Woods and Petals- Creating Women Empowerment at the Grassroots

Pragati Lakra is one of the most energetic and focussed people you can run into. Being a first generation entrepreneur with nobody in her family in business, she is running a successful business and giving back to society at the same time. And how she is doing it is inspiring, cool and heart warming.

Being from an army background, with her father and grandfather serving in the armed forces, Pragati was always disciplined. She joined the hospitality industry and after working for 13 years in hotels such as ITC and Taj Group, her inner voice began to ring loudly in her ears. She had always wanted to do something of her own, something meaningful- something that wasn’t the usual routine of office work. More than anything else, she wanted to do something that made a difference.

Pragati had been working with NGOs that worked for rural upliftment and women empowerment. Belonging to a small town in Jharkhand, she always wanted to bring up her native place. With hardly any electricity, high levels of poverty and difficult lives, Digital India doesn’t reach these places according to her. It is here that she wants to create an impact.

In 2014, she quit her job and started her own business. Starting out as a not-for-profit venture, she decided to involve women from backward tribal areas and provide employment and a means of living to their families. Over the last 3 years, she has gone into the details of setting up her business, getting the required licenses, registrations, branding and liaisons to create a business that is doing what should be the aim of any business- provide employment to as many as possible.

From procurement of raw material to preparation of the finished products, Woods and Petals is a complete Women Organisation with no male member. Pragati procures her raw material from different parts of the country like Darjeeling, Bengal, Jharkhand, Nalgonda and other such places. Her oranges and tea come from North Bengal. Moringa is procured from Nalgonda in Telangana and Jharkhand. She personally ensures that the correct and fair prices are paid to the women who sell these items to her. Back in her office in Gurgaon, women employees work day in and out with her to prepare organic, handmade and top quality products from the raw material sourced by her.

Being a firm believer of sustainable living, she and her team make sure that all the products and their packing are biodegradable. They use no plastic and the entire process of grinding the raw products and mixing etc is done by hand. Minimising waste production and providing employment to women are the highlights of Woods and Petals.

Currently, they are associating with NGOs and other websites for selling their products. Recently, exports to USA and Russia have begun and Woods and Petals is well on it’s way to becoming an international brand. Pragati’s next aim is to create a manufacturing plant in her home town in Jharkhand. There will be no machines used and all the work will be done by hand. This means more employment for the local women and Pragati is very excited about the project.

You can check out the beautiful products of Woods and Petals ranging from hair packs, ubtan, body scrubs, body oil, combs, soaps, yoga mats and body mists that are natural, organic, handmade by women and safe for the environment at https://www.wudbox.in/

Visit Woods and Petals shop on Wudbox at https://goo.gl/CT9csS!