Arifa’s education: Arifa Jain is a Kashmiri woman and she was born to illiterate parents of middle class in the city of Srinagar in Kashmir. She had completed Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) degree in the University of Kashmir in April, 2015 with the intention of starting her own carpet business. Arifa became interested in Namdas while doing a research project on declining crafts while getting her master’s degree at the Craft Development Institute in Srinagar. Her company manufactures a type of carpet called ‘Namdas’ which is made only in Kashmir. Namdas is a kind of carpet made from felted wool.
Arifa’s strategies: Arifa Jain has brought about a revolution in the design of these carpets by adopting these three strategies:
- Instead of using local wool, she uses 100 percent merino, a type of sheep prized for its wool quality.
- She adopted the concept of design intervention, whereby a major portion of her time is spent in front of the laptop, designing carpets. She makes new designs in Namdas to make it more appealing for the customers.
- She also uses dyes free of azo compounds, a chemical used in dyes for its vivid colors, so they wouldn’t be harmful or bleed.
Her business has not only given her benefits but has also provided employment to thousands of Kashmiri artisans. By selling her carpets for a premium price, she is able to pay her employees Rs. 400/- per day!
Her problems: However, she bemoans that without government’s intervention her project cannot succeed. “Despite the government’s announcement of skill India initiative, we haven’t received any support from the government. We need proper support mechanism. Hence it would be good if the government actively supports us,” she said.
Our take: India is a wonderful and resourceful country where we have millions of young, talented, innovative, intelligent and hardworking people. If we want to make India a powerful and independent nation in the world, the government of India needs to fully implement its ‘Stand up India Start up India’ scheme and promote such entrepreneurs who bring about a revolution and who employ thousands of people in the process, by providing them easy and interest – free loans to start a business. It should also provide free of charge mentorship and improve the structure and efficiency of the startup ecosystem in India. Read more Startup News.