The beginning of SUBICSHA
Subicsha, an innovative Coconut based value added products venture, was developed jointly by Perambra Block Panchayath and Indian Institute of management Kozhikode, with basic intention of providing employment opportunities to the members of 588 SHGs/ Kudumbasree in Perambra Block Panchayath. The project proposals envisage development of micro enterprises that could be effectively managed by women self help groups / Kudumbasree from BPL families active in the project area. All these micro enterprises are limited to dependence on coconut and vegetables, the most abundant resource available in the area. The project aims to attain the novel objectives of poverty alleviation, women empowerment, rural development and farmer friendliness. The innovative coconut based products number to around 24, out of which 20 nos are developed and marketed.
The people in the area feel much enthusiastic about the project, which is evident from the rapidly progressing turnover of the company from less than a lakh 5 years ago to more than 1.25 crores in 2010-11. It is worth mentioning here that the social and economic objectives of the project are being steadily met with in the recent years. Subicsha s intervention in the market has been instrumental in reducing exploitation of farmers by business community.
Milestones in the History of the company. The project preparation team was constituted in the year 2000 under the ageis of Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode and the detailed project report was submitted to Govt. of India in 2002. The team leader was Dr. Saji Gopinath and Dr. Mukuandhadas from IIM Kozhikode.
The main objectives of the project are as follows;
- To create micro economic enterprises.
- To eradicate poverty.
- To generate employment opportunities for BPL families.
- To empower women self help groups by intensive training and financial assistance for starting self employment ventures.
The detailed project report submitted to the Govt, of India was duly approved with a special status under SGSY scheme. The herculean task of organizing more than 588 SGSY units was completed within a short spell of time fulfilling the required formalities under the scheme, and inauguration of the project was done on 31st October 2003 by the then Honorable Minister of Rural Development Shri C.F Thomas.
Starting with house centered production units manufacturing and selling Soaps & pickles. Subicsha SGSY units slowly and steadily entered the local market. It was not so easy to capture the market, which was already flooded with similar products with which the poor women folks had to encounter with. Mustering full courage and facing the odds in the marketing arena, unsupported by scientific publicity techniques or media support, the production and marketing groups could present a wonderful performance. During this time the architects of the project were deeply engaged in setting up of Virgin Coconut Oil production units in 5 of the 7 Panchayaths under Perambra Block. Three copra dryer units which were established by Perambra Block Panchayath as a part of women development programmes earlier were, in the mean time, transferred to SUBICSHA. Situated at Cheruvannur, Nochad, and Kayanna these units were revamped and production of copra was taken over by SUBICSHA SHGs/Kudumbasree . In the mean time 2 Oil extraction units one at Cheruvannur and the other at Nochad were also put in to operation.
The next venture to come to production stream was the Virgin Coconut Oil units which were established with technical guidance from an Australian company. RUBCO arranged collaboration, technology transfer, import of machines and equipments from Australia. The marketing arrangements were made under agreement with Rubco An agreement was made in the year 2006 between Subicsha and Rubco in respect of marketing of Virgin Coconut Oil under which the entire products could be taken over by them. This was one of the greatest milestones in the history of Subicsha.
The year 2005, is one of the most important period in the history of the Company. The firm registered itself as a Producer Company under the companies Act 1956 on 12 April 2005, and Govt. of Kerala approved the company vide its order No. Go(MS) No. 258/06/LSGD TVM dated 13-11-06. This paved the way for SUBICSHA to attain autonomous status and the responsibilities vested in the governing body increased to a greater extent. Though it had independent status under the Govt, the financial support was slowly withdrawn and it had to generate sufficient revenue to run the business. The company steadily increased its production, sales and resultant profit to make it stand on its own feet. The necessity for establishing a quality control lab was felt at this stage but the finance aspect posed the biggest problem. The Coconut Development Board, as in the past came to the rescue of company and a full fledged laboratory was set up at the head quarters of SUBICSHA. This was later instrumental in awarding AGMARK registration to the Company by Ministry of Agriculture, Govt. of India.
When we think of coconut based products, we cannot forget the coir and its allied products. A number of SHGs/Kudumbasree was to be engaged in this sector. To meet the requirements of fibre for these units, it became a necessity to establish a fibre production unit. The unit was set up at Kadiyangad in Changaroth Panchayath. Naturally, while producing fibre from coconut husk, a large quantity of Coir pith would form as a by- product. It is not easy to discard this material nor is it advisable to do so. Converting the pith in to bio fertiliser, was considered and a plant was set up at the same site for the purpose. Unprecedented support was offered by the farmer community for this product resulting in excellent sales.