Above and Right: The requisite traditional inaugural religious rituals, but of course! .... this morning at 11am.
The snack artisans are from a peri-urban part of the city, a part that still mainly comprises villages but is rapidly being developed into an area that houses college campuses, warehouses, and small industrial facilities. The officiating priest is from our Kargil slum community.
Below: An "oil dryer": a machine to dry the excess oil off the (deep) fried snacks. Helps in a few different ways:
(1) Makes the snacks that much healthier
(2) Allows the packaging to look fresh rather than have the insides of the plastic packet covered in oil
(3) Increases sales value of the packed goods
Machine cost ~ Rs. 26,500 (before tax)
(4 kg capacity, stainless steel interior & exterior)
Purchased from a cooking machinery dealer in Cuttack.
There's just something about going through an entire production process and coming out at the finished end... that is so satisfying; it's a simple satisfaction :) And for those of us who have never worked on such basic enterprises before.... it includes a wonderful sense of surprise and delight.
And ... 2:30 pm .... the inaugural batch!
From finding market linkages, creating labels and figuring out printing prices, hunting for local snack makers, bargaining for machines, to figuring out the best ways to involve the urban poor.... fantastic crash course in low budget high return local enterprise start up in small town India.