Kudumbashree Kitchen: The Transformation of Geetha Parameshawaran From Homemaker to Entrepreneur

Geetha Parameshwaran, from Paravur in Ernakulam district of Kerala, is a successful entrepreneur today. She earlier had tried her hand at a running a business in 2018, but that collapsed due to the heavy floods that hit Kerala later that year and her unit went collapsed. Now, through AIF’s intervention with Kudumbashree Kitchen, Geetha runs a catering business, supported eight women employees, that provides home-cooked meals and snacks to customers ordering through online food delivery apps in Kerala. Her set-up is called Vinayak Mother Kitchen, and her catering unit produces and delivers food to the local hub, which is a take-away outlet. Thalassery Dum Biryani, Kakka Irachi Roast, Chemmeen Roast, among other local delicacies are just an app away, for food lovers in Kochi!!!

In response to the devastating floods, AIF set up a partnership with Kudumbashree, which is under the State Poverty Eradication Mission (SPEM) of the Government of Kerala to impact the lives of women affected by floods in Ernakulam district. The project is aimed at enabling and upskilling 100 women to engage in income-generating livelihood activity of the catering business. As part of AIF’s Market Aligned Skills Training (MAST) program, they benefit from training entrepreneurship comprising of technical skills, financial literacy, digital literacy, soft skills and communication.

The online catering service, named Kudumbashree Kitchen, is intended to be take away outlets at Kakkanad (IT & Govt. Offices Hub), Vytilla (Business and Mobility Hub), Kalamassery (Industrial Hub) and Kaloor (City Commercial Hub) in Ernakulam. These outlets will ensure a centralized point of sale where the women beneficiaries of the project have access to a more predictable and consistent market to keep their business going. It will also enable them to share their experiences and learn from each other.

The Kudumbashree project helped Geetha’s Vinayaka Mother Kitchen to rebuild business with an improved strength of eight women to serve home cooked food to citizens, through the medium of online food delivery apps. This association also secured her the contract to serve lunch and snacks for Kochi Metro Rail Limited (Kochi Metro) head office canteen. Twenty units in distress due to the floods will benefit from this initiative.

AIF is grateful to the supporters who came forward in the aftermath of the Kerala floods to assist with rebuilding livelihoods in affected areas. AIF’s Market Aligned Skills Training (MAST) program provides underprivileged youth with skills training and access to formal employment opportunities. Read more about MAST here. 

As Director of Communications and Advocacy, Rowena Kay Mascarenhas holds the global responsibility for overseeing the development and implementation of AIF’s marketing, communications, and advocacy strategies across the Head Office, Country Office and Regional Offices.

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