In India, handloom provides the second-largest employment and livelihood to 44 lakh people. Silk is one of the most critical components of India's handloom industry, and its unparalleled lustre and natural sheen are deeply embedded into the country's culture. Apart from the royal Banarasi or Kanjivaram, India is home to 24 other types of silk sarees.
However, the authentic handwoven sarees persuade women, owing to their ethnic rugged appeal and soft texture. Although the industry has been increasingly turning to power looms, a handful of weavers preserve the art by weaving day and night but end up earning only a very meagre amount for it.
Vision Of 'Atmanirbhar Bharat'
ReshaMandi, a Bangalore-based startup, is working with key stakeholders in the ecosystem with the sole vision of making India' Atmanirbhar' in silk production. The organization engages with the weaver communities in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Varanasi to address their root issues of timely procurement of quality-assured yarns, lack of working capital funds and quick turnover of their goods with the help of technological interventions.
While speaking to The Logical Indian, Mayank Tiwari, co-founder and CEO of ReshaMandi, said, "We started with the farmers, and the biggest challenge that they were facing was that of going to the Mandi during COVID, and they did not know what prices they would fetch because there is no MSP concept and quality-checking concept. We started by giving out quality-based pricing and then selling it to the silk reelers. This helped the farmers and ensured that the dealers also get the procurement on time".
Challenges Faced By The Farmers
While talking to The Logical Indian about the challenges, Tiwari mentioned, "Like every startup, we had our own set of challenges. Therefore, when we saw that the farmers were facing an input issue, we started with IoT devices to help the farmers understand in their language about maintaining humidity and temperature of the ground. We wanted to provide them with increased profits with the same input that they were putting in their fields for so many years". The company started working with deep pockets of people who retail in India, who do not have accessibility.
The company launched an insurance program to ensure that their stakeholders avail themselves of the insurance benefits for their produce and labour at a discounted price. Apart from this, the company took small steps to ensure the happiness of all its stakeholders, like announcing four-day leave during the new year.