With each passing day, women having to fight for their self-worth and independence have become increasingly common. In a day and age, where women and girls are subjected to subordination in many parts of India, 46-year-old Jasmini Oza has been setting an example for all in a quaint village in Gujarat’s Pali Dhuya.
Jasmini Oza was interested in business from a very young age
Born to a family of agriculturalists and farmers in Sarigam, Oza, right from a very young age, understood the importance of saving money. Even as a school student, she had expressed her desires to run a business in the most efficient manner. She said, “Even when I was young, I knew I wanted to do something on my own, like run a business.”
Of course, her parents had a considerably large role to play which spiked Oza’s interest in business. “I used to see distributors and businessmen coming and meeting my father who ran a large farming business apart from investing time in cultivation.”
Narrating her experience, she said that her father has been a big influence in her life. She started planning for her future at a very tender age. At the age of eight or nine years, she used to take produce from her farmland to the local market where she exchanged it for other items.
“I exchanged curry leaves, mangoes and Sapota for chillies and other vegetables,” she said. Her quest to become a bona fide businesswoman led her to sell milk to a teacher when she was in high school. Oza travelled four kilometres with a litre of milk, every day. She used to save up the money that she earned to buy dry fruits from a local vendor on weekends. She would share her sweet earnings only with her mother.
After graduating from school, she went to study at a college in Vapi. At the age of 20, right after graduation, she got married. Her husband too had an interest in farming. However, the marriage did not tie her down as right after graduating, Oza started to work on plastic distributorship – a business which she ran successfully for 25 years.
The beginning of a career as a life advisor
Oza dreamt of doing something bigger and the opportunity soon came knocking. In 2005, Kotak Life Insurance, which had recently opened a branch in her area, approached Oza’s husband with the offer of becoming a Life Insurance Advisor. She said, “Instead of signing himself up, my husband suggested my name, the best salesperson he ever knew.”
While she was hesitant to begin work as a Life Advisor at first, once on the job, Oza just fell in love with it. She said, “I did not think that I was well suited for the job, I did not think that I could do it efficiently.” While these doubts clouded her mind, little did she know that she would go on to positively influence 3000 clients over the next 18 years.
She said, “I knew I possessed the entrepreneurial skills and perhaps that is what helped me become successful.” With a number of feathers in her cap, today, she is nothing short of a celebrated personality in her village.
She said that her job is not merely restricted to convincing people to opt for life insurance. “The village that I am in is backward, in the sense that I have had to educate the villagers about the importance of life insurance”
Not only have her clients become more educated, but are alert as well. “Nowadays, they watch the news before watching serials,” she said.
As a successful Life Advisor, Oza is immensely thankful to Kotak Life Insurance for the opportunity. She understands her clients’ woes and strives to provide them with meaningful solutions, thereby setting an example for women and men alike. Hard work pays off, and Jasmini Oza is living proof of it.