From The Telegraph
For further information, click on http://www.parichay.co.in/
Design hub for tribal artisans on XLRI radar- Group behind portal promoting handicraft now wants to link produce with market demand
|NILANJANA GHOSH CHOUDHURY|
Jamshedpur, April 16: If thinking out-of-the-box is the motto of all times, XLRI is making sure it stays ahead in the race — it is now directing attention on tribal artisans helping them develop better products in tune with the demand of the complex market place.
A group of students at the XLRI School of Business and Human Resources — working under the aegis of the Entrepreneurship Development Centre — is coming up with a state-of-the-art design centre here to train tribal artisans in making saleable products.
The group, comprising Chintan Agarwal, Kaushal Chandok, Darshan Rathod, Siddharth Shah, Vikas Sharma and Vivek Jain — all first year business management students — was the one behind last month’s launch of www.parichay.co.in, a portal for buying and selling tribal products.
“While developing the portal, we realised there was a huge disconnect between what the market wants and what tribal handicraft artists were making,” said Chandok, an IIT, Bombay, alumni.
“Therefore, we decided to come up with this design centre where trained hands can teach artisans to make products that can compete in the market,” he added.
Started as an independent students’ venture, Parichay is funded by XLRI as a part of its initiatives on promoting entrepreneurship among students.
Elaborating on the design centre, Chandok said they wanted to provide technical and advanced training to a couple of artisans from a particular village. “These villagers could, in turn, go back and train others.”
Some of the ideas being worked on were the manufacture of fusion products using new technology. For this, the students were in talks with leading organisations and designers for help in setting up the centre and training artisans.
“We are talking to some big names, but we can’t reveal details now,” said Sharma, another team member.
The students are also negotiating with architects and interior designers who would offer tips on making quality home decor.
“As of now, we have National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad on board. Others are yet to be finalised,” added Sharma.
As work continued to ensure the design hub was ready by June, the Parichay team received some good news from unexpected quarters. A group of students from Lanchester University, UK, has contacted them to use the portal to sell iron smelting products created by Asura tribals of Netarhat.
“Two of the students, who are now in Ranchi, got in touch with us advocating a tie-up through which they could sell the iron products to a wider market,” added Chandok. However, final plans were yet to be worked out.