Because of its crispy and crunchy papads, the Lijjat brand is well-known both domestically and overseas. With a small sum of Rs 80, seven women founded it in the early 1950s, and Jyoti Naik was one of them.
Jyoti Naik was the oldest child in a family of four brothers and sisters. When she was twelve years old, she started rolling poppadums and became affiliated with Lijjat Papad. She was deputed into the packing division, where she was given more work in Lijjat. Despite her mother’s untimely death in 1976, she continued to work for the charity and looked after her four siblings.
Jyoti served in a variety of capacities within the Lijjat branches before being appointed Sanchalika (Branch Manager) and editor of the Patrika newsletter in 1981. She was elected president in 1999 after serving as vice president in 1989. Jyoti employed numerous village women while contributing to the development of the sustainable business model.
Jyoti has received numerous awards for her pioneering spirit, including the Economic Times’ Businesswoman of the Year Award for Corporate Excellence. Additionally, in 2003 and 2011, Shri Mahila Griha Udyog Lijjat Papad received awards for Best Village Industry Institution and Brand Power, respectively.
Lijjat Papad was founded in 1959 and presently has over 42,000 employees and annual sales of over $100 million. It has a presence in 67 locations throughout India, and its headquarters are in Mumbai.
In addition to offering a means of support, Lijjat also offers a distinctive business strategy that instils a sense of fairness and equality and helps to give these women confidence in their ability to support themselves. Lijjat has maintained its basic beliefs for more than 50 years, and the management is steadfast in its conviction that delivering consistently high quality is crucial.
She claims that Lijjat has provided a platform for women to achieve economic independence, raising their prestige in society. “I count it a privilege to be a part of a group that strives to advance women’s rights”.
The Economic Times named Jyoti Naik “Businesswoman of the Year” (2001-02) for her work in business.
In addition, she received the Vandemataram Rashtriya Seva Award for her contributions to women’s emancipation.
Jyoti’s, as well as Lijjat Papad’s journey, is the typical “rags-to-riches” story, but it also shows the hard work for reaching out and empowering women at the grassroots level, turning a cottage industry into a national movement for women is something honourable and can not be easily left behind.