This woman entrepreneur from Aurangabad gives heavy metal a whole new meaning while busting myths

Last week, as the business community and the media were rightly celebrating the rise of women’s entrepreneurship in India for Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, a frail 34-year-old stood firmly under her falling umbrella waiting for a bus.

As a business owner, she was on her way to meet a potential client. Tulga Sukhdaalsingh Sharma aka Rani Tolga has a small workshop in Aurangabad under name tulga tulg in the field of machine tools. For nearly two years now, she’s been on the road, coming rainy or bright, and meeting industrialists and manufacturers to sell her products.

Its immediate goals are to create its own website and start the digital marketing process so that it can reach more customers, and to purchase a CNC machine to enable it to meet the increasing demand for its products.

tough as a nail

Rani Tulga in her workshop in Aurangabad.

Before we move on to her story and tell you exactly why stories like Rani Tolga need to be told and celebrated, it will help us better understand the business she is in.

Machine tool business is the process of manufacturing components such as fixtures, gauges, moulds, cutting equipment, patterns, etc., which are required by all types of manufacturing industries such as automobiles, heavy machinery, etc. It goes without saying that poor tooling can greatly affect the health and pricing of machinery used by large industries.

Aurangabad in Maharashtra, being an industrial center, has large pockets of its industrial areas filled with small and large tool manufacturers.

Being one of the few women who chose to set up her own tool shop rather than work for another establishment, the soft-spoken Rani Tolga stands out in this masculine machine and tool scene.

Having completed her degree in a mechanical dragman from the city, Rani not only battled the prejudice drawn by her gender, but had to undergo personal challenges so severe that she even considered taking her own life.

However, today it stands tall.

Not only has it found firm foundation in its field of expertise but has expanded its product market to Kolhapur, Nagpur and other states like Gujarat and Punjab.

Yes, Mary Zed Hai. kuch ke dikhaungi main (I am determined to succeed), she said SMB . story.

Hard thing about hard things

It is often assumed that women are not into a hardcore manufacturing business and that space is not for them, and that they are in a better position to start a sewing or catering business instead. Rani, a single mother of a six-year-old son, has neither the time nor the desire to break such myths.

When she got her degree, she found work in various small establishments earning 1,500 rupees as an apprentice that honed her technical skills. While she was working in another institution, a meeting with her boss caused her to feel insulted and she decided “one day to start my own business”.

Her chance came in 2017 when she started her workshop with a borrowed instrument and the assurance of mentorship from one of her senior colleagues. She was able to get a loan of Rs 10,000 which is punishable by the bank under a government scheme.

Rani Tulga: Made of tougher materials.

However, her well-laid plans were skewed by domestic violence. Nearly four years passed as she lost control of her business, which she had set up with her own money, to her estranged husband.

Just liye woh bahut hi bura samay tha. Ab bhi hai, par ab main strong hun (Those years have been very difficult for me. Times are still tough, but I am stronger on them),” she says, remembering her struggle.

Rani resumed her work in 2020 during the pandemic with some money that she borrowed from her supportive parents and pawned it in gold. Today, it has five machines, including a milling machine, a lathe machine, and a drilling machine, and employs two workers. She does design, artwork and marketing herself, and made a modest amount of Rs 24 lakh last year.

For someone who believes in one step at a time, you have come a long way already.

Edited by Teja Lily Desai


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