Despite the art of making pickles seems to be fading in modern times, an agrarian state like Meghalaya still takes pride in preparing conventional and unique pickles. There are few local food processing industries that are specialized in manufacturing various pickles with local ingredients. Since, many entrepreneurs are coming up with their local business; they need recognition through various entrepreneurship programmes which will help to improve their socio-economic condition. Here is a story of a local food entrepreneur who made her ways to start and set up a local business.
Dlesgracia Sten (Kong Sten), a rising entrepreneur from Umroi, Nongrah Ribhoi District Meghalaya, has ventured out her journey by starting her own local food den, D Sten Shop. This outlet has different delicacies for people who love to eat traditional and indigenous foods. Apart from preparing delicious traditional cuisines, she is also involved in making pickles. Be it veg, non-veg or fruit pickle, she sells pickles that suit the need of every customer.
After hearing the inspiring journey of a local entrepreneur, we decided to meet her and found out that Kong Sten was really passionate to build up a food processing business so that her pickles would get the recognition that it needed to flourish. As an aspiring entrepreneur, Kong Sten was determined enough and so she started gathering information about how to go about and set up her local business.
“I came to know about the CM’s entrepreneurship registration from one of my customer and with the help of ICAR, I got registered and this is how I started my journey” Kong Sten
Finally, D Sten Food Processing Unit was inaugurated on 22nd December 2020 by the HOD Social Science ICAR, Umiar Dr. N Uttam Singh in the presence of the village headman and other officials at Umroi Nongrah.
Kong Sten did not stop here and while she was interacting with various entrepreneurs, she came in contact with personnel from The North-East store, which is an e-commerce platform for local entrepreneurs to showcase and sell their products. This site gave her the much needed platform in order to showcase her home-made pickles to a much larger audience. As her products started getting recognition, her pickles are sold not only in Meghalaya, but they are also receiving orders from outside the state.
“All of my pickles are doing great, but the most sold pickles include Bamboo shoot pickle, Beef pickle and Red Roselle pickle.” Kong Sten
Over the years, Kong Sten has observed various pickle brands and based on her observation, she has been preparing her pickles to make it different from the other local brands available in Meghalaya. Right from preparing the pickles to packaging it, she makes sure that she is catering to the needs of her customers and in this way she is gradually increasing her business.
On being asked about her future plans for her food processing business, Kong Sten mentioned that as for now her processing unit is small in size where she can just process 300-350 pickles a day. So, she wishes to increase the size of her unit so that she can increase the scale of her pickle production.
Kong Sten believes that if you have a passion for something, you should not withdraw yourself from achieving your goals. She also added that if you have an idea or talent, you should find ways and opportunities to fulfill your purpose.