Raju has realised his dream of opening a successful lunch outlet, or ‘Tiffin Shop’, after receiving business training and start-up funds from Sense International.
Sense International India first met Raju when he was 22. Born with low vision and hearing loss, he had spent a lot of time as a young boy helping his father sell lunches and snack foods in his Tiffin Shop. His father had taught him a lot, including a strong work ethic and the determination to never give up.
Raju joined Sense International India’s vocational training programme to learn how to establish a livelihood. He wanted to run his own Tiffin Shop, and so received training in business management and the skills required to ensure that his venture would be profitable. When he was ready, Raju received the start-up funds that he needed to set up his shop.
Raju has worked hard to overcome challenges and manage the shop as independently as possible. He goes to the local market by himself to buy ingredients. He also prepares the food, including local favourites such as puri, mysoori bajji and chutney. In order to ensure that his business is competitive and profitable, he entices customers to visit the shop with the aroma of spices wafting from the kitchen.
Since opening the shop, Raju has further developed his communication and social skills through regular interactions with customers. With some assistance from his mother, he has gained the trust of his customers and the support of his local community. Raju hopes to further expand his business in the future, enabling him to live a happy and independent life.