Address: 3/43 main road, Melakkrl Village, Vadipatti Taluka, Tamil Nadu.
Email Id: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Mr. Murugesan is a school dropout who hails from the village of Melakkal in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. Despite many agricultural setbacksMurugesan and his wife Malarkodi and other elders in the family began to discuss in 2008, the scope of using banana plant waste. Murugesan discovered a way to make banana waste into ropes for bags and baskets. Murugesan set up MS Ropes Production Center winning him many awards and accolades. But the journey has not been easy. (also see https://www.kviconline.gov.in/pmegp/pmegpweb/docs/successstoryfile/20150622143552.pdf, https://grid.undp.org.in/practices/9o3j0CyQPem7c2#6/9.985/77.985 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBbaGLsO_zs)
Murugesan has received the PMEGP (Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme) Award from Khadi and Village Industries Commission under the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, National Farmer Scientist Award from Union Ministry for Agriculture, and Best Entrepreneur Award from Krishi Vigyan Kendra at Jabalpur. The Prime Minister of India referred to his enterprise in his weekly dialogue with the countrymen.
“What we do is braid the strands together to achieve a good tensile strength. We had to make sure that the products that we were making out of this were worth the money,” he said.
Salient Features: The hand-wheel mechanism to make rope from the banana sheath, and that took five people per wheel for the process, and each wheel yielded only around 2,500 metres of rope. With the new machine, the production capacity is on average 15,000 metres using one machine and with just four people in all. The company initially started with 10 people and now has over 350, mostly women.
Challenges: He saw the banana thread being used to thread flowers for garlands. But it was difficult in the beginning as the rope would not stay connected, and kept splitting. Earlier, no machine could do the job of splitting the banana fiber. He even tried to use machines that processed coconut husk. But it did not work. In his native area, Murugesan says some machines are used to process coconut husk into ropes, and he first tried processing the banana fiber also in the same machine.
Overcoming the Challenges: After many attempts, Murugesan developed a spinning machine using bicycle wheel rims and pulleys. To make it better, he invested Rs 1.5 lakh and patented it. In 2017 he developed an automated rope-making machine.
Future aspirations: To enhance the production capacity and also create more employment opportunities.
Awards and Honours: He received many awards: Citi bank Entrepreneur award of Rs 2 lakhs in 2008, Farmer scientist Award by ICAR Rs.5 lakhs in 2010, Tamil Nadu Govt. Handicraft Award (Poompuhar) of Rs.50,000 in 2013 and MSME micro enterprise Award 2016.
- Technology up-gradation for automatic rope making machine
- Marketing support to expand his business.
- Given the fact that natural fibers in great demand as such and in various forms, do see a market in Europe?
- Can you find some unusual use cases for this fiber?