Hudli is a small village in Karnataka, 29 km from Belagavi, which can't be found on any map. However, it is home to 7,000 people facing poverty, deprivation, and unemployment. There is a constant uncertainty regarding when and where the next job is going to come from. As it happens in almost every other village in India, Hudli has its own share of people moving to towns and cities for a better livelihood.
The village has a Khadigram which was started by Mahatma Gandhi in 1937. Khadigram creates and sustains employment for people of the village.
There are 25 women in this village who make absolutely amazing pickles. "They are the kind of pickles your grandmother would love," says the team from The Hudli Project, a group of young individuals who have resolved to push employment in Hudli, supported by Khadigram. This project aims to employ 100 more women by increasing awareness and demand for the pickles made in Hudli.
Here is the video:
The founders of the Hudli Project are Pronoy Roy, Amit Vadavi, and Adarsh Muthana. This team intends to arrest this migratory trend in the village and they believe the only way they can see immediate results is by creating productive and sustainable employment in the village itself. Pronoy, in a chat with YourStory said, "We are three folks who were consultants in Mu Sigma, the decision-sciences company. We solved business problems for the Fortune 100 retailers and CPG companies, so we felt we should at least try helping out a rural organisation solve a similar problem in a more complex business environment. We believe that our efforts to raise urban awareness of rural ingenuity is an experiment worth undertaking not only for the women in Hudli but also for the entire eco-system of rural-based small and medium industries."
Talking about the financial aspect, they said, "We are bootstrapped currently. We are using our savings and since it’s a subscription model, our cash reserves have increased, and they will only become stronger. We believe subscription models are the way for grocery-focused e-commerce companies, and we thought we might as well bite the bullet right now. In the short term, we will be visiting companies and connecting with patrons offline. In the long term, we might feature more products from the Hudli Khadigram, connect more Khadigrams to this platform, and bring more villages under the ambit."
In just 25 days of operations, this team is close to a triple-figure mark and has received enquiries for bulk orders across the country, and the buzz created by the video has reached multiple folks, with commendations from people like Farhan Akhtar, Shashi Tharoor, and William Dalrymple. They say there is still a lot to be done for them to achieve their goal of 30,000 customers.
The pickles are being offered on thehudliproject.com, in 12-month and 18-month subscription packages, under which two 250-gram jars of pickle will be sent to the customers every month under the brand name 'Jawan'. This is done to ensure money given by customers is focused towards making pickles and eliminating the uncertainty of those employed for an entire year.
Adding on, they said, "The Hudli Project is an experiment. If the rural manufactured food products are packaged and marketed well, would urban consumers buy them? If the answer is yes, they would have found a way to preserve traditional recipes, create jobs for unemployed rural women and empower them, create self-reliance in villages and find a way by which rural organisations can become sustainable."
What this bunch of professionals from Mu Sigma is doing is absolutely appreciable. Here's wishing the team of The Hudli Project the very best with their goals!