A mother of three, Wabangnaro Aier Sooting is a serial entrepreneur who hails from Nagaland. Her husband passed away several years back and since then she has been running multiple businesses while raising her children independently and securing a prosperous financial future for them.
To date, she has 16+ years of experience in running her direct selling business with Oriflame - where she is highly successful and has been elevated to the prestigious position of Diamond Director. Besides, she has also been running a homestay (guest house for tourists) venture and a commercial property rental business for many years now.
Being associated with the global beauty brand for many years, Wabangnaro has had the chance to travel across the globe, while exploring a variety of cuisines and ready-to-eat food, snacks and desserts. Having a great passion for baking from a young age, she wanted to bring globally acclaimed bakery products and innovative ways of baking to the Indian market. So, in 2017, she decided to start up a new business venture - a home-based bakery named Petite Paris - which sells a variety of products such as cakes, tarts, pies, cookies, bread etc., while striving to maintain the highest quality of standards and baking with healthy ingredients.
From initially having only a few friends, acquaintances and relatives as its customers, Petite Paris grew substantially over the years and went on to establish a solid customer base in Dimapur (Nagaland) - from where it operated previously. However, in September last year, Wabangnaro decided to shift to Shillong due to personal reasons, and since then, she is working dedicatedly to re-establish her enterprise in the new place and market. Petite Paris currently consists of a team of 3 people and markets and sells its products mainly through Instagram and word-of-mouth publicity.
Sooting was a part of Project Her&Now's Entrepreneurship Support Programme in the Northeast Region (NER), which helped her to bounce back stronger in running and growing her home-bakery amid the uncertain scenario ushered by the Covid-19 pandemic. ï¿½Her&Now - Empowering Women Entrepreneurs' is implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft fï¿½r Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), and in partnership with the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE), Government of India. In Meghalaya and in other states of the North East Region, the Project is running in partnership with ï¿½Dhritii - The Courage Within'. Notably, Her&Now, GIZ has also recently come out with a detailed report titled "Women Entrepreneurs' Resilience in Times of Covid-19", in a bid to help women entrepreneurs like Wabangnaro learn from the best practices and business strategies for figuring out the optimal way forward in the new normal.
"It was a new chapter and a new challenge altogether in my entrepreneurship journey that I took up last year after moving to Shillong. Because of the pandemic and the lockdowns, I was feeling quite low and isolated, and in my mind, I was unsure about what the future holds. However, things shifted drastically in my favour after joining the Her&Now programme. Being a part of the programme, I could see and hear stories of many other women entrepreneurs from the North East who were rising above innumerable challenges and moving ahead in their entrepreneurship journeys notwithstanding the devastating effects of the pandemic. This gave me the confidence and the much-needed mental boost to continue running and nurturing my own venture, and in believing in myself -- that no matter what the external circumstances are, I can still be successful. Further, the mentorship sessions provided by the Her&Now mentors were quite insightful, and they pushed me to explore and implement various innovative ideas around marketing, packaging, increasing revenues, etc.," informs Wabangnaro Aier Sooting, Founder, Petite Paris.