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“Craft Trading can be limited to a generation, but Training would empower many generations”, is the belief of this business.

“Craft Trading can be limited to a generation, but Training would empower many generations”, is the belief of this business.

Craft Village is a ‘Social Innovation’ focused to re-built ‘Creative and Cultural Industry’. The pandemic has shown the world that without Creative & Cultural Industry (Including Art, Craft, Design, Cinema, Music, Paintings, Reading, Cooking, Dancing, and Gardening etc.). In 2021, Creative Industry is estimated at USD 5-Trillion Industry; employs over Millions of people world-wide, Creative Goods Industry is growing @14% per annum and Creative Services is growing @18% per annum.

Based on Blue Ocean strategy, Craft Village is a unique idea that combines Craft + Design.  It caters to the domain discipline through:

  • Being an Innovation Center and the Artist Residency (a National Entity of World Craft Council, Res-Artis Netherlands and Residency Unlimited, New York) it provides creative and disruptive ideas to the industry.
  • It has created an eco-system through ICW to increase demand for ‘Authentic’ Hand-Made & Hand-Crafted products, linking directly the Artisans & Buyers, eliminating the middle-men/agency.
  • It has built better value proposition of hand-made, indigenous craft products through better communication & contemporary image, Brand building, Visual Merchandising, Display, and portraying Artisans as “Makers’ just like how artists are being presented in Art Fairs globally.
  • Coined ‘Craft Tourism’ by exposing global visitors through cultural products, stories, culture & heritage, people and much more intangibles by exploring beyond destination.

Craft Village founderAbout Ms. Iti Tyagi, she has designed products for the brands like Nieman Marcus, Pottery Barn, M&S, Walmart, Target, Hobby Lobby, Bombay Company. She has been an eminent speaker at Heimtextil (the biggest handicraft fair in the world) Germany, and exhibited Fashion & Home Products at Prét-a-Porter, Paris and India Handicraft Gift Fair. Besides Craft training and promotions, she has been engaged into design and innovation projects for the industry, especially Dalmia Bharat group on new material and innovation for sustainable development.

“The idea of Craft Village started long back when I was part of cluster development programs in early 2000, and realised that to develop and build interface all across the rural parts of India would take many decades, instead if an urban centre like Craft Village is established for the training and promotion of Crafts, it would build quick connect of thousands of artisans and craftsperson with urban and global population, that aspires & patrons crafts. So, in 2015 I started to build the first campus of Craft Village in the heart of city at Westend Greens new Delhi,” said Iti.

The company has been bootstrapped so far. Since they have decided to start the expansion phase now, they are looking at raising the 1st phase of funding of Rs 15 Crores. The recent valuation of the company has been around Rs 60 Crores, and the fundraising part is in progress through VC’ and Angel Investors.

The next level of Craft Village is to scale the business manifolds through Craft and Design projects, and to achieve Rs 100 crores revenue in next three years by bringing more investments and increasing the revenue earning to fuel the growth cycle.

Iti’s view on the start-up community in India, “It’s a great culture, unfortunately India has a notorious history of following a career trend and then it ends into too much, so we hope while everyone should be founder and CEO, they shall be able to build large companies, works in the area of inclusive development and social sector, and beyond profits look at community and country building, that is the only way we can save timeless heritage and culture.”

“Innovate, Incubate, Inspire and Hand-Over (Succession Plan is most important, else they may build great business, but it would die soon, as traditionally seen in ‘Family Driven’ landscape and brands in India. If one has entry plans, they must also have exit plans, as we always tend to be outdated and young minds can do better justice,” is her advice for young entrepreneurs and upcoming start-ups.

Starting a business or idea is very easy, to sustain and grow is most difficult. So, while you can develop ideas, it is important to survive and grow. Secondly, don’t create products or services that create impact on environment and ecology in long term, do a thinking at the beginning of life cycle not towards the end. And create products or services that adds to Quality of Life without burdening mother earth. Learn from Craft Sector, you will get plenty of such examples.

You can check out Craft Village at: Craftvillage.org.in

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