My mother makes the best Idlis in the world. That's not an empty boast. Whenever there is a get together in our apartment / colony it was always her responsibility to make Idlis. People always say "Aachi, how do you make such wonderful idlis?". For the last ten years she has been thinking about making Idlis as a business. Every now and then we all get together and discuss various business models and at the end drop the idea. Too difficult, distribution is a headache were the common reasons.
This year she finally decided to sell Idli batter (maavu) to the neighbourhood grocery shop. So with my father pitching in with the sealing machine and me buying plastic bags, she started her business. It was with small quantities, 2 kgs on alternate days. After a couple of days the shopkeeper said, "You are using high quality rice. Normally people use ration rice for this, so why don't you also do the same?". The board of directors of the business (myself, my father and mother) sat together and decided that quality is more important and we would not sacrifice that.
It has been two months now and she is doing good business. People come to our home directly to buy. She is not keeping clear accounts and I don't know what is the ROI. But the effect of the business on my mom is awesome. There is a spring in her step and she feels that she is finally doing something on her own.