Jharkhand rural women lead and succeed with the Palash brand

Shikha Bansal
Shikha Bansal • 31 January 2024
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A Women on Wings team recently visited Palash brand units to broaden understanding of how the brand supports job creation for women living in Jharkhand. Women on Wings collaborates with the Jharkhand State Livelihood Promotion Society (JSLPS) to scale its women entrepreneurship program through Palash. We provide business knowledge and expertise to Jharkhand state and district representatives managing the brand.

Palash is an umbrella brand of hundreds of products collected from farm and off-farm sources, processed and packaged by thousands of rural women living in Jharkhand. These items are then branded and sold under Palash. The brand holds the potential to accelerate rural livelihoods at scale and is creating sustainable livelihood opportunities.


Palash empowers women to lead in their communities.

Throughout the visit, our team heard similar themes around how having a job and an income independent of home gives agency in household decision making. The women shared with visible passion that they can now improve their children’s academic options; their family’s medical treatments and buy food items they couldn’t afford.

But also, they explained that a job makes them more brave, confident and that they can now assume leadership positions in their village. One woman explained that she started an herbal products business on her own. Another told how she took up light bulb manufacturing and now employs rural women from her community; all because of being associated with Palash centers, having a means of income and access to finance.


Palash’s diverse rural women-led enterprises in Ranchi

The team travelled to a Palash unit at the Namkum block of Ranchi to observe where the collection of raw materials, processing and packaging occurs for dal, rice, oils, dried lemon grass and honey. During this visit, they met rural women immersed in the processing, packaging, labelling of dal and the packaging and labelling of mustard oil processed in Palash units in other parts of the state into one-liter bottles.

They also visited Palash’s largest handmade pickle unit at Namkum village, where 15 women regularly manufacture 15-20 types of pickles. The unit sells these pickles throughout the state in Palash marts and at national fairs.

The team traveled to a thriving textile production center at Hehal, Ranchi, where women from rural outskirts manufacture items marketed and branded under Palash. JSLPS coordinates tailoring and stitching training at this center. Large companies place bulk orders for items like cotton and jute carry bags, laptop bags, folders and school uniforms. 


Self-help groups behind thriving cafés and bakeries

They visited a women-owned and managed Palash café in the hub of Ranchi city for lunch. The café is strategically established around various government offices and caters to their food demand. It has experienced an increase in customers due to local social media influencers. The women also run a mini-Palash mart which caters high-demand products to local professionals.

Their last stop was a Palash bakery unit at the Nagri block of Ranchi run by women in the community who produce, package and sell chocolate cookies and laddu made of locally sourced millet flour and jaggery.   


Women on Wings provides Palash with pro bono consulting.

So far, Women on Wings has completed over one and half years of partnership with JSLPS by conducting ten workshops in Ranchi, field visits in three districts in Jharkhand and online follow-up sessions.

Logistics and supply chain expert Germaine van Teeffelen and engineering expert Hans Vermeulen recently led JSLPS teams in a five-day workshop on mapping supply chains and creating a proposal so that JSLPS could make informed decisions on carrying out a well-structured supply chain for Palash products to state government institutions.

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