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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. Yet she continued to pay the loan instalments 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.