You have to dream before your dreams can come true,” said Abdul Kalam. This is what as a young girl, Durga Bhavani did. She dreamt of becoming an entrepreneur. To pursue her dream, she studied charted accountancy and never worked for any company and patiently waited to start business of her own, Universal Medical Corporation in 1994, which supplies medical equipment and chemicals to diagnostics and hospitals.
“I was 32 and children started going to school. I felt that was the right time to start business. I did not want to start in a big way and take risk as children were growing. I got Rs.1.5 lakh from my father as an investment and later repaid him. UMC works as a dealer for various lab equipment and chemical manufactures,” she said.
She has a dream and the management skills to turn it in to reality. “I don’t have any knowledge in the pharmaceutical or medical field. Neither do I know the proper spellings of the chemicals. But I know how to manage and run the operations of the company. I used to go to the hospitals and diagnostic centres for orders. There were not any many major challenges. The company broke even in two years and has reached revenues of Rs.4crore in 2006,”
UMC got an unexpected hit the same year. She says, “The company from where we sourced our chemicals and equipment was closed down due to internal issues. As part of the policy, we pay money in advance for the stock and it got stuck with the company. We lost around `15 lakh but did not lose our morale,”
“In no time, we got offer from other company as we have good client base and name in the industry. Not only that, our good will and discipline helps us even if there is a late payment at times,” she says. UMC has revived from the turmoil and has reached `2.5 crore in revenues last fiscal.
When asked why the company had not grown exponentially. She says, “I deliberately did not let grow the company. When you want to grow rapidly, there are many risks. I have to tie up with unknown clients and companies to do business. We are quiet choosy with the companies and clientèle. Unless, they are notable and trusted, we don’t want to involve with them. I may also lose the precious time that I have, which I am spending on various activities,”
Durga Bhavani did not forget her childhood dream even after 40 years. Not only she realised her dream, but want to do contribute to whatever possible for the people who are passionate of similar dreams. She devotes time, when ever needed at Association of lady Entrepreneurs of Andhra Pradesh (ALEAP). “I served in various positions at ALEAP and became active part of entrepreneurship development program (EDP). If my business fulfils the financial needs, ALEAP satisfies me on personal front,”she says.
Company started: 1994
Number of clients: 60
Number of employees: 6
Revenues last fiscal: Rs.2.5 crore
Revenue target this fiscal: Rs.4 crore