Artisan Laxmi just made a phone call to Kaki Shroff, founder of Women on Wings’ business partner Shrujan. Laxmi is eager to get more work and she hopes Kaki will soon give her another saree to embroider. Women on Wings expert Annet van den Hoek recently worked with the team of Shrujan in Bhuj, Kutch, on improving its sales so that women like Laxmi are assured of sufficient work. Shrujan is a social venture selling exquisite embroidered products in their own 3 shops, through various exhibitions all over India and online.
Getting the management team in position
Annet van den Hoek: “The team feels responsible and they have developed good systems to track production and sales figures. However, there was not yet a system to use these figures in management decisions. So, we worked on how to work as a team, developed shared objectives and outlined a collective strategy on how to achieve these. The team experienced the power of shared responsibility and learnt how to take decisions collectively.”
Full focus on sales
The team also worked on plans to improve sales, like creating new and contemporary designs. Ami Shroff, director at Shrujan: “We will organize a “design week” three times a year, during which designers will be invited to sit together with our artisans and sales people to develop new fashionable garments and embroidery. And the Mumbai store will be relocated to a higher footfall location.” Next to this, new targets were set for increasing sales through existing and new webshops.
Laxmi, one of the 3,900 loyal artisans for Shrujan
To better understand the entire production chain, the team also went to one of the villages where women live that are connected to Shrujan. Currently 3,900 women like Laxmi earn an income through Shrujan. Besides, Shrujan helps to safeguard and keep alive the unique embroidery arts and stitching techniques of Kutch societies. Women on Wings and Shrujan started collaborating in 2011. Since then, over 1,200 new jobs for women in and around Bhuj have been co-created.