IIM Sambalpur Launches On-board Process for Master Weavers and Artisans in Digital Marketing Platform

Sambalpur: Indian Institute of Management, Sambalpur as per MoU with Flipkart has launched the On-board process for Master weavers and Artisans in Digital Marketing platform.

The program was attended by 28 Nos of Master weavers & Artisans from Bargarh and Sambalpur district and people from media and local communities. The program was graced by Prof. Mahadeo Jaiswal, Director, IIM Sambalpur; Akash Mishra, Director, Government Affairs, East Region Flipkart Group; Dr. Subhransu Acharya, CGM SIDBI; Monisha Banerjee, DM & Collector, Bargarh; Ananya Das,

DM & Collector, Sambalpur; Dr. Surendra Meher, Master Weaver; Ramkrishna Meher, Master Weaver. An MoU with SIDBI and IIM Sambalpur was also signed for Entrepreneurial capacity building for master weavers and artisans. The MoU is signed by Director, IIM Sambalpur and CGM, SIDBI.

Speaking on the occasion, Prof. Mahadeo Jaiswal, Director, IIM Sambalpur, highlighted that “IIM Sambalpur is promoting focus on building entrepreneurial capacityfor the country and to access the global market. In IIM Sambalpur we think about the whole community and its education. We think about how to make Indian companies global, which is aligned with the vision of the Prime Minister. When Britishers came to India, India was the most affluent country with 22% of the world’s GDP, and when they left it was 5%. Now we are again back to the top five but we need to do a lot more. In Sambalpur, creators, artists, and weavers can be the epicentre of entrepreneurship. Artists are the pioneers of innovation. Just like Silicon Valley, we have Silk valley here, Shlipkar Valley here. Just like five elements of nature, there are five partners that have to collaborate: An eminent institution, IIM Sambalpur; entrepreneurs who are the master weavers; venture capitalists; government support; and lastly a digital platform i.e., Flipkart.”

Additionally mentioned that” There will be three stages-1st stage aims at digital logistics and access to the market. 2nd stage aims atbuilding competitive capacity and bringingthe handloom of different states, analyzing and expanding the project nationwide. 3rd stage aims attying up with the global market and commercializing the handloomworldwide “.

Speaking on the occasion, Akash Mishra, Director, Government Affairs, East Region Flipkart Group; highlighted, “Started the speech by thanking all the dignitaries present at the event. Also, mentioned the efforts of Flipkart in the upliftment of lesser-known art skills in the country. Also mentioned the evolution of technology and how the market has shifted from offline to online stores. In the last years of covid, the online market has grown by more than 100%. This MoU will help artisans and weavers to onboard their products in the online market and congratulated all the artisans and weavers for their onboarding in the online market”.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Subhransu Acharya, CGM SIDBI, highlighted,” Artisans and weavers are not getting the opportunity to grow in the national market and this MoU will help them in placing them on a nationwide scale. There are new projects which have been signed for the formalization of MSME Units. The evolution of entrepreneurship in the country has given many opportunities to various industries and IIM Sambalpur will be contributing greatly with the help of the latest technology. Currently, we lack formalization and digitalization which are the two essential qualities for growth. MSME provides a 30% contribution to the GDP, therefore, we need to focus on that. Also, we need to focus and grow in the cluster. Also added, It’s difficult for artisans and weavers to onboard on big digital platforms like Flipkart and Amazon, and this MoU will give them the opportunity and equal rights. IIM Sambalpur will play a major role in achieving this feat”.

Monisha Banerjee, DM & Collector, Bargarh, said,” Development of supply and diversification of market are the key areas that need to be worked upon. Online platforms are extremely important and we are accustomed to online platforms. The real beauty and authenticity of the Sambalpuri handloom is not known to people. We need to present the story and efforts of making these products. About 17,000 artisans and weavers are present in Bargarh only, therefore, we need to have more workshops till each and every artisan knows the diversification of the products. Our artisans and weavers are not able to put out their stories and IIM Sambalpur along with NIFT will contribute majorly to achieve this”.

Ananya Das, DM & Collector, Sambalpur, said,” The need of spreading the awareness and importance of Sambalpuri handloom on a nationwide scale. There is a whole story of a handloom family of 3-4 months making a single Sambalpuri saree. Customers will pay a premium for a product once they get to know the authenticity of the product and the story behind making it. Once the MoU gets well structured, Flipkart should focus on presenting the real efforts and story behind making those, so that customers will get attracted to the product. Also added, IIM Sambalpur along with Flipkart and SIDBI will take these regional products to a national scale”.

Speaking on the occasion, Surendra Meher, Master Weaver, ” Thanked IIM Sambalpur for inviting and being a part of such an event which will uplift the local artisans and weavers. Artisans and weavers don’t have the required resources and this MoU will help them to grow. Also, reflected on the beauty and importance of handloom and stressed saving this skill and art of Sambalpuri textile. Mentioned that partnership with SIDBI will definitely help the artisans and weavers community to grow at the national level. He ended his speech by thanking all the dignitaries on behalf of all the artisans and weavers”.

Speaking on the occasion, Ramkrishna Meher, Master Weaver, said,” It’s a big thing that an institute of national importance like IIM Sambalpur is thinking and taking efforts in providing the necessary platforms to artisans and weavers. Textile and Handloom is different. Every cloth is textile but handloom is processed and created by hand. Every member of the handloom manufacturing family contributes to create the product. Handloom has historical importance associated with Odisha, with the help of Flipkart and SIDBI, Sambalpuri handloom will get national importance. Digitalization, Computerization and Globalization will be the key for the development of this industry and IIM Sambalpur will be contributing greatly”.

The event concluded by stating the objectives, i.e.”

1) To strengthen the small businesses/ micro-enterprise ecosystem of various craft clusters across the state and country in general and Bargarh/ Sambalpur/ Sonepur districts handloom cluster in specific by undertaking strategic initiatives in the medium to long term.

2) Strengthening the clusters by fuelling a culture of entrepreneurship and helping the budding and the second generation of weavers & craftsmen to establish professional enterprises.

3) Facilitating access of MSME to various support services for business facilitation.

4) Making supply chains more competitive.

5) Helping clusters become self-sustainable& develop the select clusters as role models”

IIM Sambalpur, with its core values of Innovation, Integrity, and Inclusiveness, is focused on nation-building and is committed to contributing to the country’s development. The Institute is now working on developing solutions for artisans, weavers, & small businesses to help them grow, thrive & compete with the increasingly competitive market through digital platforms.

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