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Lifestyle Product

Maheejaa in sync with the Handicraft Industry

Having a background of rich heritage, culture and history, India’s handicraft industry plays a major part in the economic growth of the country in its internal market as well as to the export basket earning a good amount of foreign currency and signifying a huge potential of expansion. With a growth rate of more than 15% over the last five years and contributing a share of  a whooping 10% per cent to the total export value of India the handicraft industry targets for a twenty five thousand crores market in recent future.Indian handicrafts, carrying a notable importance for its quality and craftsmanship to the connoisseurs of art,  are exported across geographies, with the top 10 destinations being the US, UK, UAE, Germany, France, Latin American countries, Italy, Netherlands, Canada and Australia.

 

 

Spread all over the country mainly in rural and sub-urban areas this labour intensive industry has become a major source of income for the rural and backward class communities creating employment for over seven million artisans. Being mostly unorganised and categorized under the small scale industry the production units are often family or small community based, labour intensive, requires very little use of machinery or capital input and operates mainly in regional basis.

 

 

Strength:

 The major strength of the Indian handicraft industry is that it has a large, diversified and potential market with a wide variety and range of products in and outside of India.

 Being a very low capital intensive industry the initiation and operation is easy and flexible.

 The use of cheap labour in terms of semi-skilled and unskilled work force helps to keep the production cost very low.

 Although the production and distribution process is not very organised, the retailing system is better.

 As the products are high value added output in terms of ready to use finished goods and with an aesthetic beauty the chance of earning higher revenue is greater.

 

Weakness:

The major weaknesses of this industry is that being centralized in rural and semi urban areas the production units and the workers lack the proper infrastructure, communication with the world and facilities. And which results in a serious shortfall of knowledge in new technology and developments, market requirements and trends and proper promotion and advertisement. 

Shortage of skilled worker and less interest of the younger generation is also a concerning factor.

 

Opportunities:

The whole world considers the Indian handicraft industry as one of the best producer of artefacts and that’s why the demand for Indian handicraft products are constantly increasing in the international market.

The fashion industry is a big consumer of handicrafts and the changing trends and innovative styles keep the demand for handicraft product rising.

 The interest of common people for using and caring for handicraft industry in their day to day life is increasing.

 The increasing occurrence of social events and festivals and greater use of handcrafted items in those functions are creating new demands in this industry.

Maheejaa’s Role:

 

  1. To create, develop and pursue a platform for the backward class and less privileged artisans and craftsmen.
  2. To impact and improve the standard of living of the craftsmen by trading with them directly without the help of any middleman.
  3. Encourage the rural communities and groups to learn, practice and develop a traditional form of art by creating a steady demand for their work and also facilitating them with new styles, technologies and development.
  4. Channelize the flow of capital to the handicraft industry by using government aids and loans.
  5. Showcasing a traditional handicraft in an innovative, different and useful way to the world to attract the potential buyers and customers by participating in international fairs, seminars and workshops.
Lifestyle Product

Kantha in fusion with Leather – Maheejaa

The word “Kantha” originates from the Sanskrit language which means rags or old worn out garments generally out of their proper use. Ancient Indian culture, dating as old as pre Vedic –era, didn’t dispose-off the fabrics misfit for their proper usages but recycled them using their artistry, imagination and with the help of needle and thread. It is one of the oldest forms of embroidery in South-East Asia originating and flourishing mainly in Bengal, Odisha and Bangladesh. Over time the depiction and use of stories, motifs, symbols and styles in Kantha work slowly distinguished the art as a portrayal of a culture; a culture born and nourished with the very basic tunes of earth, water and soil. The beauty of this form of embroidery is its grandeur in simplicity. With almost zero investment and using some basic techniques of stitching the women of the eastern part of Indian subcontinent has been creating an artwork over generations carrying a legacy of tradition. Kantha is not just a form of embroidery only; it is actually a piece of history, a story of a time and philosophy artistically expressed in fabric and thread by the very common people of land. Maheejaa, from its very inception and course of business always portrayed and showcased the contribution of these undistinguished creators of history to the world in an unique and innovative way because they care as much as for the tradition as they do for their business…    

Have a look at Maheejaa’s never before collection of premium leather goods in fusion with kantha. View the collection .

Lifestyle

Business with compassion – Maheejaa Bags

Business with compassion… is a new idea floating around to make the companies act more sensibly to the environment, people and society they count for. They improve their filtration process to emit cleaner air, water, waste, byproducts and do activities to improve the life of the people they engage with. All of these activities cost money in addition to their normal cost. To keep their profit margins increasing in spite of these activities the business houses add these costs to their prices thus shifting the burden to the consumers. Being a sensible consumer you bear it to feel the pride of being a part of the business group who does business with compassion. But there are some companies who do it differently. They do their business on the foundation of making the world better around them… be it environmental, social, economical or cultural. They do not damage the environment or the people they deal with and repair it afterwards but they build and develop on a positive note from the very beginning. And because of this they don’t have to incur any extra cost to compensate any damage and shift it tactically to the consumer with some catchy tagline. So you don’t need to pay anything extra as the cost of restoration and healing. Maheejaa starts with processed leather and hand embroidered fabrics created by common rural people and then these two are fused together using simple tools and kits to create some outstanding products. Not any part of its business line damage or deprive anything and then patch it up but it starts to develop everything it uses by adding value at each and every step of its business line. Business with compassion is not a makeover for Maheejaa, it is the very basic source of their business.   

Lifestyle

Maheejaa for a Social Cause

Leather artisan Aslam has been working in this sector for ages, ever since he was a teenager. He is skilled in making wallets and bags, but he proudly claims that what he has learned through Maheejaa has taken him to a different level of craftsmanship. Never did he get a scope of working hand in hand with a designer, where his views and expertise were also given due respect. Besides knowing Maheejaa’s way of bag making, he has also learned certain technical aspects too, which will help him get work from others and help him to charge a better rate. He is definitely better off. Has been getting payments on a continuous basis, as soon as the work is completed. Aslam now has a better cash flow at hand.
Saheba Bibi, a president award winner, has worked for years and no longer does big and tedious kantha works as her health doesn’t permit. But she enjoys making patches for Maheejaa as it can be done in less time and she gets an instant payment for it. The best part is that she feels thrilled to see how her work is manifested beautifully in leather bags.

Lifestyle Product

Maheejaa – The Beginning

Traditional art is fast disappearing, but it doesn’t have to be that way…the fashion industry is making more money than ever and by combining traditional Bengal craft Kantha with modern products and designs we made an attempt to give the best of all worlds to our customers.
But it was not easy to start, with both of us not having any business background. However we were open to learn and unlearn at each step. Getting artisans (specially the leather artisans) who would do our kind of work was difficult. But we managed to get around 10 artisans work under us – 5 leather artisans and 5 kantha artisans. Further the Kantha artisans mostly failed to keep their commitments as regard to time. This held up our production many a times. So we started with even smaller kantha patches and less intricate works. Then next step was to build a trustworthy relationship with them. We started giving them regular work though in a small scale and made outright payments on a per piece basis, thus maintaining steady cashflow to them. We also started procuring leather ourselves directly from the market and hence could bring down our production cost and thus stick to one of our major agenda of making leather bags affordable to the masses.

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