Dream Stretch: Wokha rubber grower bounces into full manufacturing
There are entrepreneurs in Nagaland who are going beyond small business development. One of them could be a hitherto-small rubber grower from Wokha district who has grown to venture into full latex manufacturing, reports our Correspondent Alice Yhoshu.
KOHIMA, JUNE 22: More and more people are gradually realizing that entrepreneurship and small business development are potential solutions to the rising unemployment problem and are deviating from the conventional mindset of seeking government jobs. However, the greatest challenge that comes with any undertaking is to pursue one’s task with passion and perseverance.
Rubber grower and latex goods manufacturer from Wokha, Mhoyamo Jungio, is an example of an entrepreneur with these essential ingredients. A father of three, Jungio, who hails from Chudi village, is arguably the only rubber grower in Nagaland to have progressed into a manufacturer of latex goods in the region.
Jungio owns a rubber farm in his village that runs along the Doyang River and produces his own raw material that feeds a small-scale manufacturing unit he operates in Wokha called M/s Latex Goods Mfg Unit. His products include gardening gloves, balloons, rubber bands and doormats. He caters to clients like the department of Agriculture, municipal bodies, stationeries to name a few.
Sharing his experiences with Eastern Mirror, Jungio said he got into rubber farming in the year 2000 along with six others from his village with encouragement and some financial assistance from the department of Land Resources, the erstwhile Wasteland Development department. Fuelled with a determination to succeed and a curiosity to learn more about the trade, he attended a short term training course in Kerala under the Rubber Board of India.
However, the real push for resolve, according to him, came after his first harvest on his Chudi rubber farm in 2009. He said he started latex extraction in his plantation and began selling raw material (latex sheets) to the Rubber Board of India in Guwahati. Realizing that rubber goods manufacturing could give more value addition for his rubber plantation and farming in the long run, he underwent a specialized training on latex goods manufacturing at Rubber Training Institute Kottayam in 2013.
“With the knowledge and guidance I gained from the training, I started a humble manufacturing unit in Wokha in November 2014,” Jungio says. The M/s Latex Goods Mfg Unit was formally inaugurated by the director of Land Resources, Mhathung Yanthan.
Jungio says he is greatly encouraged by clients who claim to prefer buying and using the products manufactured by local entrepreneurs like him. Besides his small outlet located at Orchid Colony in Wokha, he also runs ‘Latex Goods Shop’ in Duncan, Dimapur, where he keeps a limited stock of his products for sale and as samples. He informed that he also sells rubber sheets and his customers-base is gradually building up.
With raw materials being produced from his own farm, Jungio says he aspires to expand his business to making bigger goods such as cushions, dunlops, sandals etc. For this, he said he has acquired a Micro Small & Medium Enterprise license. However he is bogged down by the requirement for an initial investment. “To expand my manufacturing unit for production of such new products, I need different machinery and this would definitely require money. Being a small time entrepreneur, I am unable to commence with this ambition,” he admits, adding, “I have approached some banks for loans, but none has been forthcoming so far. So I am rather paralyzed at the moment.” Towards this, he said he would look for possible partnership with an interested entrepreneur if needed.
It was learnt that Jungio has approached the Br.MSME Development Institute in Dimapur to seek linkage to MSME Credit Link Subsidy Scheme. A team at the institute is said to be preparing his project proposal to be submitted to the State Bank of India in the hope that the proposal would be approved by the bank with 15% subsidy from the Ministry of MSME.
Jungio is optimistic that the rubber and rubber goods trade is promising and has potential in Nagaland. He is also particularly positive that the people of Wokha could make a big break in rubber entrepreneurship if they are determined since almost every village in the district are involved in rubber plantation.
Jungio entered into small scale entrepreneurship in the late 1980s after he attended an electronics repairing training course at the Industrial Training Institute Kohima in 1985-86, and attained a diploma from Chennai in 1987. He said he used to run a small electronics repairing shop in Wokha before venturing into rubber trade.
He sustains the needs of his family through the modest income he makes from the manufacturing unit. He is also supported by his wife, Tori Jungio, who manages and runs a shop running parallel to the unit, selling bakery goods.
Mention may be made here that Mhoyamo Jungio was a recipient of ‘Outstanding Entrepreneur’ award from Wokha district in 2015, a recognition conferred by the department of Industries & Commerce.