It is hard to find women in the world of logistics. However, Jamuna Rani and her all-women team have succeeded with their sheer determination.
In Ramapuram, Chennai, a place bustling with commercial establishments, Jamuna Rani runs an all-women package delivery centre named Sarini Associates. In an otherwise male dominated profession, Jamuna took a bold move in this direction in early 2016 in partnership with Amazon.
How this innovative idea found its roots “Although I was excited, I was also hesitant, but my family motivated me in its favour,” says Jamuna. They suggested her to not wait, but to go ahead and take the plunge. Prior to this, she worked as an IT support engineer for around ten years. Last year, she decided to kick-start this venture. Even in the early days, she realized that this could become an inspiring idea and a model to replicate for other women. Initially, she set off by recruiting three delivery associates through her network. Now, the team has expanded to ten enterprising women.
Creating a culture of empathy and flexibility One of the positive things about her team is how they understand each other’s problems, and are willing to go the extra mile to help out. Everyone appreciates the challenge of juggling work and home, and so they back the other when needed. Jamuna has created a work environment with flexible hours. “As an Indian woman, you’ll always have responsibilities at home and you cannot shy away from them. So, having this flexibility has helped not just the team, but me, too,” shares Jamuna. Many of her associates drop their children at school in the morning, or take a break during lunch to attend to family. “However, this never comes in the way of work, as we are very clear about what needs to be done for the day and the team always does what is needed to accomplish that ”, she explains.
Partnership with Amazon It was Amazon, who, first, proposed the idea to her, seeing the potential of this becoming a way to lead the change in an otherwise male-dominated industry. “The best thing about working with Amazon is that the processes are extremely clear and transparent. There are checklists to manage our deliveries, leaving no space for any ambiguity. This makes our job easier,” says Jamuna. Did she face any challenges initially in establishing the idea of a women delivery centre? “Not exactly,” she says. “We’ve always felt welcomed by everyone – the customers and the people at Amazon. Most people are excited about the concept, and are eager to make this model center succeed.” A year since its inception, this woman brigade is looking to expand their service to other areas as well. Jamuna believes that it all starts with taking one step forward. “If we, women, take one step forward, we can change the world,” she urges.