Creating market opportunities for women artisans in Thar Desert

Gramin Vikas Evam Chetna Sansthan (GVCS) is a grass root non-profit organization from Barmer district in the Thar Desert in Rajasthan. GVCS has a network of 11,000 artisans out of which 3,000 get regular work. To provide more artisans with regular work, a team of Women on Wings worked with the team of GVCS on the co-creation of a marketing & sales plan and on co-building a brand for GVCS.

Finding markets for beautiful handmade products
The artisans with whom GVCS works are specialized in Embroidery, Applique and Patchwork. With these techniques they make the most beautiful products, like bedcovers, curtains, cushions and bags. Cornelie Guise, expert for women on Wings, and Anupama Mairal, Senior Consultant at Women on Wings worked for 2 days with the team of GVCS. Cornelie: “ We brainstormed on how to create more market opportunities for these beautiful products of GVCS. What are the challenges and opportunities and how to identify them. We also discussed the challenges regarding working with large retailers, the opportunities of product segmentation, pricing in general, competitors and outsourcing of fabrics & stitching. We also did a brainstorm exercise on branding. We had great fun thinking out of the box concerning names and values.”

Potential and opportunities
With the potential of GVCS and its large network, there are a lot of opportunities for increasing sales. The challenge is getting to know the market and targeting that market with a more active sales approach. Therefor the Women on Wings and GVCS teams focussed on marketing & sales, sales skills & tactics and the value chain. How to use the existing network for more sales, explore the world-wide-web to find new customers and how to get the most out of the Linked-in network. The GVCS team is now working on finalizing their prospect list for 2016. The main deliverables of the visit are a list of potential brand names and the marketing & sales plan, including timings for the first quarter of 2016.