Anita Rai, a middle-class woman from the Tier 3 district- Kushinagar. Her native place is UP but born and brought up in Chennai. She possessed an entrepreneurial spirit since childhood. She had always been fascinated by the potential of agriculture to transform lives and communities. Anita belongs to a middle-class family and lived a simple life in Chennai till marriage. She got married to Raj Narayan Singh and shifted to Kushinagar, the eastern part of UP.
Since childhood, she had seen that banana was being produced in the whole of south India at a very large scale and had very good knowledge of the banana ecosystem in the southern part of the country. After marriage when she came to UP, she could clearly see that bananas were being grown by farmers in Kushinagar also but ecosystem was not as evolved as in south India. She has identified the gaps in the industry like there was no value addition on the banana. All fruits were being sold in raw form. Farmers were not getting the right prices. Lack of awareness about value-added products in the market, etc.
Anita believed that by introducing innovative banana-based products, she could boost the income of banana farmers, reduce wastage, and create employment opportunities in rural areas. With her savings, she decided to start the banana FMCG Business. But before that, she thought about getting training first. She explored the training options and got the training from NRCB (National Research Centre for Banana), Chennai. After training, she returned to Kushinagar and started her business with the brand name “KARPURA”.
Initially, she faced skepticism from the local community, but her determination and passion won them over. She began by establishing a small banana processing unit, employing local women and providing them with training to convert bananas into various products such as banana stem juice, banana pickles, banana chips, and banana flour.
Anita’s commitment to quality and innovation soon caught the attention of consumers and she
started getting repeat orders from the market and consumers. The response was overwhelming, and the demand for Karpura’s products began to grow not only in Kushinagar but also in nearby towns and cities such as Kanpur, Lucknow, Delhi, Ghaziabad, and Sultanpur.
Anita Rai’s journey from Chennai to Kushinagar is not only transforming the banana industry but also creating jobs, empowering local women, and bringing prosperity to the region. Her story became an inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs, especially women to come forward and convert their dreams into business reality.