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Football is Not Just a Sport but a Source of Earning Bread for Some: Story of Mahendri

"Which way to go for Mahendri's house?''….. "You go straight, take a right and the first house on left is her house". My enquiry was answered by a child playing on the street.
Now Mahendri is famous in Kamalpur area of Meerut city, for her football manufacturing business as she is known as an entrepreneur who manages 5 fulltime laborers and 5-6 part time laborers at a time. Importantly she is also helping her neighbors to find employment; as the part time laborers are her neighbors only.

Entrepreneur – Mahendri and Rambeer

Mahendri was unknown to this 'Football making art' before she was married to Rambeer. After 10 years of marriage Rambeer taught this art to her wife.
Rambeer learnt this art from his father, and then worked as a laborer in a sports factory for around 10 years because the workshop owned by his father, was handed over to his brother. Rambeer and Mahendri planned to start something of their own after working as a laborer for a long time.
Self owned business was suitable for them because they knew the technicality and they also had some market linkages (courtesy his father's business).
After being in business for one year, they planned to escalate their business and in order to do so , bought an electric run machine of Rs.72,000, which could make cut outs for football ( raw material for 40 football in one day). This also added efficiency and can be further used to increase business. This machine was bought from 10k loan of Ujjivan (1st loan with Ujjivan) and their savings. It has been 3 years that she is associated with Ujjivan and availed Rs 30,000 Individual loan last year for working capital.
Initially, for first 2 years, only the couple was involved in the business and later on as they scaled up they employed laborers as well.

Work Flow

Understanding the Economics

Raw Material:

  1. Leather sheet is bought from the market on credit/cash. One leather sheet costs around Rs 1200 .From which around 11/12 footballs can be made.
  2. Bladder used in the football making, costs Rs 24/piece.

Labor Cost:

Each laborer is paid Rs 50 for each piece stitched. Full time laborers are also paid a lump sum amount (Rs 5,000-6,000) as an advance when they are hired. The amount is paid to them for their retention, if any of them wants to quit the work; they need to submit the amount back to the owner of business. They can take additional amount in between also in case they have some emergency.


On an average one ball is sold in market for Rs. 250 – 300. So the margin on each ball for the business owner is Rs.75-125/ball. From which they have to manage the cost of dye, glue, thread, needle, stamps, workshop maintenance, travelling expenses to market, luggage charges to carry the assignments apart from their household expenses.


  1. The cost of leather when bought in credit is higher than when bought in cash.
  2. Power cut is very frequent in the area, so they have to manage the use of electrical machine according to power supply and cut the leather sheet pieces in advance only
  3. In rainy season they face problems because the leather sheet retains moisture and does not stick to the cloth properly.
  4. The competition is relatively high in the area so the buyer party usually bargains for the price, so many a times they even have to cut down the selling price in order to retain their regular parties.

Undying aspirations:

They plan to name their workshop as "Mahendri Sports" and make it as brand name.

  1. Mahendri has never been to school and Rambeer is a high school dropout but they want their 5 children to be educated, to a decent level before they are involved in business. The eldest girl child is pursuing her BA course and they want her also to focus on studies only.
  2. They have applied for Rs 75,000 IBL this year to scale up the business.
  3. They also plan to hire some agents to sell their products to open market outside Meerut city.

Words by Mahendri:

"When I took loan from Ujjivan for the first time we were in suspicion that whether we will be able to repay the loan or not but now we are confident to pay loan up to Rs 2 Lakhs. With the loan provided by Ujjivan we were able to increase our business, buy household assets and a land in outskirts of Meerut"

© 2015 Ujjivan Financial Services Ltd. CIN NO: L65999KA2004PLC035329
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