Sabita Satpathy

The Small-scale Industrialist

Sabita's tale is an extraordinary story of an ordinary woman who hails from the tribal district of Koraput in Odisha. Despite of all odds that she faced to set up her own business, Sabita finally tackled every shortcoming that came her very patiently and re-started her factory with packaged drinking water called 'Drik'.

When you are told so many times that you are going in the wrong direction, even though you are right, you start questioning yourself. You think that you are not good enough; you weren't made for this. So will you give up, enduring the burden of the responsibilities of the family? Were you just born to bear children, cook, and clean? As a mother, you are told to sacrifice a lot. Does that mean you have to sacrifice your dream as well, just for the sake of the image of a good daughter-in-law in the society?
Sabita's tale is seemingly an extraordinary story of an ordinary woman who hails from the tribal district of Koraput in Odisha. She is the only female entrepreneur in the Khordha Industrial Estate near the capital city of Bhubaneswar. Life has been always a struggle for her; she never got things easy. She completed her graduation in Botany and as most girls are told that teaching profession is a good profession, she was told to pursue M.Sc. But she had her mind set up in doing MBA. Back in the 1990s, MBA was a relatively new concept, it took a lot of convincing, and arguments to get her dream come true. She worked in private sector for a few years before starting her own venture in 2001. She initially set up a juice, jam, squash and pickle unit but had to stop production due to heavy losses.
Every day, there was some problem or the other, like local players, police officers, government employees or fellow competitors who trouble you until you admit defeat. They trouble you for being a small-scale industrialist. The power goes off. There is low voltage... The machine breaks down. Many times, she has been told to back off. But Sabita is one strong woman who handled everything with hundred percent efficiency and has also managed her family well. She refused to go with the flow and always worked against the tide no matter how difficult it was. Being honest, truthful, ethical and straightforward are her prime qualities that make her truly different from others.
She is a good manager as well as kind and compassionate. She has fifteen employees in her organisation and cares for them just like an elder sister. If any employee needs money for marriage, education, or healthcare issues, she helps them out generously and is content with their smile, never bearing the thought of loss. "They are my family," she says, "a family always works together, stays together." Apart from that, she also sponsors a kid from SOS Children's Village, donates money in various charitable organisations, and is a regular blood donor.

She restarted her factory with packaged drinking water 'Drik'. It is a famous brand in the western part of the state. She is a highly respected individual now, being an inspiration for all those women who have the capability to achieve but are just afraid to get started because of the hurdles.

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