With the plastic and paper cups used to serve beverages facing the problem of how to dispose of them, help is at hand in the shape of edible containers. Running one such unit that manufactures eco-friendly biscuit cups that can be eaten and hold tea or coffee for 20 minutes, belongs to T. Jayalakshmi of Andhra Pradesh’s Visakhapatnam.
Hailing from Dusi village in Srikakulam district, Jayalakshmi and her family were faced with many hardships during the Covid-19 pandemic. Her husband Srinivas Rao lost his job as an accounts officer and had to undergo a surgery and was later infected with Coronavirus.
Jayalakshmi who holds two master’s degrees – in Telugu and English — gave up her teaching job to take care of him and in order to support the family decided to do business. It is then she came across the biscuit tea cups made in Puducherry.
On observing there were quality issues with these cups as they were made with maida and may not be preferred by health-conscious people, she decided to make them with ragi and rice flour as the ingredients. Talking to the media she said that she finally hit the formula which allowed her to make cups that could hold the beverage for at least 20 minutes and were healthy to eat.
Marketing her product during Covid she took to online sales for selling these cups. With the demand going up she took help of Andhra Pradesh Food Processing Society and obtained a loan from the bank and started Sree Harsha Enterprises, named after her children.
With a modest start of Rs.3.75 lakh annual turnover, today she does business worth Rs.7.5 lakhs and intends to expand further as the demand for these cups is growing rapidly.
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