A PROJECT REPORT ON
SHRI MAHILA GRIHA UDHYOG LIJJAT PAPAD
(RECOGNIZED BY KHADI & VILLAGE INDUSTRIES
SHRI MAHILA GRIHA UDHYOG LIJJAT PAPAD,
popularly known as “Lijjat”, needs no introduction. Lijjat is
woman’s organization manufacturing different products of village
industries, having its central office at Mumbai. Lijjat is spread all
over India. It has 69 centers and 31 divisions in different states.
In 1959, Girgaum, Mumbai Shri mahila griha udyog Lijjat
Papad made a beginning under the blessing of Shri Chhanganlal
Lkaramshi Parekh popularly known as ‘Pujya Chhaganbapa’ who
was a member of the servants of India society and a highly successful
social worker. In 1996 it was recognized by the khadi & village
industries commission under the chairmanship of Pujya Uchhangral
A deeper insight by the report shows Lijjat’s achievements and
services renders to the society and how it has help the Indian
economy to grow tremendously in the past few years and in the tears
What is the reason for its success? The working of the
organization, management future plans. Lijjat is the story of a
business house that has created wealth for a nation and the story of
pioneers like Pujya Chhaganbapa, Pujya Uchhangral N. Dhebar.
Table Of contents
LIJJAT IN GENERAL
BASIC PRACTICES & PHILOSOPHY
THREE GOLDEN RULES
PHILOSOPHY THAT GUDIDES
ROLE IN WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
ORGANISATION STRUCTURE AND MANAGEMENT
HOW THE SYSTEM WORKS
PRODUCTION & PACKAGING
CHALLENGES AND POTENTIAL
CONTRIBUTION TO SOCIAL
Be it an evening snack, or a banquet or a meal at home, The Papad finds its due place
on the dining table. No Indian meal is complete without it, and India’s biggest ‘Papad’
success story is Undoubtedly, Lijjat.
Everyone enjoys ‘rags to riches’ stories and everyone likes tales of stupendous success
achieved through sheer determination. The story of Shri Mahila Griha Udyog Lijjat Papad
is all that much more.
Shri Mahila Griha Udyog Lijjat Papad, popularly know as “Lijjat”, is an Indian
women’s organization manufacturing different Products of village industries. The
organization’s registered office is Situated in Mumbai and it has 69 centers and 31 divisions
on different states. Lijjat is spread all over Indian.
Stared in 1959 with a capital of Rs. 80, Lijjat today has a Annual turnover of around
Rs.315 crore (Rs. 3.15 billion), with Rs.12 In exports and has around 42,000employees.
Lijjat is primarily a cottage industry, urban by its origin, that has spread to the rural areas.
It is considered as one of the most remarkable enterprenual initiative by woman that is
identified with women empowerment in India. Lijjat shows how an organization can infuse
Gandhian simplicity in all its activities.
Shri Mahila Griha Udyog Lijjat Papad is registered under The KVIC Act- (Khadi &
Village Industries Commission) The Khadi and village Industries Commission (KVIC) is a
statutory organization established in 1956 by an Act of parliament. It plays a pivotal role in
the strengthening of rural economy by promoting and developing Khadi and village
industries. The main objectives of the KVIC include skill improvement. Providing
employment in rural areas, and transfer of technology, rural industrialization and
promoting self-reliance among the people and to build up a strong rural community base.
The functions of the KVIC are generally to plan, promote, organize and assist in
implementation of programmers for the development of Khadi and village industries.
Lijjat Papad is a women’s organization of the women, by the women and for the
women. It was stared in 1959, Girgaum, Mumbai with 7 lady members of the residential
tenements of “Lohana Niwas” gathering on the terrace of the building for a function by
rolling 4 packets of papads and the decision to make papads, everyday.
Thus Shri Mahila Griha Udyog Lijjat Papad made a beginning under the Blessing of
Shri. Chhanganlal Karamshi Parekh popularity Known as ‘Pujya Chhanganlal’ who was
the member of the Servants of India society and a highly successful social worker. He was a
noble man gifted with down-to-earth ideas.
The turning point of the institution came in 1966 when then Chairman of Khadi &
Village Industries Commission Pujya Uchhangral N. Dhebar visited the Institution and got
it recognized by the Khadi & Village Industries Commission it was also registered under
Bombay Public trust Act 1950 and also registered under Societies Registration Act, 1860.
The Objective of the institution is to provide employment to the ladies to enable them
to earn decent and dignified livelihood.
Any women can render physical work in this institution without distinction of caste,
creed and color and agrees to abide by the Institution can become a member of the
Institution from the date on which she starts working.
Every branch is headed by a Sanchalika to see the production of the branch. There is
Central managing Committee consisting of 21 members out of, which there are 6 elected
Office Bearers i.e. President, Vice- President, 2 Secretaries and 2 Treasurers.
Another important fact about the Institution is that a male person cannot become its
member and any male employee whether working honorary or on Salary basis has no right
whatsoever over Institution.
All the branches are autonomous units for the purpose of profitability and the profit
or loss as the case may be of such unit is borne by the owner sister member of that branch
by increasing or decreasing her rolling charges accordingly. The credit for rapid progress
goes to the constant vigilance on the part of sister members maintaining the quality of Lijjat
Papad with their hard work.
Besides Lijjat Papad the institution has other products like Khakhra, Masala, and
Vadi, SASA Detergent Powder & Cakes, Bakery Products, Liquid Soaps, Gehu Atta &
Chapattis. At present it has 69 centers * 31 divisions in different states and gives, self-
Employment to about 42000 sister member all over Indian. The sales which have amounted
to only Rs. 6,196/- in the first year. i.e.1959 have already touch the level of Rs. 300 crores
which includes Rs. 12 crores of exports.
Lijjat Papad has earned reputation not only in Indian but also in every nook and
corner of the world. The worldwide demand for crisp and alluring Lijjat Papads always
keep growing. At present about 30 to 35 percent production of Lijjat Papad is being
exported. The main consumer countries include U.K., U.S.A, Middle East and also in
Singapore, Honk- Kong, Thailand Holland, Australia, Europe, Japan & and other
It all began on 15th March 1959 which was a warn summer day with the sun shining
brightly in the cloudless sky. A majority of the women inhabitants of an old residential
building in Girgaum (a thickly populated area of South Bombay), were busy attending their
usual domestic chores. A group of seven women gathered on the terrace of the building and
started a small inconspicuous function. The function ended shortly, the result production.
This pioneer batch of 7 ladies had th bait rolling. As the days went by, the additions to this
initial group of 7 was ever-increasing. The institution began grow.
It the early days were not easy. The institution had its trials and tribulation. The
Faith and patience of the member were put to test on several occasions –they had no money
and started on a borrowed sum of Rs. 80/- Self-reliance was the policy and no monetary help
was to be sought ( not even voluntarily offered donations) so work started on a commercial
Today, Lijjat is more than just a household name for ‘Papad’ (India’s most popular
crispy bread). Started with a modest loan of Rs 80, these women took its turnover from Rs
6,196 in the first year to Rs 300 crore in the next decades, involving over 40,000 women on
its revolutionary march.
Gandhian business strategy, equally well executed by his followers, late Chhanganlal
Karamshi Parekh and Damodar Dattani, who worked tirelessly from behind the scene.
Their vision was clear – an exclusive women’s organization run managed by them, a quality
product that these women had the expertise to make, and, finally, a work environment
which is not competition – driven and mechanized but based on pure labour and love for the
organization and its people, Lijjat is today guided by separate divisions of advertising,
marketing, sales promotion and exports.
There is greater coordination between branch offices (different production and
marketing units) and centralized marking, advertising and exports departments. The
cooperative now has annual sales exceeding Rs 301 crore (Rs 3.1 billion). What’s more
stunning than its stupendous success is its striking simplicity. With quality consciousness as
the principle that guided production, Shri mahila Griha Udyog Lijjat Papad grew to be the
flourishing and successful organization that it is today.
PIONEERS OF SHRI MAHILA UDYOG LIJJAT PAPAD
The Institution has received an award from Khadi & Village Industries Commission
as a “Best Village Industry” for the period 1998-1999 to 2000-2001.
On 6th September 2003 the institution received the Economic Times award of
“Businesswomen of the Year 200-2002 for Corporate Excellence”.
In January 2003 it received the award for “Best Village” at the hands of Hon’ble
Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee at new Delhi.
On 21st December 2005 institution has received has received the “Brand Equity
Award at the hands Hon’ble President of India, DR.A.P.J Abdul kalam presented by
PHDCCI at VIGYAN BHAVAN, New Delhi.
1. It is a voluntary organization of sisters.
2. The organization is neither for the poor sisters nor for the rich ones-poor Sisters
should remove the thoughts of poverty from should their mind and the rich sisters
remove thoughts of their affluence.
3. It never accepts charity or grant.
4. It believes in running the business wisely and with practice good business ethics with
dealers and consumers.
5. The organization strictly observes the practice of maintaining the the accounts
regularly, writing the books daily and preparing balance sheets every month.
6. The organization is like a family and sisters run it as if they all belong to the same
7. The organization is like a revered place of worship.
8. No one can change these basic thoughts of the organization.
Three Golden Rules
Besides basic principles like self-reliance, co-ownership and faith in dignity of labour,
the institution has also formed three ‘Golden Rules’
1. All the rights of the institution must belong to members only.
2. There must be maintenance of “Lijjat” quality at any cost.
3. There must be clean and time bound accounting system.
Philosophy that guides ‘Lijjat’
Shri mahila Griha Udyog Lijjat Papad is synthesis of three different concepts,
1. The concept of Business.
2. The concept of Family.
3. The concept of Devotion.
All these concepts are completely and uniformly followed in this institution. As a
result of this synthesis, a peculiar Lijjat way of thinking has developed therein.
The institution has adopted the concept of business from the very beginning. All the
dealings are carried out on sound and pragmatic commercial footing quality goods and sells
them at reasonable price.
It has never accepted nor is it ever going to accept any charity, donation, gift or
grant from quarter. On the contrary members donation collectively for good causes from
time to time. Such as construction of houses for Earthquakes affected families of Chincholi-
Jogan (Latur) & Bhujpur, Kutch etc.
Besides the concept of business the institution has adopted the concept of mutual
family affection, concern and trust which are the ‘idée fixe’ of the members. All the affairs
of the institution are tackled on the very same pattern as a family carries out its own daily
But the most important concept adopted by the institution is the concept of devotion.
For the members as well the employees and the well wishers, the institution is never merely
a place to earn one’s livelihood. It a temple, a church, a mosque, a gurudwara, a place of
worship to devote one’s energy not for his or her own benefits but for the benefit of all. In
this institution work is worship.
Lijjat Patrika, the in-house magazine, is published and circulated for a nominal rate
to those interested in the activities of Lijjat. It is publish in many languages, including
English, Gujarati, Marathi, and Hindi. It has emerged as a strong mode of communication
for information related to significant events and initiatives at Lijjat, in addition to
presenting articles on women.
Member sisters across all branches of Lijjat recite an all religion prayer before
beginning their daily activities. The sisters are free to choose their activities and each
activity is given equal importance.
Leaving the organization is voluntary. No member sister can be asked to leave unless
or until she goes against the organizational principals. There is no fixed retirement age at
Lijjat. Once, when the president Jyoti Naik was questioned about this anomaly, she said
that there was no need to make provision for a retirement age, as the emphasis obviously
was on earning one’s bread through daily work, all through one’s life.
Because of Lijjat’s main motive of generating self- employment for women, no
machinery is used at the production level, and everything is done manually. However,
computers are now being used in some of Mumbai branches for accounts and
Role in women empowerment
The growth of the Lijjat is often seen in the larger canvas of women and their
empowerment. The organization has undertaken various efforts to promote literacy and
computer education for member-sisters and their families. A literacy campaign for sisters
began through literacy classes at Girgaum on June 18, 1999. Later, the managing committee
decided to start such class in all its branches from 1980 onwards, Lijjat started giving
Chhaganbapa Smurti Scholarships to the daughters of the member-sisters.
The member-sisters used their organization as a medium to promote their and their
families’ welfare. In the Valod centre they set up an educational and hobby centre for the
rural women. Orientation courses in typing, cooking, sewing, knitting, and toy making as
well as other courses like child welfare, first aid and hygiene were taught. The first ever
pucca (tarred) road in Valod to be built and inaugurated in 1973 was with the help of the
Lijjat, Valod branch.
In 1979, Lijjat teamed up with UNICEF to organize a seminar in Mumbai on “child
Care and Mother Welfare”, as part of the International Year of the child celebrations. In
October 1984, Bhadraben Bhatt representation Lijjat at the UNISCO sponsored
international workshop on “The role of women in the assimilation and spread of
technological innovation” held at NITIE, Powai. Alkaben Kalia represented Lijjat at the
National level meeting on women convened by National Commission on Self Employed
At the behest of Mother Teresa, the member-sisters also took part in some activities
of Asha Dhan, an institution to care for destitute women. Lijjat member-sisters also tried to
start a co-operative bank, but the effort was not very successful.
Key elements of Empowerment
With increasing business and other advances, the need for information dissemination
and communication among member sisters at various branches has increased. The monthly
regional meetings, annual general meetings, and all -India conventions of branches are held
to keep the members aware of organizational activities and strategies, and to discuss issues
such as quality activities and strategies, and to discuss issues such as quality maintenance,
production rates, the handling of accounts, and everyday problems to assure a better work
Lijjat Patrika, the in-house magazine, is publish and circulated for a nominal rate to
those interested in the activities of Shri Mahila Griha Udyog. Lijjat Patrika has emerged as
a strong mode of communication for information related to significant events and initiatives
at Lijjat, in addition to presenting articles on women.
Initially most sisters were uneducated, but realize the important of education for
their children, especially daughters. Lijjat offers scholarships for these children to
encourage better performance in studies. A literacy campaign for sisters also began through
literacy classes at Girgaum on June 18, 1999. at first, it was explained that a literate woman
can read or write a letter, maintain a bank accounts, pay bills, teach her children, assist her
husband in his work, and live independently. Later, the managing committee decide to start
such classes in all its branches. Besides other interactive and information-based activities,
participation in various trade fairs and exhibitions held across India contributed to the
popularity of the Lijjat brand. Such participation also builds self-confidence, through
exposure and training opportunities, for the member sisters who play a significant role in
the overall functioning of Lijjat.
Key elements of Empowerment
The combination of inclusion and the active participation of women have
endured as Lijjat’s backbone for 43 years. The interests of all sisters are treated equally,
because they sisters from the Lijjat family. Any woman, irrespective of her religion, caste,
or class, can become a member after signing a pledge of devotion, which is her assurance for
earning an honest income through cooperative work. Member sisters across all branches of
Lijjat recite an all-religion prayer before beginning their daily activities. The sisters are free
to choose their activities, such as making the masala (blend of multiple spices), pounding the
flour, weighing the flour, preparing the dough, rolling papads, receiving papads after
weighing, checking the papads, packing the papads, distributing wages, and handling the
accounts. Each activity is given equal importance, and sisters perform these activities with
mutual cooperation and consent. When a new branch of Lijjat opens, a neighboring Lijjat
branch helps it by guiding and training new members.
Leaving the organization is voluntary. No member sister can be asked to leave
unless or until she goes against the organizational principles. Because of Lijjat’s main
motive of generating self-employment for women, no machinery is used at the production
level, and everything is done manually. However, computers are now being in some of the
Mumbai branches for accounts and administration.
Any sister can apply for a loan from the organization without specifying the
reasons. As well as acquiring some financial independence, women have also realized the
importance of social independence. Because women own the organization, lower-middle-
class women find it very comfortable to work in such an environment.
Lijjat presents an explicit example of organizational accountability. The managing
committee members are selected from the member sisters on the basic of common consent.
Any member sister can express her interest to be a managing-committee member and be
selected after due procedure. The discussions are held openly, and decision powers lie in
the hands of the sisters who are present on that day. A single member’s object can nullify
the decision of the whole group.
A member can ask an employee to quite without specifying the reason, but no
employee can ask a member to quite. However, a member can be asked to quite by another
member (or members) if found be involved in false practices or misconduct. Account books
are easily accessible, ensuring transparency in Lijjat’s working.
Lijjat follows its own financial accountability principle; for instance, there is only a
0.5 rupee margin between the production cost and selling price of a 200-gram Papad pack.
There is a “piece rate” system, and sisters are paid on the basis of the number of papads
they roll. There is no credit method for running operations in the organization. Every
payment is done on a daily basis, except for the outside supply of raw material.
In the initial days of Lijjat, the profits of the first six months were shared equally
among all sisters in the form of gold. This sharing practice is still in effect, but now the
decision whether to share the profits in gold or in cash is made at the branch level. Profits
and losses are shared equally among the members of a given branch. The cost of national-
level advertising is borne by all branches and divisions, depending on their individual
production abilities. The polypropylene division provides money for advertisements and
recovers it through additional charges on the bags that it supplies to the branches and
divisions across India.
Local Organizational Capacity
Lijjat became a formally complete organization by the seventh year of its
existence, and afterward was recognized as a public trust. Initially, Lijjat’s activities were
limited to the former Bombay, but in 1966 it started to establish centers in neighboring
urban areas, followed by branches in other states such as Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh,
Punjab, and Madhya Pradesh.
After continued success and phenomenal growth during the last four decades, Lijjat
has been able to make its presence felt worldwide. A number of people, including officials
from countries such as Israel, the United Kingdom, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Iran, and Uganda,
have visited India to see Lijjat’s methods of operation. They occasionally promote similar
organizations in their own countries.
When they started their venture, the seven women were determined not expect
donations or help from anyone to run the organization, even if they suffered losses. This
practice has become financially sound after establishing itself in the market through
consistent quality in its production. Lijjat has emerged as an organization that not only
denies any donations from other parties, but also provides help to the needy. For instance,
after the earthquake in Gujarat in January 2001, all the branches of Lijjat gave a total
donation of more than Rs 4.8 million, including Rs1 million from the central office. There
are a number of other such instances that have contributed to enhancing the self-esteem of
the member sisters.
Organization Structure and Management
In order to ensure that the working of the trust was professional, an organization
structure and certain professional guidelines were put in place. Member-sisters owned the
enterprise. Any women, irrespective of caste or religion willing to work in any capacity
could become a member by signing a pledge of devotion to the basic tenets of the
organization. It was a commitment to earn legitimate honest income thought wok on a co-
Six Offices - Bearers
1. Smt. Jyoti J. Naik - President
2. Smt. Pratibha E. Sawant - Vice-President
3. Smt. Sunanda R. Belnekar - Secretary
4. Smt. Swati R. Paradkar - Secretary
5. Smt. Priyanka G. Redkar - Treasurer
6. Smt. Sheetal S. Koyande - Treasurer
Lijjat believes in the philosophy of sarvodaya and collective ownership. It accepts all
its working members as the owners and an equal partaker in both profit and loss. The
members are co-owners and fondly referred to as "sisters". All the decisions are based on
consensus and any member-sister has the right to veto a decision. Men can only be salaried
employees (accountants, drivers or security guards), and not the members of the
organization (i.e. they are not the owners).
The running of the organization is entrusted to a managing committee of twenty-one
members, including the President, the Vice-President, two secretaries, and two treasures.
Sanchalikas are in-charge of various branches and divisions. The office bearers of the
managing committee and the sanchalikas are chosen from among the member-sisters on the
basis of consensus every three years. Each branch has a committee eleven member-sisters,
again chosen by consensus.
The central office at Mumbai previously coordinated the activities of various
branches. But, as the organization grew, the authority was decentralized in terms of work
and sharing of profits at the branch level. However, the sanchalikas still need the managing
committee's approval before they undertake any new project or activity.
All the branches follow the same set of instructions and have similar accounting
system. To co-ordinate various branches in a region or state, there are branch coordination
committees and area meetings of various branches in a state. The annual general meeting is
attended by member-sisters representing branches and divisions all over India.
Currently, Lijjat has branches in seventeen Indian states -- Andhra Pradesh, Bihar,
Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya
Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, and West
Account books are easily accessible to all the member-sisters, ensuring transparency.
Lijjat follows its own financial accountability principle. There is no credit method for
running operations in the organization. Every payment is done on a daily basis, except for
the outside supply of raw material. Profits and losses are shared equally among the
members of a given branch. In the initial days of Lijjat, the profits of the first six months
were shared equally among all sisters in the form of gold. This sharing practice is still in
effect, but now the decision whether to share the profits in gold or in cash is made at the
branch level. The cost of national-level advertising is borne by all branches and divisions,
depending on their individual production abilities.
Because of Lijjat's main motive of generating self-employment for women, no
machinery is used at the production level, and everything is done manually. However,
computers are now being used in some of the Mumbai branches for accounts and
The quality of papads can vary due to quality of water used in various parts of India.
To avoid any inconsistencies, the final products are tested in the Lijjat's laboratory in
Mumbai. In the monthly meetings, the quality issue and modifications are tested. The
central office purchases and distributes all ingredients to maintain the quality of the final
product. For example, the urad dal is imported from Myanmar, asafetida is imported from
Iran, and black pepper comes from Kerala. The committee often makes surprise visits to
various branches to assure that production conditions are hygienic. When a new branch of
Lijjat opens, a neighboring Lijjat branch helps it by guiding and training new members.
On successive failures of a branch to abide by the organization's philosophy of
consistent quality and production of papads, the central committee reduces the daily wages
of its members by 1 rupee. The member-sisters are also rewarded for extra effort. For
instance, in 2002, the member-sisters at the Rajkot branch received Rs 4,000 each as bonus,
while the member sisters at Mumbai and Thane branches received a 5-gram gold coin as an
incentive. Several issues of Lijjat Patrika enumerate the names of the names/numbers of the
member-sisters, who were rewarded with the cash or gold, for their extra efforts.
How the system works
The entire cycle starts with a simple recruitment process. Any woman who pledges to
adopt the institution's values and who has respect for quality can become a member and co-
owner of the organization.
In addition to that, those involved in the rolling of the papads also need to have a
clean house and space to dry the papads they roll every day. Those who do not have this
facility can take up any other responsibilities, like kneading dough or packaging or testing
Packed papads are sealed into a box (each box holds 13.6 kg) and the production
from each centre is transported to the depot for that area. Mumbai alone has sixteen
branches and six depots. Each depot stocks production from the nearby three to four
branches -- roughly about 400 boxes.
In some smaller towns or villages, the branch itself serves as the depot. The depots
are our storage areas as well as pick up points for distributors.
Distribution flow chart
Their distributors pick up the quantity of papad they require and pay cash on
delivery because they pay their bens (members are called bens, or sisters) every day. Since
they have an estimate of the quantity each distributor takes, they produce accordingly. This
ensures that they neither stock inventory nor pay heavily for storage.
They have about 32 distributors in Mumbai. Each distributor picks up an average of
100 boxes per day from the depot. This is where their job ends. They are not involved in
how and where a distributor delivers as long as he stays within the area they have marked
Generally each distributor has his three-wheeler and about eight to ten salesmen to
deliver to retail outlets within his territory.
To select a distributor, they first give an advertisement in newspapers for the areas
they have marked. Members from their marketing division personally go and check the
godown facilities and only on their approval do they appoint distributors.
A distributor pays them Rs150,000 as deposit. They make it clear to them that they
must pay on delivery if they want our distributorship. This system is followed all over India
and it works well for them.
When they discover that there is demand in a particular place, they open a new
branch, like the recently opened one in Jammu and Kashmir. Whether or not they have a
centre in an area, their goods reach there.
For example, they do not have any centre in Goa, but they have appointed a
distributor for that area to ensure that Lijjat papads reach Goa. Their communication with
distributors is regular through monthly meetings where they discuss their problems and
also the issues that they may have about quality, price, reach, etc.
They do not have individual door-to-door salesmen or women selling from homes --
only the appointed distributor for the area. The same system is followed for other products,
but they may have different distributors and depots for different products.
Their exports alone account for Rs 10 crore (Rs 100 million). They are not directly
involved in exporting, but recognized professional merchant exporters (who also export
other food products) place an export order.
Only on receiving the full advance through a cheque do they begin production.
Because all exports are done from Mumbai, the supply also comes from here. Export
production is of the same quality as daily production. In fact, they send some of the daily
production for export.
Collection flow chart
Again with exporters, our responsibility ends with delivery. They are, both, expected
and encouraged to check the goods on collection. After that, where and how they export is
their call. At present, 30 per cent to 35 per cent of the production of Lijjat Papad is being
exported, mainly to countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, the Middle East,
Singapore, Hong Kong and Holland.
They have accountants in every branch and every centre to maintain daily accounts.
Profit (or loss, if any) is shared among all the members of that branch.
They have a committee of 21 that decides how the profits are to be distributed. They
generally buy gold coins -- 5gm or 10 gm, depending on the profit. Everyone gets an equal
share of profit, irrespective of who does what work, irrespective of seniority or
Even a ben who has recently joined gets the same share as others who have been with
us longer. Each branch calculates its profit and divides it equally among all its members.
Mumbai has 12,000 members, the rest of Maharashtra has 22,000, and Gujarat has
between 5,000 and 7,000 members.
Production & Packaging Process
The production process begins at 4.30 a.m. in the morning when the entire sister
members come to collect their respective dough. They collect it and go back to their homes
and start rolling rolling the dough. The rolled dough is then dried on a piece of cloth under
sunlight. The next morning the sister members bring these papads back.
In the second stage the rolled papads are send to the quality control department for
the regular quality under the supervision of quality control executive. Lijjat has been
maintaining of the same standard since the day of its existing. The checking of the papads is
done in a batch, and if any of the Papad does not conform to the Lijjat standard then the
whole batch is disposed off. The institution ensures that these defective papads do not reach
the market; hence they are disposed in the sea instead of garbage bin. This guarantees that
they never reach the market.
In case of any mistake, the institution not only tries to find out that who has made the
mistake, instead they also try to mistakes is borne by all the sister members, in case of heavy
losses, but if the loss is small or minute then the member who has made the mistake itself
bears the loss.
The institution itself carries out the packaging process instead of having
collaboration with others. These plastic bags are manufactured without any technical help
or machinery; instead it is hand-made. These employees are also women. The packaging
department comprises of 70 sister members. The bags that are used for packing papads are
Polpopryin (PP) bags.
These bags are manufactured at a factory situated at Dahisar.
Lijjat has several divisions and manufacturing units:
• Flour Division (Vashi)
• Masala Divisions and Quality Control Laboratory (Cotton Green)
• Printing Division (Cotton Green)
• Advertising Division, Bandra
• Khakhra Division, (Buhari, Valod district)
• Chapati Divisions at Wadala, Borivali, Mulund and Kandivali
• Polypropylene set-up (Kashi-Mira Road)
• Vadi factory (Valod)
• Bakery Division (Valod)
• Detergent Powder and Cake manufacturing unit (Dahisar) and office (Boriovali)
As a business enterprise, the declining sales figure for three consecutive years – Rs
298 crore (1999-2000), Rs 288 crore (200-2001) and Rs 281 crore (2001-2002), is a matter of
concern for Lijjat management. Some of its home turf in Maharashtra and Gujarat has
been captured by a growing completitive local market. But Lijjat has also expanded to the
North – Delhi, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and, with the latest branch in Jammu, to the
Kashmir market as well.
Though each branch is responsible for the marking of its products in the areas
allotted to it, the new centralized marketing offices now procure surplus production from
different branches and market it at an all-India level. This coupled with a healthy upward
trend in the export of Lijjat Papad positions Lijjat as the strongest brand in the Papad
industry. The other big brands in the Papad market are Bikaner, MDH and Saktibhog, but
none seem to be able to make any dent in Lijjat’s share of the industry as their core business
is not Papad.
Lijjat marking its products through a wide network of dealers and distributors all
across the country, and has never chosen to sell or push its products directly through the
vast network of its office and sister-members even during the initial years. Rather, over the
years, Lijjat has developed cordial and mutually beneficial relationships with its dealers.
Siters claim they believe in doing the business wisely and on sound business ethics. Dealers
are given a set commission of seven percent and retailer’s earnings are fixed between Rs
2.25 and Rs 26 on the investment of Rs 14 for 200 grams and Rs 150 for 2.5 Kilogram packs
There are 24 dealers for Ranchi branch in cities like Ranchi, Jamshedpur,
Dhanbad, Bokaro, Patna, Gaya. During the month of November 20002, around 40,000
packs of 250 gram pack of Papad are sold and the total income crossed Rs 0.65 million.
According to the accountant at Lijjat’s Ranchi branch, who wishes to remain unnamed (as
that would shift the attention from sister-members to employees and thus violate Lijjat’s
principles and traditions), from 2003 Lijjat is aiming at a sales target of a million rupees
Thanks to sound advertising, Lijjat has already become a household name as a
symbol of women’s strength and resurgence, and its recipe combining udad, noong, pepper
and hing has conquered the Papad-eater’s palate.
Lijjat’s manufactures several products, of which the Papad is the most famous:
• Papad (five flavors: lasan, moong, mirch, Punjabi and urad)
• Gehu Atta(Wheat flour)
• Bakery products
• SASA Detergent Power
• SASA Detergent Cake (Tikia)
• SASA Nilam Detergent power
• SASA Liquid Detergent
THE LIST OF PRODUCTS AVAILABLE:
Shri mahila Griha Udyog Lijat papad adopts a Cost Plus Pricing Strategy for all
their products. The Lijjat products are targeted at the middle and lower segments of
society. These segments are highly price sensitive and hence this method of pricing allows
them to market their products extensively.
While calculating the price the following expenses are taken into consideration:
Cost of Raw material
A certain makup is then added to these costs to account for the profits.
At Shri Mahila Griha Udyog Lijjat Papad, they believe that the best promotion they
could possibly receive is by word of mouth. Therefore they concentrate more on cost
effectiveness and quality rather than on more expensive modes of promotion like
Therefore annual expense on advertisement and promotion amounts to Rs. 60 lakes,
a mere 0.2% of total turnover. The extremely famous ‘bunny rabbit’ campaign continues to
be aired on specific regional channels. For e.g. Alpha Guajarati, Alpha Bengali, Sun ect.
They also advertise in English and regional newspapers.
The distributors also need to be motivated properly, so that they in turn make a
greater effort to sell large volumes of the products to the retailers. Targets are set quarterly
for the distributors i.e. should they exceed this target; the distributor will receive a further
• Sincere Hardwork
• Development of woman by proding them a living / employment.
• Maintaining the same standard over the last 45 years.
• Having a unique status in the country.
The institution does not believe in holding any weakness for a permanent or a long
period of time.
-- In terms of competition --
• In the Papad industry, the major competition or threat is posed to the institution
by Ganesh Papad.
• In the spices industry, the Haldiram and MDH are the major competitors.
• In detergent, there are many competitors like HLL, P&G ect.
Employees / Members
There are approximately 42,00 sister members working for Lijjat Papad not as
employees but as co-owners or partners. This is because they have a policy of believing that
every person working for them is a member and not a employee. It is very well put in their
mind that this institution is just for them. Ninety percent of the member are those women
whose husbands are either disabled or drunkard or do not work.
The Organization chart as follow:
Overall, there is a managing committee of 21 managers that manages the organization.
There are no promoters for the institution. This is because their services
are not required.
• Market Segmentation
The institution does not do market segmentation because they do not target age group
or income group because their product is for all the masses and classes. It is a product
which is consumed in each and every house as it is affordable to all. The Papad is available
in many denominations from Rs.11/- to Rs.270/- depending on the weight.
Sources of Finance
Lijjat borrows funds/takes loans mainly from 3 banks:
• Banks of India.
• Bank of Baroda.
• Dena Bank.
The interest rates for the loans are @ 12% but this is where the institution gets a
concession as 8% out of the out the 12% is paid by KVIC and remaining 4% by the
institution itself. This is perhaps the only concession offered to the institution by the
Government of India.
The organization does not have technical collaboration with any other company as
no machinery is used in production. Everything is manmade / handmade. As a main motive
behind the building up of this institution is to provide as much employment as they can for
women. Even the packaging is done on their own.
Lijjat papad occupies 90% of the papad market in India. In spices and detergent
industry the market share is 15-20 percent.
The institution has a trend of calling wages as vanai.
The vanai paid to the members depends upon the number of kilos rolled by them. The
minimum a member should roll is 5 Kgs. Some even roll upto 20 kgs. Every day. The rate of
vanai is Rs. 18/- per kg. So this means that Rs.90 is the minimum paid to each member.
Vanai is paid on daily basis when they deliver the rolled papads and clear the quality tests.
The President and the vice-president are paid a fixed amount of vanai. They are not
supposed to roll papads as according to the norms only the person who has previously rolled
papads can become the vice-president or the president or the president. They are entitled
for the vanai only when they attend the office and perform their respective duties. If on a
particular day they remain absent then the vanai is not paid to them.
This norm is applicable for the secretary and treasurer also.
Prices of Papad Available
Dealer Price List
100 gms. 200 gms. 250 gms. 500 gms. 1 kg 2.5 Kgs.
11.00 21.00 26.00 49.00 95.00 232.00
100 gms. 200 gms. 250 gms. 500 gms. 1 kg. 2.5 Kgs
12.50 24.00 30.00 58.00 113.00 277.00
Export Prices ranges from Rs.21/- To Rs.24/-
Challenges and potential
The story of seven illiterate and poor women who borrowed Rs 80 to start a Papad
business, and took its turnover from Rs 6,196 in the first year to Rs 300 crore in the next
four decades, involving over 40,000 women on its revolutionary march, is fanciful at any a
well thought-out Gandhian business strategy, equally well executed by his followers, late
Chhaganlal Karamshi parekh and Damodar, who worked tirelessly from behind the scene.
Their vision was clear – an exclusive women’s organization run and managed by them, a
quality product that these women had the expertise to make, and, finally, a work
environment which is not competition-driven and mechanized but based on pure labour and
love for organization and its people.
Lijjat is today guided by separate divisions of advertising, marketing, sales
promotion and exports. There is greater coordination between branch office (different
production and markeing units) and centralized marking, advertising and exports
departments. Transfer of finished products centralized marketing offices from different
branches was worth Rs 113.52 crore and ad-spend stood at Rs 2.55 crore for 2000-2001.
But more than its much-hyped sales figure, Lijjat’s experiment in the realm of
corporate governance stands out as one of a kind. All the centers are’ autonomous; profits
remain with the respective branches and are normally used to augment the business after a
due share is distributed as extra vanai charge to sister-members. Employees, numbering
about 5,000 including the chairperson herself, are in no way superior to sister-members,
and are therefore expected to behave accordingly. Besides, the phenomenal growth and
expansion og Lijjat into a muti-product company has opened up new employment
opportunities for the sister-members; eligible candidates are chose and trained to work in
its modern Polypropylene, Sasa detergent & cake and printing divisions.
Lijjat’s Ranchi branch was established in November 1997 bifurcating it from the
only branch in Bihar at Muzaffarpur. It pays Rs 11,000 per month as rent for the building
which houses’ its office and workshop. A “trekker” (thirteen-sister passenger vehicle has
also been purchased for the conveyance of sister-members from home to the Lijjat office
and back. This branch has 165 sister-members and sold Papad worth Rs 0.65 million in
November 2002. Vanai charge on Deepawali this year. The Muzaffarpur branch, according
to Lijjat sources, paid Rs 2,500 as extra according to Lijjat sources, paid RS 2,500 as extra
vanai charge to its sister-members. Similarly, the Mumbai and thane branch distributed
gold coins of five grams to each of the 4,056 sister-members a couple of months ago. The
branch averages around their rupees as gross profit and one rupee as net profit from per
Kilogram of Papad.
“As an experiment, Lijjat has insulated its sister-members from joblessness. These
women also work from their homes, where help from other family members not only adds
up to the income but makes the work more enjoyable. At the workplace they are self-
respecting, hard-working and sisterly to one another. More importantly, besides the
strength of womanhood, Lijjat is also an experiment in the restoration of the essence of
womanhood. The Lijjat women offer an alternative to the highly competitive and stressful
work environment defined and dominated by men in which a woman competes with a man
more as a man than a woman,” says elderly Gandhian, TK Sumaiya, Bombay Sarvodaya
Contribution to social service
On several occasions, the Lijjat member-sisters have undertaken social service
activities such as distributing nutritious food for poor children, donating money for
conducting community marriage, instituting prize- money fore spread of primary
education, undertaking blood donation drive, organizing heath camps, plantation drives and
even making donations to Government bodies. In 1999, the Mumbai City felicitated Smt.
Rukminiben B. pawar, Lijjat President, as an outstanding woman in the field of social work.
Lijjat undertook the rehabilitation Of chincholi (Jogan), the earthquake affected
village in the Latur district of Maharashtra. The institution provided the finance and
supervised the work of construction of fifty-eight houses for the people of the village.
Member-sisters donated money from their daily vanai (wage).
After the 2001 Gujarat earthquake, all the branches of Lijjat gave a total donation of
more than Rs 4.8 million, including Rs 1 million from the central office. Lijjat built forty
houses for the rehabilitation of the people of Bhujpur (Bhachau) in Kutch District.
PROBLEMS FACED BY LIJJAT PAPAD &THEIR SOLUTION
o The papads are prepared in different parts of India, the quality of the water used
usually varies, and so can the quality of final product. To prevent any inconsistencies,
Lijjat has its own laboratory in Mumbai, where the final products are tested and coded.
In the monthly meeting, the quality issue and modifications are also discussed.
Currently there is a problem of fake Lijjat papads being introduced in the market. In June
2001,three persons are arrested in this connection in Bihar, but the threat exists in the
global market also.
With increasing business and other advances, the need for information dissemination
and communication among member sisters at various branches has increased. The monthly
regional meeting, annual general meeting, and All-India convention of branches are held to
keep the members aware of organization activities and strategies, and to discuss issues such
as quality maintenance, production rates, the handling of accounts, and everyday problems
to assure a better work environment.
1) Previously Detergent, along with all the other products of Lijjat was exempt from sales
tax. Recently the Government has passed a new provision, which does not include
detergent in the PCPI (Processed Cereals and Pulses Industties) list of products.
Therefore, Shri Mahila Griha Udyog Lijjat Papad is Libable to pay the Sales Tax for
their Sasa Detergent Powder. Negotiation is currently being carried out with
government to exempt this product from Sales tax as well.
2) The rolled papads need to be dried for a certain number of hours. This entire process in
done in the ‘bhagini’s’ homes. Therefore in the monsoon when it rains it is difficult to
dry the papads outdoor. This now has to be indoors. The ‘bhaginis’ stay in small houses
and space is a constraint hence fewer papads are produced during the monsoon season.
This is the reason that Lijjat does not export in monsoons.
The solution adopted by Lijjat is to provide extra money to the bhaginis during
monsoons to purchase kerosene lamps to enable faster drying of papads. Our suggestion is
to hire an additional space during monsoon a central position near the depots, with kerosene
lamps where the bhaginis can come and dry their papads. This will lead to higher
production which can be exported.
3) Another problem expressed by them is competition in sales of their detergents (Sasa)
from established brands like Nirma. We feel one of the reasons for this problem is lack
of advertising, as stated earlier, Lijjat spends only 0.2% of their total turnover equal to
Rs. 60b Lkhs on promotions. They need to increase their investment in advertising
through electronic media and print media, which will create greater awareness about
their detergents and increase sales. Also, currently they don’t use direct selling to sell
their products. They rely mainly on word of word of mouth which has been successful
for their papads but has not worked so well for their other products like detergents. We
feel they should adopt direct selling as it involves low cost and it will definitely widen
their reach and create more awareness about their products.
4) Lijjat currently exports through merchant exporters and does not involve itself in direct
exporting. We feel they can save on the margin that the merchant exporters make, by
appointing their own distributors in the main countries and this will enable them to
reduce cost and increase profit margin.
Factors for Success
o The merging of ownership with membership has encouraged uniform and sustained
o The consistent quality of the product has been a primary factor in establishing and
maintaining Lijjat’s brand in the market for the last four decades.
o The Sarvodaya philosophy proved vital in forming Lijjat’s foundation.
o Lijjat has emerged as an innovative organization in which women from religion, caste,
or class can become members. The pledge and all-religion prayer also encourage
cooperative work among women, irrespective of caste or religion.
o Transparency in operations and nonhierarchical structure has helped in establishing
organizational accountability among member sisters.
o Lijjat encourages its members to give to others whatever they can, instead of expecting
help from others. Lijjat does not accept donations, but gives donations, which enhances
members; self-esteem and pride in their own organization.
o Calling the members “sisters” creates an informal work environment. Frequent
meetings, open interaction, and consensual distribution of tasks reduce the possibility of
disputes resulting from communication gaps and help work to go smoothly.
o Lijjat provides economic opportunities through a domestic activity. Once involved in
this activity, the women acquire confidence and status as they make money in a
respectable manner. The more enterprising responsible and experienced member sisters
climb the administrative ladder. Lijjat exemplifies a remarkable way of making leader
out of ordinary women.
The most interesting lesson managers can pick up from Shri Mahila Grihan Udyog
Lijjat Papad, sticking to its core values the past forty years.
The institution thus paves the way for women to become self-reliant and self-
confident. In the process Lijjat provides them the platform for improving their status in the
society, which is their justified right.
The ladies are brimming with confidence. Lijjat is an institution which has stood the
trial of time and tribulation and has achieved success because when basic management
principles and uncompromising quality consciousness are applied in conjunction with
sound business principles, there can be only one way for the ladies of the Lijjat-a brighter
and happier tomorrow, the pride and joy of fulfillment.
Lijjat makes almost equal money for its entire people and makes just enough money.
No one would become a millionaire by setting up another Lijjat. If this aspect of Lijjat’s
operations is not very good news for machine and money-driven corporate owned by
tycoons, the essential message that Lijjat’s success conveys has definitely fired the
imagination of women and rural folks. In many parts of Maharashtra and Gujarat, locally
manufactured and marketed eatables are catching on. There is hardly any NGO or
voluntary organization nowadays which does not try create employment and funds, small or
big, along Lijjat’s line.
As a business house, Lijjat itself has been trying to rewrite its own success with
another product with varying degree of success. Grounded spices, Khakhra, black pepeer
powder, detergent powder and cake, Vadi, bakery products, wheat filthier are on Lijjat’s
menu but Papad with a sales figure of Rs 288 crore remains at the top. Among similar
ventures which came a cropper are incense sticks, leather bags, Tiffin boxes and
matchsticks. But most promising among them is the chapatti division with six branches in
Mumbai. Here, the women come in to work at around seven in the morning and make
chapatti as they are prepared in homes. Packed Lijjat chapatti, four for Rs five, are
available at retail shops in Mumbai. These centers also procure orders from hotels, office
canteens, etc. and the catering in Mumbai includes some big names from the hotel and
catering industry. ‘As the pace of life increases, little time is available to most people in
metros like Mumbai to cook their own food. There are good prospects for women forming
small groups and catering to the local demand for homemade chapatti or similar products,”
says Ashok Bhagat, a leading social worker engaged in tribal welfare activities in the Gumla
district of Jharkhand.
Next time there is Lijjat Papad on the table, you sure can see a Chandrasekhar or
Suja’s dimpled fingers deftly roll out the crisp Papad. It is made with love and care, just like
from their mama’s kitchen.
Information from the Lijjat prospectus
Visited Lijjat’s office.