Dr Megha Phansalkar : Tisser Artisan Trust
Name: Dr Megha Phansalkar
Business Name: Tisser Artisan Trust
Location: Mumbai, India
Establishment (Year): 2016
Profession/ Specialty: Handicrafts and Manufacturing
Tisser Artisan Trust is an entrepreneurial venture, functioning as a tool for social upliftment of rural clusters of India. Restoring the dignity of work by skilling women in rural clusters and providing them job opportunities. The opportunities created aim at reviving the handicraft products inspired by the rich cultural heritage of India, each art community across geography with its unique offering. Taking forth the women and art in long strides of empowerment and exposure.
They are selling handloom & handcrafted products, up till now designed over 1000 customized products; current catalogue of more than 2500 SKUs, 50 handloom fabrics, 20 forms of textile painting, 200 forms of handicrafts. There are various handmade product categories they cater to their valued customers. Currently, they are dealing in following broad categories:
● Clothing: Female/Male/Kids
● Home segment: Home linen/Décor/Artifact/Utility/Furniture/Room wise Items/Garden products
● Accessories: Personal/Home
● Gifting: Corporate/Personal/Home
Their key customers are clients who wish to bring a little part of traditional India into their spaces.
They reach out to their customers through their connection with Designers, Architects, and builders. Relations with the hospitality industry have helped us get in touch with the needs of hotels. They are working towards forming a bond with Decor companies that share similar ideals and have a requirement of innovative, artistic products that allow us to reach a wider customer base. Tisser tries to reach as many people as possible through our social media channels like Instagram, Facebook, Tisser Website, etc. Online portals like Amazon and Flipkart also contribute to reaching a wider audience. Personal connect and word-of-mouth also helps us to reach out to people.
Unique Selling Proposition / Competitive Advantage:
Their USPs and their Uniqueness :
● Innovative Designs
● Brand Name
● Fusion of Art forms
● Social Messaging
To ensure that the contemporary demands of the consumers are met, Tisser design team personally look into the products being developed by the rural artisans and weavers across India and then decide the best designs and quality control to attract not only local, but also international consumers. Tisser’s endeavor is to bring customers a choice of products – and lifestyle – that offers an alternative to the mass-produced, while creating sustainable lively- hoods in the rural sector.
Challenges faced during the Journey:
Rural India has always been rich in terms of its culture, be it arts, crafts, language, cuisine, or ethnicity. Indian arts and crafts are high-demand products in the global market, however there are critical gaps in the business ecosystem of popular arts and crafts. Creative artisans, especially women, have been devoid of opportunities to get up-skilled, the confidence to be entrepreneurs and running large scale collectives for economic empowerment. The key challenges remain limited enterprise capacity, lack of detailing, finishing and demand based creativity, packaging, branding, showcasing, investments and sustainability.
In other words the old art of handloom & handicraft is being neglected due to lack of opportunities and innovations making the lives of Indian artists and weavers difficult. The community of artisans has become unorganized. Middlemen exploit the artisans’ skills which results in an imbalance of the income received by artisans and the value they add to manufacturing of products, where the former is much lower than the latter.
Advice for Women Entrepreneurs:
Dr Megha would like to advice all female entrepreurs to first, 'Never loose hope'. She also says to continue striving hard and work to towards your goals and keep struggling and overcome challenges, so that you can definitely succeed and achieve your goals