Entrepreneur India Award

November 02, 2016

The 6th edition of Entrepreneur India Awards was organized by Entrepreneur Magazine (US-based, Entrepreneur Magazine) in partnership with Franchise India and in media partnership with ET Now hosted at Hotel Pullman, Aerocity, New Delhi on 23rd August 2016.

With a readership of over 2.6 million, Entrepreneur connects to the millions of business owners globally who drive forward with ideas and innovations that impact us all. Entrepreneur Magazine has received an overwhelming response from the last five editions held in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 with overall presence of 300+ speakers and 4500+ award nominations and 1600+ attendees.

The Entrepreneur India Awards come with substantial benefits. These awards aim to recognize and acknowledge the initiative and hard work of entrepreneurs and their contribution to the society. The winner gets a chance to be featured in the Entrepreneur Magazine thereby garnering National recognition.

Navrang...Colours of India won Entrepreneur India 2016 Award in All India Crafts category for the Best Startup showcasing India's rich Craft Heritage.

What I learnt from Mentors: Entrepreneurs Speak (Sonal Gupta)

January 31, 2017

"I have had some wonderful mentors at different stages of my life. Some of the most valuable lessons that I learnt from my mentors during my journey that we need to recognise the strengths and weaknesses of others for it always helps in the long run, don’t be afraid of asking questions as it gives you better clarity to effectively manage things, be generous and appreciate each other and people who work with/for you and work hard and party harder," says entrepreneur, Sonal Gupta, Co-founder, Navrang."

Lessons to remember, here are some of them:

 

Stay focused

 

Remember, the popular story from the Mahabharata about Arjuna and his brothers (The Pandavas) being trained by archery master Dronacharya. The brothers had been instructed to aim at the fish’s eye while looking at its reflection in the water below while the fish was hanging from the tree. Unlike all his brothers Arjuna when asked by Dronacharya what he could see, without hesitation Arjuna responded that he could see only the eye of the fish. Dronacharya upon hearing this response allowed him to shoot. Arjuna hit the bull’s eye.

It is important to not lose focus of your goal. Remember, a true mentor will tell you that the goal is your primary prize.

How Navrang is helping village-based craftsmen and promoting their products

August 31, 2016

After the government’s ‘Make in India’ campaign, the Planning Commission proposed the ‘Handmade in India’ campaign, a comprehensive handloom policy that will leverage synergy between handlooms, handicrafts and khadi and village Industries, creating a single brand to sell such goods to niche markets through e-commerce.

The demand for handmade products is returning. They have caught the fancy of high net worth individuals (HNIs), at least in metro cities. They don’t mind spending extra bucks on well-made handicraft items or handloom products. The success of Fabindia, a chain store that sells garments handmade by craftspeople across rural India, is an epitome in this segment.

With this concept in mind – providing genuine handmade items to the consumers – Sonal Gupta and Rajarshi Guha conceived the idea of Navrang. “The accessibility of handicrafts and handloom products, as well as the availability of skilled workers, has drastically reduced. Counterfeit products are available large scale. So Navrang was conceived primarily with the idea of conserving rich Indian tradition and culture,” says Rajarshi, Co-founder, Navrang.

Navrang has been bootstrapped by Sonal and Rajarshi. The duo started the venture with an initial investment of Rs 25 lakh. The outlay has been spent mainly on procurement of products, setting up of an office in Delhi and website development. Until now, no funding has been raised by the promoters.

Exclusivity maintained

Navrang claims to be the first and only portal to focus exclusively on traditional and handcrafted sarees procured from different regions of India.

“We source products from local artisans. This means we get Phulkaris from Patiala and Kantha from Shantiniketan. We have acquired government registered weavers/artisans, who provide authentic handloom and handcrafted products. This way, we can get original products at a reasonable price. Customer acquisition and marketing costs are being kept low, which will help us in becoming profitable soon. Sales will be done through Internet and community marketing,” says Sonal, Co-founder, Navrang.

What differentiates Navrang from other platforms, he says, is that most available platforms are following the marketplace model. They do not focus on exclusive handloom and handcrafted fabric items. Moreover, they do not source directly from artisans, and the authenticity of the product is not guaranteed. Navrang sources directly from government listed weavers and also focuses on national award winners.

“Our objective is to cover all the states of India. As of now, we are covering seven states. We wish to offer to our customers hand-woven and handcrafted textile work from any state in India by the end of this year,” says Sonal.

Meeting challenges

In getting original and authentic products, the venture faces the challenge of interference from middle men. The accessibility of the remote villages where the actual handwork is available is also quite bad.

Navrang also faces competition from well-funded platforms who can market their products well. However, it claims to have a completely new vision; it is looking to provide authentic handloom products.

Venture flourishes with Industry

India is the largest manufacturer of handmade fabrics. Further, the awareness surrounding handloom and handcrafted textiles is increasing, which provides fuel for growth.

According to Rajarshi, the handloom sector has a unique place in the country’s economy. This sector has sustained by transferring skills from one generation to another. The strength of the sector lies in its uniqueness, flexibility of production, openness to innovations, adaptability to the supplier’s requirement and the wealth of its tradition. Due to various policy initiatives, interventions like the cluster approach, aggressive marketing initiatives, and social welfare measures, the handloom sector has shown positive growth, and the income level of weavers has improved.

The Govt. of India passed a bill to protect handloom and handcrafted items from being copied by power looms. This is called “Reservation Articles for Production Act 1985”. This gives growth opportunities to ventures which are promoting handmade products.

“The increasing demand for handicraft and handloom products, and the dearth of the right kind of suppliers in the market, increase the importance of ventures like Navrang. We aim to meet market demand. And we believe that the current environment will support the growth of both the industry and our venture,” says Rajarshi.

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