Shaping the future of Jharkhand’s artisans

Jharkhand mulls new initiatives to promote livelihoods of craftspersons in textile, apparel, and footwear sectors

Government of Jharkhand and Jharcraft brings together stakeholders across industry sectors to discuss emerging opportunities in the sector

Lack of skilled resource continues to be a challenge for the textile and apparel sector in India


New Delhi, 17th March20 17: Jharkhand is mulling aggressive initiatives to promote and market its ethnic textile and handloom products in a bid to help its large indigenous community of craftspersons grab a major pie of the rapidly growing national and global textile market.

The state government’s efforts, led by Jharkhand Silk Textile and Handicraft Development Corporation Ltd (Jharcraft), were discussed today along with emerging opportunities in the textile, apparel, footwear & fashion sector at a seminar on ‘Opportunities in the Textiles, Apparel, Footwear & Fashion’ held in the capital. The seminar brought together various stakeholders and reputed dignitaries in the Fashion, Textiles, Footwear and Apparel sector, during the India Fashion Week 2017, to discuss insightful propositions on finding newer markets for products handcrafted by the state’s tribals.

Jharcraft is a Government of Jharkhand undertaking formed to initiate steps to provide sustainable livelihood opportunities in the rural areas, based on Sericulture, Handloom, Handicraft and other allied activities. The seminar held at the venue of India Fashion Week showed the way forward for diverse sectors such as fashion garments, textile, and footwear.

Subsequently, a first-of-its-kind Business to Government (B2G) meeting was also held at Jharkhand Bhavan, New Delhi at the second half with senior officials from Government of Jharkhand including Smt. Raj Bala Verma, Chief Secretary Government of Jharkhand; Shri Sunil Barnwal, Secretary-Industries, Government of Jharkhand and other senior government officials, where government bureaucrats interacted on a one-and-one basis with prospective investors in the state to discuss the way forward for a golden investment opportunity in the state of Jharkhand, focusing on the key pillars of flexible policymaking and enhancing Ease of Doing Business. During the meeting, Mr. Pavel Sukoybeda, First Secretary, Embassy of Republic of Belarus exclusively met the secretariat team of Government of Jharkhand and expressed their interest in investing in Jharkhand. On the other hand, various other investors also showed interest in endorsing in various public projects such as techno parks, upcoming skyway project, metro projects, and so on.

“The major benefits of policies for Jharkhand in the textile industry is that the state is offering major incentives for the investors and providing 50% of the rebate for land acquisition tax,” said Smt. Raj Bala Verma, Chief Secretary Government of Jharkhand at the meeting.

 “Our state has huge natural resources and wide range of industry-ready raw materials. While the existing resources have already aided in creation of many primary industries in the state, the best is yet to come. Within a short span of one year, we have moved from the 29th position to 3rd on the Ease of Doing Business scale. Skilling of existing manpower has led to its fullest use in various sectors, and of late, we have started framing exclusive policies for almost 20 sectors like tourism, films, IT, apparel and textile, and so on. Last year, we launched Jharkhand Textile Apparel & Footwear Policy with a progressive vision and takeaways from various other state policies. In my opinion, if ‘Make in India’ has to succeed, Make in Jharkhand is the stepping stone. Over the long term, Jharkhand is set to become the definitive destination of employment with the best use of available resources, and promises best ROI for investors who are looking forward to business opportunities in our state,”  said Shri Sunil Barnwal, Secretary-Industries, Govt. of Jharkhand, who was present as the guest of honour at the event.

K Ravi Kumar, Managing Director, Jharcraft, while delivering his welcome address at the seminar said, “Jharcraft hopes to provide a platform to the artisans and weavers to merchandise their own products, through the maximum utilization of resources and manpower of Jharkhand. The artisans producing the silk are largely poor tribals from Jharkhand state who have no means to promote or market their incredible works. In the absence of institutional support, they were faced with limited opportunities. At Jharcraft, we are driven by a quest to improve sources of livelihood for these artisans by providing them platforms to showcase their wondrous works and find market opportunities in the international arena.”

Mr. Sunil Sethi, President, Fashion Design Council of India said the state of Jharkhand is an undiscovered treasure, with an enormous potential for industrialization, especially in the smaller sectors like textile, apparel, and footwear, adding that ‘Momentum Jharkhand’ had already taken India by storm.

“Fashion is the greatest eyeball-catcher across the world. Appreciation of the natural fabric of Jharkhand can not only enrich the culture, but also lives of thousands of rural people living in the state. This is indeed a great platform to showcase the artisans’ incredible works at the doorstep of investors, and grow from strength to strength,” said acclaimed Fashion designer Rina Dhaka.

His Excellency Mr Nejmeddine Lakhal, Indian Ambassador of the Republic of Tunisia who was present as special guest said there was tremendous scope for Indo-Tunisian collaboration in the apparel sector.

In Tunisia, the Textile & Apparel sector holds a prominent place in the national economy. Approximately 1400 foreign countries, many of them from the European markets, hold a favourable geographical proximity and the country acts as a gateway in production, manufacturing and marketing of textile and similar products. On the other hand, Jharkhand is still a developing state and needs a lot of investment to realize the huge potential in these sectors. Through this platform, Tunisia would like to build a win-win partnership with the state government and Government of India to respond to emerging opportunities and build upon global best practices,” he said.

Mr. Pradeep Bhandari, CEO, Reliance Textiles, pointed out that lack of skill development initiatives, inadequate last-mile delivery of apparel, and low rate of exports are a concern, and emphasized the need to change the mindset and outlook for the value chains of textile and apparel sectors.

Gautam Nair, Managing Director, Matrix Clothing said in India, apparel industry is the second largest employer after agriculture and also contributes significantly to sustainable livelihoods and women empowerment but lack of skilled resource raises concerns on employability.

Connecting the dots between e-commerce and the fashion & textile sectors, “Abhijit Kamra, Head, Amazon Global Sales said, “E-commerce sector can catalyze and synergize the efforts of the Indian Government and Jharkhand Government, especially when it comes to small-scale industry sectors. At Amazon Global Selling, we empower micro-level entrepreneurs to reach online millions of new customers who visit our international marketplaces and offer them best-in-class fulfillment solutions. Customer reviews and insights in Western countries can add a new dimension to the apparel and footwear designs in our country. Together, the small and large actions can leverage never-seen-before opportunities in terms of product placement in the international markets and provide them the most beneficial deals.”