This video captures a few highlights from our conversation with Anupama. Read on for the full interview!
Tell me about your family and childhood?
I’m one of seven, six sisters and one brother. I’m the youngest. Anupama is my name. I was very naughty when I was little. I used to drive my mother crazy, but I was strong in academics and people liked me because I was alert and capricious. People wouldn’t even have to ask me a question and I’d start answering them, telling them, “No, no! It’s like this or that”. Because of this, my mother was always scolding me, saying, “Oh, you talk so much! Don’t talk so much. Just answer what you’ve been asked and not anything more.” Sometimes I obeyed, but oftentimes I forgot her teaching!
What was your biggest dream?
My biggest dream was to find a good job. I thought I’d become a lawyer because I used to talk so much! After my mother died and my father fell sick, I let that dream go because I wasn’t able to study.
When did you come to Patna?
When I got a little older, I got married and came to this neighborhood with my husband. My husband wasn’t working. I was still young and playing, and so was he! But, while we were still young, our first child was born. After this, our life became a bit sad. If a child comes, that child will need to study. If the child is going to drink, you have to have milk. A child needs clothes, needs everything. Now that we were parents, what were we going to do? We had to do something, so my husband and I both went to work tutoring students in a school. The work was okay, but I wasn’t happy.
How did you start working at Ziyada? What was training like for you?
At the school where I tutored, one of my friends told me about a new business, Ziyada, that was opening. She told me that I would get training and if I learned well, I could get selected for full time work. She told me I could get training in sewing. My whole life I’d worked with pencil and paper, but I did not know how to work with a needle and thread! My friend, Binda, said, “Just go! What’s the harm in trying?” So, I came here. I arrived just in time to fill out my application before the office closed. I started training with about 30 women in the group. Embroidery was taught, sewing was taught, everything was taught to us at Ziyada, but I didn’t pass training. My sewing was no good, and neither was my embroidery. Nothing of mine was good! I don’t know. God must be pleased with me, because I was selected for half time work anyway.
During training, I felt like, “Oh, I’m not doing anything right.” I had this sense that I was not going to get selected, but I just kept showing up. At the same time, my husband fell sick, and I had to miss two days of training. The rule was that if you didn’t show up for more than three days, you wouldn’t pass. But, thanks to God, I didn’t miss a third. I ended up being selected for a part-time position, but my skills were nothing special. Sometimes I filled pillows with cotton or brought supplies to others. Then, out of no where, Dustin and Mallary came to ask if I would want to work full time. They told me to talk with my family and let them know, but I knew that this work was necessary for my family. Suddenly, here was this gift for me, that I would get a full time position without even knowing how to sew!
What kind of work do you do now? How does this work make you feel?
After that, the company gave me computer training. The training made me realize that I was worthy and able to run the computer. Now, I feel so good about the work I do, so good that I can’t even fully explain it to you! I now deal with everything related to shipping. I take the finished products and get them packed, record their weights, sizes, quantities, create SKU numbers, and put them in the proper boxes. I record everything related to each shipment and can tell you what is in every box.
How has your work impacted your family?
My family is very happy that I work in such a great company, and they feel so proud. This company is not just about work, it is about care. At Ziyada, we are cared for, our families are cared for, and we are respected. In most companies, respect is only for the boss! I feel that the respect we receive from our bosses is what makes our company so special.
Just for fun, tell us a little about what you like to do in your spare time.
In my free time, I just love to dance. Especially when I’m feeling happy, there’s nothing better than dancing!
Anupama heads up our packing and shipping team. She is the proud mother to daughter, Rashmi, and two sons, Raja and Raj. In her free time, Anumpama loves spending time with her only granddaughter, Munmun, and her beloved husband, Vijay. We love her, and hope you enjoyed getting to know more about her and her role at Ziyada!