Nirmala Kandalgaonkar: Passionate about Inner Strength & Purposeful towards Mission

An empowered woman is someone who is aware of her strengths and is not afraid to embrace it. In other words, a woman who has control over her life, is aware of her capabilities, and is set to take on her biggest dreams.  “Success does not come without hard work and there is no shortcut to success” Nirmala Kandalgaonkar asserts. She is a housewife-turned- entrepreneur hailing from Aurangabad. Her life is inspired by her guru Ahilyabai Holkar.
The Journey from Housewife to Entrepreneur
At the age of 50, Nirmala Kandalgaonkar, from the small village of Mhalkoli in Maharashtra, Founded Vivam Agrotech in 2001, and this is now popularly known as Vivam Solid Waste Management Pvt. Ltd. The Company functions in the field of solid waste management by providing consultancy along with technology solutions such as vermicomposting, biogas and mechanical & bacterial composting, and power generation from biodegradable waste.
This journey would not have been possible without the support of her family. Thus, she says “My husband Girish is an engineer and gives full tech support to Vivam. My daughter Neha has left her job of Deutsche Bank and joined Vivam Group.
Nirmala always wanted to create job opportunity for the poor and uneducated women in the village. Thus, an idea of making manure and vermicomposting through improvised traditional technology came to her mind. Thereafter, with the help of Self-Help Groups (SHG), women started working and gradually got momentum with increasing workshops and agro exhibitions and soon women of around 5000 villages got the source of earning.
Nirmala’s intention is to put efforts to spread her work to each and every state of India. Thus, for achieving her target she has to travel all over the country and she calmly manages to handle her work.
Building Social Entrepreneurship
Nirmala firmly believes that “Social change will start from oneself. Waste management work is not one man job. More entrepreneurs are required to bring this change on a larger scale.” Her objective is all about the protection of the Environment, and to achieve that she is contributing towards Swaccha Bharat Abhiyan through clean India campaign. This is very realistic to do and most important to know the importance of clean society and not always blame the government for everything. But every good work has a lot of hurdles in its way, she says.
15 years back, when Nirmala had started her work in waste management no one could even think of such a subject. But with her ability to motivate people and delegate work, she is able to combine her strategic thinking with strong execution skills and has successfully created a change. She is dynamically associated with several industrial and academic associations and is continuously contributing towards social work by giving jobs to social help groups (SHGs), whenever possible and well/appropriately suited.
Nirmala has to say that if the government also starts implementing and channelizing its funds more towards waste management projects so that these could come under government and implemented through corporate socially responsible activities. Despite her busy schedule, she is taking initiatives to organize workshops in schools and colleges to create awareness among young generation about her work, so that they can understand the importance of waste management and how that/it is beneficial for them. Recognizing her selfless efforts for the society, Government has provided her a platform at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi to showcase her projects at the international level.
Awards and Recognitions
Nirmala’s work has been appreciated by many social institutes as well as corporates by giving her several awards. Most esteemed amongst them is “TATA TiE STREE SHAKTI Award as National Woman Entrepreneur 2009”. Furthermore, she has been facilitated with ‘Avani Mitra’, Talvalkar Trust; ‘Punya Ratna’; ‘Chankya Award’ PRCI; Emerging Excellence’ Maxell Foundation and ‘Women Super Achiever Award 2015’ by World Women Leadership Congress.
Nirmala’s innovative work has also been appreciated by many reputed organizations such as Bank of Maharashtra; Agriculture Department of Maharashtra; Chavghule Group; Chamber of Commerce, Nashik; Chamber of Commerce, Aurangabad; Consultant for Government of Maharashtra; All India Institute of Local Self Government, and The Indus Entrepreneur.
Nugget of Advice for Entrepreneurs
Nirmala believes that since a founder has decided the nature of a business, she ought to study and adopt the best suitable one and accordingly plan about the marketing strategy.
For the business to be fruitful it is essential to be faithful to work and continuous self upgradation with the latest technology of the field is significant. The intention of the entrepreneur should not be only profit making, but also working selflessly for the sake of society and employees, as long as people around are satisfied, success will automatically follow.
Every woman who puts her heart and soul into her work is successful. You start the work in a small way. If it is good, people will come forward and join you. Women can do anything; they have to desire it with their whole heart” asserts Nirmala.
Nirmala has a word for some aspiring entrepreneurs that there is a tremendous scope for the future generation in the field of waste management and they just need to innovate it and work smartly to make it user-friendly. The problems in business help in developing potentials, abilities, skills, and creativity in you. Obsession with work can only help in attaining success and will be a real justice for it.
Source :- Inspiring Stories of Indian Women Leaders in Business

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