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The woman entrepreneur who turned failure into success: Dr Elavarasi Jayakanth

Failure and success are part of life. Many people in our society take too much pride in their successes and end up coping with their failures. Elavarasi has achieved success in life through her efforts and also witnessed her failure. Although tired, the hope of coming back was strong in her. On the verge of nothing, she rebuilt her business and became one of the world’s best entrepreneurs.

Dr Elavarasi Jayakanth is the owner and CEO of Ashwathi Hot Chips, with multiple outlets in Thrissur, Kerala. She was a native of Usilampatti, Tamil Nadu. Her parents, Periya karuppa Thevar and Pappathi, came to Kerala and settled in Thrissur. She was the seventh child of her parents, who were street vendors.

Her Business Connections

Being the descendant of a snack vendor, she started her business in the first grade. She packed the remaining pakkavada powder and mixture into little packets after school and sold them for one penny near the local liquor store.

Elavarashi is an individual who struggled with setbacks, overcame them, and successfully regained everything she lost

Education her Passion

Studying in the fifth grade, Elavarasi was forced to quit her education. Her parents never encouraged her to pursue further education. Elavarasi was the only member of her family to acquire a fundamental education. However, her family did not emphasise the importance of educating their children. She supported her parents in their business and with housework for the following two years. But the little girl wanted to continue her studies. With the help of her elder brother and support from an aunt from the neighbourhood, she joined school again. Despite her initial failure, she was successful on her second attempt at SSLC and joined a pre-degree course. Her father passed on the day of her second-year exam. She then enrolled in a private college for a degree but dropped it in its second year.

Beginning a business

After getting married, she started doing business. She made snacks like, chips and murukku and gave them to surrounding stores. Her business expanded as the days went by, and she constructed a new home, acquired vehicles, and bought some land. There, she constructed a supermarket in 2009. Elavarashi had 55 employees at the time, but that way of life did not endure long.

Business Collapsed

Her business collapsed due to a series of burglaries at her home. Bags of chips, a vehicle prepared for distribution and jewellery were lost. She was so shocked by the incident that she could not look after her ventures at that time. So, she closed her supermarket in 2012. At that time, her home was in foreclosure.

She received 183 honours, including an honorary doctorate from Kings University in Britain


Because of the stress and trauma of the robbery, Elavarassi had to spend months in hospitals, and no drugs were able to relieve her. She eventually realised that she couldn’t continue to live in fear. For the sake of her family, she had to get out of that situation. She so made a strong effort to achieve balance in her life.

Starting a small Shop

To let people know that she was there, Ilavarassi opened a small shop in the neighbourhood. She started selling paripuvadas,bajjii etc. to cover her expenses. She appealed to almost all banks to provide loans to prevent foreclosure. Her self-confidence and faith in ‘Vadakkumnathan’ supported her actions.


On the day of the confiscation, she called many banks for loans and finally received five lakhs and thus stopped the procedure. It increased her confidence. Thus, she put a lot of effort into rebuilding her business.

A Malabari award for Aswathy Hot chips

Aswathy Hot Chips

She opened a hot chips stall named Aswathy Hot Chips near the railway station in 2012. According to Elavarassi, she never added colour or preservatives to her products, which increased the demand for customers. Thus her business began to expand. So she started repaying her debts too.


Like everyone else, she waited through the early stages of Covid. Then started researching the possibilities of online marketing. Her products are accessible through online platforms.


She provides a variety of snacks such as tapioca chips, Jackfruit chips, elephant yam chips, Colocasia chips, banana chips, pineapple chips, different halwa and cakes, pickles without preservatives, including elephant yam pickles, Chinese potato pickles and more. The main peculiarity of this shop is that they sell vegetarian items in non-vegetarian style.

She receives Bisgate’s Emerging Entrepreneur Award from Minister of Fisheries, J Mercikutty Amma


She received the Best Entrepreneur Award from the International Peace Council in 2019, the Emerging Entrepreneur Award in 2018, the All India Women Entrepreneur Award, and an honorary doctorate from Kings University in Britain. She received 183 honours, including the Pachakarani Award, Kerala State Award, and All India Abraham Lincoln Award.

Elavarashi is an individual who struggled with setbacks, overcame them, and successfully regained everything she lost. She gained a lot of knowledge from her failures, which encouraged her to carry on. She conquered difficulties by having faith in both God and herself. She currently operates six stores in Thrissur and brings in more than five lakhs each month. Moreover, Elavarasi exports her products. She employs over 75 people, offers more than 70 different types of snacks and cakes, and sells 18 different kinds of pickles under her brand. High-quality new food products are the subject of research. She has 24 years of experience, confidence, tenacity, and family support, which have all helped her succeed. She now advances triumphantly, rising from the ashes of her suffering like a phoenix.

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