28 May 2020

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Stoicism against floods; How a Kerala Tile Company is fighting back for its survival

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Putharikkal Tile

Stoicism against floods; How a Kerala Tile Company is fighting back for its survival.



Company Name: Putharikkal Tile Workers

Owner : Shaju

Location : Trichur, Kerala


The nature of weather is mysterious. Some days you witness the thin line between a sunny day and a huge thunderstorm. Human race has spent years trying to predict weather patterns, but it’s still a vague skill. In the month of August 2018, Kerala was thwacked by one of the worst floods to hit the state in a century. Flooded hospitals, a swamped international airport, fizzled electricity and more than a million people in relief camps; God’s own country is truly suffering. Still, amidst hundreds of deaths and crores of damages, people have been displaying incredible courage.

Plenty of stories of valour:

The flood had a devastating impact on the tile business in Parappanangadi, which had been trying to make a mark in the industry. When the flood hit the factory of Putharikkal Tile Workers, a small-scale co-operative business company, all hell broke loose.

Putharikkal Tile Workers


Putharikkal Tile Workers“From clay, kerosene, bricks, hollow bricks, racks, motors to computers, printers, scanners and office furniture, the flood knocked out everything. We felt like this is the end.” said Shaju, the secretary of the organisation. Within hours, the factory was almost drowned in water and so did the hard work of some 18-20 employees.

Financial loss that they suffered is immense:


Description Amount
Raw materials RS. 9,06,686
Half-made products RS. 1,15,450
Furnace RS. 3,00,000
Motors RS. 75,000
Racks RS. 3,69,000
Clay RS. 7,44,000
Firewood RS. 60,880
Oil RS. 22,250
Computer, printer, scanner & accessories RS. 43,400
Office furniture RS. 10,000
Water tank and utensils RS. 5000
Groceries RS. 15,000
Total loss RS. 26,66,666

For a business that had the annual revenue of 37 lakh rupees in 2017-2018, suffering a loss of 26 lakh rupees is a huge tragedy.

Putharikkal Tile WorkersThe sun has finally come out in Kerala and people are ready to fight back. The floodwaters have finally receded from the factory, but left behind excesses that will take a forever to clean up. Could this be the end of an ambitious endeavour? It is a straight no from Putharikkal Tile Workers. As almost two dozen workers mustered inside the factory, meticulously cleaning the end products and machineries, the message is clear. They are not ready to give up. Right now, they're rolling up their sleeves and cleaning the products, one brick at a time. A disaster can bring risks and opportunities; The rebuilding efforts are showing how determined they are to fight back.

“What’s your next step?“ I ask Shaju. “Repairing the motors.” came his reply.

With their will to survive, this team is unknowingly seeding hope within their local communities.

Putharikkal Tile Workers

Putharikkal Tile Workers is a thriving example of small scale industries’ potential. Rising from the ashes of disaster, it will serve as an example for all kinds of SMEs. To other devastated businesses still under reconstruction, this story serves as a beacon of potential and determination. But, considering the amount of loss that they suffered, the mindset to fight back is not enough; The Company needs all the support that it can get right now.


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