she managed to get orders from the shops by producing the fashions of garments in heavy demand. Apart from selling the products, she had to overcome many problems in her journey. In the beginning, as she had only one machine, she was compelled to work for more than 14 hours a day to meet the demand. Also there were rejections by the shop very often even for a very minor defect while experiencing long delays in getting payments. She had to work very hard just to survive the project, yet she did not give up though there weren’t much profit. She got further loans from Lak Jaya which was invested in buying more machines and stocks of cloth materials. In the beginning production was transported by train and bus to the shops. She had to incur some losses when she was unable to deliver them on time due to transport problems. With the expansion of business she was able to buy a trishaw for this purpose. There was a lot support from parents and the brother and sister for her business. Especially, the brother took trouble to take finished products to shops while mother and the sister helped in sewing the garments. As at present the business has expanded considerably and there are 9 hired workers in the business. With the expansion of the business, she has been able to secure a bigger mortgage loan from a bank for construction of a new building. She is having plans to buy a bigger vehicle for transport of products to many markets more efficiently.

Batik Works

Name M. P. Sumithra
Address: Thiththagolla Road, Koswadeniya, Mahawewa
Project: Batik Garment Production
Branch: Naththandiya

With the experience in Batik Industry gained by assisting the husband in Batik production, Sumithrastarted her own Batik garment production in her house in 2008. As several chemicals are used in Batik Production there was objection from the neighbours for her project. On the instructions fromm the Public Health Instructor she shifted the project to a workshop in separate small building constructed by using the loan of Rs. 15,000/ received from Lak Jaya in late 2008.

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She continued to borrow from Lak Jaya and the funds were used to gradually expand the project. With the second loan of Rs. 25,000/ she bought 4 worktables for the workshop. The third loan of Rs. 40, 000 was used for increasing the volume of production by buying more clothes and the fourth loan of Rs. 60,000/ was used to expand the workshop premises. The fifth loan of Rs.80,000/ was used to buy more materials for increased production. The sixth loan of Rs. 80,000/ was used by her for construction of a store room for the production and with the seventh loan of Rs. 90,000/ she bought a motorbike for transport of her products. The current loan of Rs. 90,000/ is also used for buying more materials to meet the increasing demand for her products. Over the period she had created employment opportunities for 5 women in the area while the value of the project increased to around Rs. 800,000/. Though she faced immense difficulties in the beginning even to pay the wages for hired persons, presently she is earning around Rs. 250,000/ per month. Her husband also works hard for making their business a success. She is grateful to Lak Jaya for continued assistance throughout her journey. She expects to further expand the project in future because she has developed a good market for her products.

Wood Carving Project

Name of Borrower: Mapalagama Palliyaguruge Udeni Ramyalatha de Silva
Address: Heenpella, Galle
Branch: Karapitiya

Ramyalatha and her husband started their wood carving project at their house at a very small scale. She had interest in starting this project emanated from the experience she had received from her father. The project did not grow due to lack of raw materials and equipment. She invested her first loan of Rs. 10,000/ from Lak Jaya in 2007 to buy raw materials and to repair the workshop.

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With the expansion of business in each loan cycle they constructed a separate workshop and added two employees and currently the project employs four additional hands. The project has grown steadily over the years and their monthly turnover has grown to around Rs.300,000/and profits of around Rs. 100,000/ per month. She faced many problems during her journey with the project. In the initial period she had to face the problem of marketing her products. The husband had taken their products to tourist for selling directly to them. They also had to face the problems of getting the raw materials at reasonable price. However, they sought financial assistance to buy raw materials and sale of products directly to foreign tourists had given them a bigger margin. The project is a family project in which the son and the two parents are engaged. They hire two other persons for assisting in finishing work on piece rate. The family has expanded the project capacity by installing two machines for mechanization of the production process. Her expectation is to buy a lorry for transport of raw materials and finished products and to start sales outlet in the tourist area of Hikkaduwa town.