IIM-S to Help Sambalpuri Fabric Weavers

Indian Institute of Management Sambalpur (IIM-S) recently conducted a survey on the Sambalpuri fabric of Odisha. The survey results concluded that the famous hand-made fabric needs online marketing platforms and modern handloom designs to expand its reach worldwide. Thus, IIM-S officials who conducted the study have planned to take the Sambalpuri fabric to the global market.

Mahadeo Jaiswal, Director of IIM-S, said, “Marketing of the Sambalpuri fabrics on digital platforms will take the beautiful fabric to global markets. We have already initiated dialogue for the marketing of Sambalpuri handloom products. If everything goes well as per plan, an MoU will be signed with Flipkart in New Delhi in March”. Though very skilled, the weavers of Sambalpur lack the financial literacy levels that a business person should possess. Numerous weavers are unaware of what is required to undertake business in the national or global market or regarding the government’s incentivised packages.

“We have also planned to instil them with the required business knowledge so that they could do the business in national and global markets. We have also planned to organize workshops and training programmes for the weavers for this purpose”, Jaiswal added.

Jaiswal said the government should also introduce new and modern designs in Sambalpuri fabrics considering different regions’ demands. He further stated that IIM-S has intended to take the help of professional designers. “We will also create a fund to rope in professional designers. We have planned to approach PSUs to provide money from the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) fund for this purpose”, he added.

There are around 25,000 weavers in the districts of Bargarh, Sambalpur, Sonepur, Balangir, Nuapara, Jharsuguda and Kalahandi in the western region of Odisha. The Sambalpuri Bastralaya Handloom Cooperative Society has so far enlisted around 5,500 weavers directly under their wing.

Notably, the IIM-S officials have already started addressing the region’s weavers for the marketing of contemporary designs because weaving is the second largest employer after agriculture in this region and can generate a lot of employment opportunities.

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