Women in the Indian region of Kutch make wonderful products, but selling these needs some more creativity. From 21 to 26 January, expert Annet van den Hoek worked with the team of Shrujan in Mumbai and Bhuj, Gujarat, to identify the challenges and solutions for increasing sales.
On the first day in Mumbai, Annet and Maria van der Heijden, managing co-founder Women on Wings, worked with the board members and the sales team of Shrujan. Annet then went to Bhuj where she worked intensively with the managers of production, quality and marketing & sales on exploring how productivity and sales can increase. This resulted in some concrete steps in e.g., quality control, better coordination of the designs to the market, the organization of events for high-end customers and focus on products with high margins.
The objective of this visit was working on solutions to increase sales so Shrujan can create more employment (and income) for women who embroider. “We need to fix the ratio,” said sales manager Shelly, “and sell at least 60 % of the stock we bring to an exhibition. Let us give priority to exclusive items.”
And how do female artisans in the villages benefit from this? Shrujan now produces more than it can sell to keep 3,000 female artisans at work. Which results in large stocks. The next step is to strengthen the organization and management of Shrujan and increase the incomes of women. These women are proud of their rich heritage, craftsmanship and culture, and they make beautiful products. Shrujan sells these wonderful products and by doing so, stimulates tourism for the handicrafts in the Kutch region which has shown a rapid growth in the last year.