By Diksha Belwal, Rang De Team
Personally I am a big fan of crafts and apparel. Visiting Industree Crafts was thus a fantastic opportunity for me. The units that are currently incubated By ICF will eventually spin off as self-sustaining units. These units are basically into apparels and crafts (like river grass boxes, laundry box, table mats, etc). To reduce the number of middlemen, they have a leader for each and every unit for managing the production as per the orders received.Industreee crafts sources the raw materials like river grass, screw pine, cardboard, zari strips, fabrics, etc from different places all across the country and allocates it to the units as per their demands.
The leaders of the units recruit interested people and provide them on job training for 3 months. They call them a Helper. The helpers are trained under the supervision of the leader as per their interest and skills.
They also organise a monthly meeting to know if they have an inventory of raw materials to deliver the upcoming orders in real time. An inventory for one month’s production is always maintained.
The production flow goes on from one person to other as per their specialisation. Eg.The river grass looms are sourced from the units based in Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri which further goes for cutting, stitching and finishing for designing a table mat or a laundry box. After a final screening by the leader, once the product is ready, it has to be transferred to the Industree crafts warehouse. The designs given by the designers of Industree Crafts is the sole property of them. The artisans are not allowed to sell them to others. However, they are free to market the products through other marketing firms as long as the design is different. Presently these units have taken orders from Volvo (for velvet boxes) to market their products.
As other SHG’s they too have a saving system in place. Every member of the unit saves some money (Rs.50 or 100) as per their capability which further can be used to provide an internal loan to the members.
To see them happy after getting a loan from Rang De made my trip worthwhile. The leader pooled in the money and utilised it either for sourcing the raw materials, installing a new machine or for purchasing a generator depending upon the need of the groups. They all were grateful for getting just in time working capital loans and at affordable interest rates.
The artisans from ICF are up on our site. View their profiles and invest in them (click the micro-ventures tab after opening the link).