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Kerala techie doubles her income growing Portulaca flowers

Parvathy Mohanan at her Portulaca garden in Cherthala, Kerala. Photo: Special Arrangement.

Parvathy Mohanan of Alappuzha in Kerala started growing Portulaca (Pathumani) as a hobby during her college days, but she never thought that her Portulaca garden would one day blossom into a revenue stream.

This 23-year-old techie, working as a software tester in an IT company in Infopark, Kakkanad, now earns an additional income in lakhs a year from her garden, fulfilling 10 to 15 orders for a combo pack of Portulaca plants every single day. She has even employed two women to manage the day to day activities of the garden that include packaging and couriering the orders.

In just five years, the simple hobby has not only turned into a thriving business venture for her but also a therapeutic activity to destress from the rigors of her job. It was while in her first year of engineering that Parvathy, a native of Cherthala, Alappuzha, started growing Portulaca plants in one and a half acres of land near her home.

“I am happy when I spend time taking care of the plants. Every weekend on my return from work, I spend considerable time in my garden. It helps me to rejuvenate and return to work full of energy and happiness. These plants are my happy pills,” Parvathy told “Open Digest“.

She is growing over 300 varieties of Portulaca plants, which she sourced from different parts of India, Thailand, and Brazil. She supplies these plants in two combo packs of 25 and 50 colours, with each pack containing two plants of the same colour. “Every day, we used to get orders for supplying 10 to 15 combo packs. The plants are carefully packed and couriered,” she said.

As her mother Rajani Mohanan is staying with her at Kakkanad, and her father V T Mohanan is working in Saudi Arabia as a chemical engineer, Parvathy has employed two women to take care of her plants and support her business while she is at Kakkanad for her job.

Parvathy says her garden is an example of how one can generate income even by a growing plant which does not have that much high value demand in the market. “There is immense opportunity around us to explore simple ways to earn a decent income. As I love flowers and plants, I feel happy spending time working on the garden. It’s never a job for me,” she said.

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