Suseela, The Grocer

Suseela Kaliyamoorty and her husband have been running their family business – a small shop selling spices, beverages, and groceries – for years. Every day, Suseela gets up at 4:30 in the morning to open the store, cook breakfast, and send her daughter off to school. The morning rush starts at 8:00 A.M., but her work isn’t over until 11 P.M. In 2009, Suseela and her husband received a loan from Accion partner IFMR Rural Channels, which they used to add a tea stand.

They now sell 200 to 300 cups of tea a day. The business has served Suseela’s family well: her two oldest daughters are studying engineering at college, their school fees paid with the shop’s income. “I like my work a lot,” Suseela said. “It allows me to give my children an education.”