India Today - - COVER STORY -

She started with an in­vest­ment of Rs 300. Now her com­pany is worth Rs 800 crore. She had one worker when she started out 36 years back. Now, more than 6000 people re­port to her. Ra­jni Bec­tor, 72. The founder and chair­per­son of Lud­hi­an­abased Crem­ica Group of com­pa­nies baked her suc­cess story sin­gle-hand­edly. The cook­ing afi­cionado, who started mak­ing ice-creams and cakes as a hobby, never dreamt that one day she would be head­ing a multi-mil­lion ru­pee em­pire that man­u­fac­tures breads, bis­cuits, sauces and ice-creams un­der the Crem­ica brand name. “I bought a small ice-cream churner and started mak­ing ice-creams, puddings and sal­ads. I hired four people and we con­verted the an­nex of my house into a small unit. Thanks to the word-of-mouth pub­lic­ity, we soon had a great num­ber of or­ders pour­ing in,” Bec­tor, who has won sev­eral awards in­clud­ing Busi­ness­woman of the Year by PHDCCI, pre­sented by the then In­dian Pres­i­dent, Mr APJ Ab­dul Kalam in 2005 and Out­stand­ing Achiev­ers Award by FICCI in 2013, says. Bec­tor, who set up her first bis­cuit unit in 1991, says, “Back then, it was a taboo for Pun­jabi women from elite fam­i­lies to work. How­ever, I never let the pres­sure af­fect me.” For some­body hail­ing from Pun­jab, and break­ing away from the strong holds of a male dom­i­nated so­ci­ety and trade, Bec­tor has not only paved a suc­cess­ful way for her­self, but has also shown light to many more women who are gar­ner­ing strength to give their dreams a shape.

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