JhaJi Pickles, created by Kalpana and her sister-in-law Uma Jha, sells Mithila’s traditional handmade pickles. They earn Rs 10 to Rs 15 lakh every month from the business.
Kalpana Jha of Bihar’s Mithilanchal spent years producing delicious pickles and sharing them with family and friends.
She stated, “I’ve always wanted to turn this into a business. But I couldn’t because of my husband’s profession as a federal servant. His profession forced him to relocate every three years, so launching a business seemed out of the question.”
An opportunity arose when her spouse retired in 2020. They moved to Laheriasarai, where Kalpana reignited her interest in starting the business.
“I mentioned it to my spouse, and he supported me. He saw that his work did not allow me to follow my aspirations and immediately committed to help me,” she recounts.
Kalpana now makes lakhs of rupees by catering to pickle orders from all across the country. The 52-year-old alleges that she discussed the business proposition with her sister-in-law Uma after making her decision.
“Uma is a teacher at a private school in Darbhanga, and she likes preparing pickles much like me.”
Her pickle-making skills are also well-known among the instructors at her school.
“I asked her if she wanted to join my enterprise, and she immediately accepted,” she continues.
In October 2020, they presented a business plan and began the registration procedure. The team had secured the required licences and certificates to start the food company by February 2021.
“That same year, we created JhaJi, an online business that sells 12 various varieties of handmade pickles made from mango, chilli, lemon, gooseberry, and other seasonal veggies like cauliflower, garlic, ginger, and others,” she says.
All pickles, according to Kalpana, are produced from scratch using traditional Bihari traditions.
“My 82-year-old mother gave me her pickle-making recipe, which requires roasting the spices, preparing the combination, and combining it with mango or other veggies.”
Pickles are made without the addition of preservatives.
“We sun-dry the pickles for at least a week to guarantee they can be preserved for at least a year,” she says. The pickles are priced at Rs 299 per 250 gm glass jar.
Kalpana has also employed about 25 persons for the position.
“About a dozen individuals work full-time, and the remainder work part-time,” she says.
Uma believes that their pickles’ unusual flavour lured people from near and far.
“Orders have been received from Mumbai, Bengaluru, West Bengal, Delhi, and other regions of the nation,” she adds.
Over 2,000 consumers have been served thus far by the organisation.
“We make Rs 10 to Rs 15 lakh every month,” she adds, adding that “we want to construct warehouses in Bengaluru and Mumbai shortly for effective delivery services.”
Kalpana, on the other hand, says that beginning a firm without prior expertise was challenging. “I had no previous business experience. My son, Mayank, helped me with marketing and other elements of the firm.”
I was convinced that Bihari clients would enjoy my pickles with a particular regional flavour.
“However,” she admits, “I was apprehensive about clients from other states embracing the flavour.”
Kalpana admits she had to work hard to conquer her phobias.
“Another job was obtaining glass jars, identifying vendors, guaranteeing consistency in flavour, and maintaining product quality for huge volume production,” she continues.
The pair also plans to broaden its worldwide reach. According to Kalpana, “My New York-based daughter has been informing her friends about our pickles.
They enjoy the flavour, and I hope to develop our worldwide consumer base via her.”
She is overjoyed that her ambition of opening a pickle shop has come true.