It all began on 15th march 1959, which was a warm 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 few of them, seven to be exact, gathered on the terrace of the building and started a small inconspicuous function. The function ended shortly, the result – production of 4 packets of Papads and a firm resolve to continue production. This pioneer batch of 7 ladies had set the ball rolling.
As the days went by, the additions to this initial group of 7 was ever-increasing. The institution began to grow.
The early days were not easy. The institution has its trials and tribulation. The faith and patience of the members were put to test on several occasion – 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 commercial footing.
With quality consciousness as the principle that guided production, Lijjat grew to be the flourishing and successful organisation that it is today.
Shri Mahila Griha Udyog Lijjat Papad is a Women’s organisation manufacturing various products from Papad, Appalam, Masala, Gehu Atta, Chapati, SASA Detergent Powder, SASA Detergent Cake (Tikia), SASA Liquid Detergent.
The organisation is wide-spread, with it’s Central Office at Mumbai and it’s 81 Branches and 27 Divisions in different states all over India.
Membership has also expanded from an initial number of 7 sisters from one building to over 43,000 sisters throughout India.
The success of the organization stems from the efforts of it’s member sisters who have withstood several hardships with unshakable belief in ‘the strength of a woman’.
The Institution will always and ever be grateful to “Pitamaha” Late Shri Dattanibapa (Shri Purshottam Damodar Dattani) for his contributions towards the Institution who showed the correct path and guided the Institution till his last breath.
Shri Mahila Griha Udyog has diversified its various activities. Besides it’s world famous papads it also currently has –
A Flour Division at Vashi (Mumbai) where flour is milled from Udad Dal and Moong Dal.
A Masala Division at Cottongreen (alongwith a Quality Control Laboratory) at the same place where different kinds of spice powders like Turmeric, Chillies, Coriander and ready mix masala and like Garam Masala, Tea Masala, Pav Bhaji Masala, Punjabi Chole Masala etc. are prepared and packed in consumer packs.
A Printing Division also at the same place.
Lijjat Advertising Division at Bandra (Mumbai)
Chapati Divisions at Bandra, Wadala, Mulund & Kandivali
A Polypropylene set-up at Kashi-Mira Road.
A Detergent Powder and Cakes manufacturing unit at Pune (Sanaswadi) .
Shri Mahila Griha Udyog Lijjat Papad is synthesis of three different concepts, namely
(1) The concept of Business
(2) The concept of family
(3) The concept of Devotion
All these concept 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 its dealings are carried out on a sound and pragmatic footing – Production of quality goods and at reasonable prices. It has never and nor will it in the future, accept any charity, donation, gift or grant from any quarter. On the contrary, the member sisters donate collectively for good causes from time to time according to their capacity.
Besides the concept of business, the institution along with all it’s member sisters have adopted the concept of mutual family affection, concern and trust. All affairs of the institution are dealt in a manner similar to that of a family carrying out its own daily household chores.
But the most important concept adopted by the institution is the concept of devotion. For the member sisters, employees and well wishers, the institution is never merely a place to earn one’s livelihood – It is 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. The institution is open for everybody who has faith in its basis concepts.