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Green bucks

"I lost everything, except my determination," says  Jyoti Dhanda, who  nurtured her hobby into a career.

 

I had no idea a hobby could also be a means to earn money. I was always fascinated by flowers. I soon began to enter my plants in various gardening exhibitions and won a few awards. Encouraged by my family’s support I decided to make it work on a larger scale. My next nursery was set up on the banks of the Yamuna.

On one of my visits to my husband’s office, I saw the pathetic condition of the potted plants kept there. That set me thinking about how I could turn my hobby into an enterprise by supplying plants and flowers.

I went to a number of corporate offices and persuaded them to let me supply plants.

Orders started coming in. In the beginning it was a trickle but my persistence paid off. Most of them were for flower arrangements in the offices or bouquets for special occasions. But soon corporates began renting plants from me.

Today I supply plants to more than 50 large corporate offices. The rate for each potted plant is Rs 35-50 depending on the number of plants supplied, the size and the type of the plant. I charge a monthly rent for the plants. On an average I earn about Rs 6,000 from one office. And my marketing is through word of mouth.

The customer does not have to worry about taking care of the plants. My staff visits offices regularly to ensure the plants remain healthy and change flowers.

It’s not always been easy. Back in 1995 the Yamuna was flooded and my nursery was under three feet of water for four days. I lost everything, except my determination. After the floods I bought an eight acre property in Greater Noida. Starting from scratch was daunting but I don’t think I had a choice. And as it turned out, the adversity became an advantage.

As told to Namrata Dadwal