TODAY -

Home made machines churn out profits for incense stick entrepreneur
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, January 19 2020: In recent years, many youngsters or youths are deciding to become entrepreneurs instead of running after Government jobs.

One Lambalmayum Keshorjit (30) of Sagolband Tera Sapam Leirak started his entrepreneurship venture four months back when he started making incense stick in bulks with the help of machines.

He has been able to successfully produce one kg of incense stick within an hour, by developing two machines named Eco-6G.Speaking to The Sangai Express, Keshorjit stated that he purchased small parts from Gujarat to develop the Eco-6G machines and they have been operating and producing incense sticks for the past four months.

He added that one of the machines works in semi-auto and the another works in manual mode.

Keshorjit narrated that the semi-auto machine works with the use of electricity and in this machine, all the ingredients are put in an aluminium bucket like container, which is installed at the top, and finely cut bamboo sticks are inserted at one side of the machine.

When the switch is turned on, the machine automatically makes the incense sticks, he added.

This machine takes an hour to make one kg of incense sticks and consumes electricity worth around Rs 15 to 20 in a day, he said.

Keshorjit informed that he spent around Rs 1.20 lakh to buy all the necessary parts for setting up this particular machine.

On the other hand, the manual machine is a little time consuming as it requires a person to put all the ingredients through a pipe and to keep feet pressure on the machine to produce the incense.

He said that it took around Rs 30,000 to buy all the parts necessary for the manual machine.

The recently made incense sticks from the machines are then put up for drying through a drying machine and finally some aroma/perfumes are applied to give scent to the sticks, Keshorjit added.

Ingredients like bamboo sticks, charcoal powder or wood powder, gum, Mekrup and the perfume ingredients formulated from Rajnigandha, Jasmine, pineapple, sandalwood etc are used for making incense sticks.

He further stated that the cost of one litre of perfume ranges from Rs 1000 to 4000, while he normally buys one kg of bamboo sticks at Rs 100, one kg of charcoal powder at Rs 25 to Rs 30 and gum at Rs 75.80 .

As incense sticks are usually used while praying to Gods, Keshorjit said that he chose Lainingthou (incense stick) as the name of the brand.

He then stated that he sells one packet of the incense stick at the rate of Rs 10 (12 sticks) while adding that he also makes Mekrup sticks, which is commonly used in Meitei households.

With the help of the semi and manual machines, he is able to produce 5 kg of incense sticks in a day, he told The Sangai Express, while adding that the final packets are sold in the locality and also sent to some other local shops as well.

Slowly but surely, the demands for home-made (made in Manipur) incense stick have increased but the lack of machines and manpower are some hurdles present in swiftly satisfying the demands of the public.

He is into photography as a profession and in the meantime, instead of sitting idle at home, he is helping his parents by producing incense sticks, he added.

He further narrated that he was selected in the India Stage group of the State Government's Start Up programme for creating a tea for weight loss (comprising of cinnamon sticks and honey) .

As such, the State Government had approved a fund of Rs 3 lakh for his idea but the fund has not been released till date, he lamented.

He continued that the training for making tea products is currently going on at MIMS, MU.

Meanwhile, Keshorjit had received a loan of Rs 1.70 lakh for his incense stick business from Syndicate Bank in Uripok.

Presently, Lainingthou incense stick is manufactured at Kesorjit's residence while payment for people/workers are given either daily or monthly.

He further expressed his desire to have a proper place to manufacture incense sticks and tea products.


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