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 topic : When Drugs Almost Ruined My Family, Fruit Wine Making Lessons on YouTube Saved Me #IndiaNEWS #Small Businesses of India For anyone who has ever doubted the phrase “one door closes, another opens?,

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When Drugs Almost Ruined My Family, Fruit Wine Making Lessons on YouTube Saved Me #IndiaNEWS #Small Businesses of India
For anyone who has ever doubted the phrase “one door closes, another opens?, Sopem MK’s story will make you a believer again.  



As she speaks to The Better India over a call, she is hustling to get her bottles of juice ready for the day for a long line of customers. In her words, this is what gets her excited every day.  



To get to this stage of life has been tough, recounts Sopem. Having grown up in a family where her father and brother would abuse drugs, she had no one to turn to for support.  



Sopem MK, Picture credits: Sopem MK


“From a young age, I used to look for ways to earn money,? she says, adding that when she was 16, she began working with a family and taking care of their children in order to support herself.  



When she somehow managed to complete her Class 12, she was unable to study further due to family circumstances. And so she decided to pack her bags to venture into the real world that lay beyond the hills.  



After a winding road and a series of twists and turns, today her fruit wine venture Great Pair has an ardent fan following.  



But the journey certainly wasn’t an easy road.  



Multiple jobs and a host of challenges 



As the 26-year-old from Manipur recounts, she left for Delhi after Class 12, where she worked in a showroom that sold gowns and dresses. “I stayed in the city for six months but then had to leave as my salary was not enough for me to afford my rent. ?



Pickles and fruit wines are sold by the Great Pair, Picture credits: Sopem MK


Following this, Sopem went to Chennai where her relatives lived and got a job as a hostess in a Korean restaurant.  



“It was a lot of multitasking,? she says, adding that some days she even cleaned the toilets and swept the place. But since she needed the money, Sopem decided to carry on, but fate had other plans.



“Over time, my health started deteriorating as I was working almost 18-hour shifts,? she says. “My motive was to earn at least a little money so I could afford a flight ticket back home. ? 



Within three months of working, Sopem was able to finally return home and while in Manipur, took admission in a course of food and beverage at a government college.  



“I had no one to guide me. I would study for the exams and work the rest of the time as a hostess in a restaurant,? she says.   



Unknowingly, while Sopem thought life was going nowhere, it is during this time that the roots for her venture were sown.  



As she recounts,  she would go into the kitchen during her breaks and ask the chef about the mocktails and cocktails he was preparing, as well as their recipes.


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