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Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India – Week 5

George and friendsTime flies when you’re having fun, or when you’re visiting twenty-two small scale industrial facilities, interviewing their owners, drawing conclusions, and proposing solutions for their problems.

About two weeks ago, my partner, Tony Marinov, and I returned to Baroda to conduct our research assignment. Before departing, we designed a nearly fifty-question, thorough questionnaire attempting to analyse all the issues surrounding access to finance and employment within the Makarpura Industrial Cluster. While our un-air-conditioned, barbed-wire enclosed office space was not a luxurious accommodation during our time in the field, this time we were expecting it.

Even though I’ve spent over a month in India so far, I did not feel like I had truly lived here until my time in Baroda. Our first visit to the city was too abbreviated to really gain our bearings. With a more extensive second visit, Tony and I were able to fully immerse ourselves as locals. We made friends with our neighbours, played soccer with the village children every night, ate at the local markets, hell, we even organized for milk to be delivered to the office every morning!

Every day we got a rickshaw to and from association driven by a man named Ravi. While he knew very little English, Ravi immediately became very close to us. He told our interpreter at one point that he did not think of Tony and us as “customers,” but rather as “close friends.” A fifteen minute rickshaw ride everyday would turn into an hour of hanging out with Ravi’s fellow Tuk Tuk drivers, stopping for Chai on the way home, and taking loads of photos. I began to realize just how important photos are to the culture of India. Ravi didn’t have a phone or computer to receive the pictures, so we sent them to his brother just so he could look at them. Our last day in Baroda happened to be Ravi’s birthday, so Tony and I took him out to a hotel for a birthday lunch. He was incredibly appreciative. Even back at EDI, he still calls from time to time just to check in and practice his English.

In terms of the actual work, we could not have asked for a better sample of Industrial Units. While there were a striking amount of similarities between companies, it was their differences that strengthened our research, and supported our proposals. Tomorrow, we give our final report to a panel of professors and EDI staff. After compiling our near 40-page report, coming up with (hopefully) helpful proposals, I could not be prouder of the work we’ve done.

As a group we’ve continued to explore Gujarat and beyond. From our delightful weekend in the lake city of Udaipur, Rajisthan, to the hectic streets and markets of Ahmedabad, I firmly believe that there is no better way to really get to see India than working here. We are not on vacation, but rather forced into daily Indian life, even if that means sometimes stepping out of our comfort zone. Had our group not been open-minded or adventurous, we would never had observed the beautiful ritual of call to prayer in a mosque. We would never have tried some of the best food I’ve tasted. Sure, I might not have spent so much time in the bathroom, but I’ll leave India knowing that I took full advantage of everything this country has to offer.

With just a few days left working at EDI, Chris, Justin, Joe and I are gearing up for our big cross-country trip to Mumbai, Jaipur, Agra and New Delhi. At times I’ve been desperate for western customs, and it sure hasn’t been smooth sailing, but with only two weeks in India left, I’m coming closer to admitting that I might actually miss this place.

George Stern, GEO EDI intern

Internship at EDI Leads to Suruchi

edi2Week four began with an early morning train ride to the rural town of Bardoli with our new sister and EDI employee, Mahima Behen.  We would be conducting field research of a proposed blacksmithy cluster with stakeholder interviews and field visits.  Our train arrived in Surat around 10AM where we stopped for some chai before hopping on the bus line that would take us to our destination.   Our ride took us an hour outside the city through sugar cane fields and rice paddies to our accommodation at Suruchi.

edi4We were being put up by Mr. Ramkumar, the creator of the Suruchi.  Suruchi is involved with the production of agriculture tools, vermicompost, organic seedlings, and solar cookers to employ and support local blacksmiths, farmers, and women.  Currently, the organization is waiting for funding from a government scheme that will aid in the creation of a blacksmithy cluster.  Suruchi has many different interventions planned to create a strong network of geographically dispersed artisans and to save a traditional trade being destroyed by the rapid industrialization of India.

We were given a two bedroom, two bathroom cabin, equipped with a small dining room and porch.  The bathroom was modest and electricity and running water were never certainties but our home for the next week was quiet and relaxing.  Our meals were prepared by Masi and were simple and delicious as the ingredients had been harvested from our cabin’s backyard.  It was great to get out of the city to replace the nonstop honking with the sound of birds and wind rushing through the fields.  Life slowed down for us and we were able to experience a unique and beautiful side of India we had yet to see.

Monday we walked through the blacksmith production facility at Suruchi and sat down to talk with the artisans who worked there.  We saw the process from raw materials to finished goods which were sold out of the front of the production facility.  With Mahima Behen as our translator, we got an insight into the blacksmith’s feelings and attitudes towards their trade, its future, and their relationship with Suruchi.  It was a great day and we were excited for our field visits the next two days.

Our evenings were spent relaxing with yoga and meditation and discussing our cultural differences with Mahima Behen over cards.  We shared many laughs and the three of us grew to become good friends.

Our second day was spent visiting rural blacksmiths who work from the front of their homes with very limited technology and resources.  We drove for hours through endless fields of green and crops with small markets and gathering places scattered throughout.  The roads were rough and the journey demonstrated the transportation challenges people who live in these areas face.  We saw several different sized operations on Tuesday and were greeted with food and chai no matter what type of home we stopped at.  Seeing the artisan’s workspaces and speaking to them gave us insight into the realities of the proposed cluster and rural life in India.

The third and final day of field visits we visited the farmers who used the tools produced by the blacksmiths and purchased vermicompost from Suruchi. The hospitality continued; water came first, followed by chai, and maybe some lunch depending on the time of day. We discussed the current shift towards organic farming and what they see in their future.  We were walked through their fields and shown their compost operations and came to understand the harmony that exists between farmers, blacksmiths, and Suruchi.

Thursday we had a debrief meeting with Mr. Ramkumar and began to compile the data we had collected into a report.  That evening we made friends with several of the children whose parents were living and working at Suruchi.  We ran around barefoot and made games out of whatever rocks or sticks we could find and overcame our language barrier with smiles and laughs. 

Our final day we continued to work on our report and relish our last few moments in rural India as our train back to Ahmedabad was leaving early the next morning.  Our trip to Suruchi was what we hoped to get out of this internship experience.  We were given a chance to immerse ourselves into a community, speak with its people, make friends, see how they work and live and how business functions in such an environment.  We read about the challenges of rural blacksmith businesses and farmers before our field journey but we only came to understand them from diving in and interacting with the artisans.  We came to understand the NGO Suruchi and the challenges it shares with NGOs around the world as well as the unique challenges India throws at them.  We saw a different side of India we were not exposed to thus far and we enjoyed every moment of it and learned so much.

It is sad to think our time here is two thirds over as we move into week 5.  We will be spending the remainder of our work period compiling our final report and reflecting on our experience in Bardoli as well as relishing every last moment in Ahmedabad.

Joe Fernandez & Sachin Babbar, GEO EDI interns

The Harsher Realities

My team (Justin, Bo and I) are producing real life stories about social entrepreneurs, which will hopefully become part of the first year curriculum at EDI to help inspire the students here. It’s now the back end of week 3, and we’re halfway through the internship. After two weeks of reading, learning and discussing with our supervisor, yesterday my team were finally awarded the opportunity to start doing some practical work towards our project with a two day visit to our first social entrepreneur  having been arranged. Unfortunately, this was an opportunity I had to leave to Justin and Bo, as I am currently dealing with the harsher realities of living in a new continent…

Today marks my fourth bed-bound day, after falling horribly ill last Tuesday. Beyond just a regular stomach upset, this left me wrapped up in bed, in a hoodie and blanket with the A/C cranked up to 32 degrees because I had suddenly started feeling very cold (an unusual feeling in India) and soon after I started shivering uncontrollably. Fortunately this passed after a few hours, and I’ve been slowly recovering since, but just not quite back to full health yet. I would love to be able to issue some words of caution or advice for future interns, but unfortunately I hadn’t eaten or drank anything different from any of the other interns here, and no one else fell sick on the same day. I’m clueless as to what caused it. Luck of the draw, I guess, and one of the inherent risks.

But, I don’t want to end this blog post on a pessimistic note, and I would also like to talk about our weekend trip away last week. We’d decided to get out of Gujarat for the weekend and go visit the very scenic city of Udaipur (in Rajasthan), and it certainly was a welcome break. We visited the City Palace, which is a very interesting and not very typical traditional Indian looking centre piece of the city. The next day we took a cable car up to the top of a big hill (or small mountain, I’m not sure which it was) which had spectacular views of the city. We (thankfully!) also had beer for the first time since we left, because alcohol is illegal in the state of Gujarat, although as we’ve heard, it does not actually stop people. However, oddly, despite being legal in Udaipur, you won’t find beer on any menu and the charge is disguised on the bill as an abbreviation or increased tax…. fishy!

In Udaipur we also discovered other foreigners, which in Ahmedabad to call rare would be generous, and it left us staring at them as much we get stared at in Ahmedabad. In Ahmedabad, we’re quite the novelty, people want to talk to us, take photos with and/or of us, poke us or just very politely continuously stare intensely at us. Occasionally the people who approach you will be after some money, through begging or persistent selling; however, I would dare say is not as bad here as it is in the tourist hot spots. Here, in fact, locals have helped us out on a couple of occasions when rickshaws have attempted to overprice us, as I’m told there is currently a movement to fight these kinds of behaviour as a part of the population want to improve India’s international image. It is for the sake of those people that you end up haggling over pennies.

Overall, on weekdays when we’re stuck at our slightly secluded campus, with the repetitive food, seclusion, painfully slow internet, the lack of a way to get a little taste of home as literally everything has been changed for the Indian pallet (not even Snickers or Coke tastes the same, and all the crisps are flavours you’ve never heard of, and even the ‘most authentic’ foreign food restaurant in the area mixes things up. I ordered Bolognese, what I got was indisputably Arrabbiata) and other minor things start to hack away, day by day, at your admiration and patience. But on the weekends however, when you venture out to the city or elsewhere, and you get to eat amazing food at vibrant street food stands, haggle with auto drivers, mingle with the curious locals, see incredible buildings with architecture you’d never find at home, and see sights like cars driving the wrong way, four people on a bike, a complete disregard of queues, sights that the locals simply dismiss as “this is India” when you question them about it. That is when you really grow an affection for this place, which I have. I can comfortably say I love this country and can’t wait to explore it further.

Women’s Trousers, Waterslides and Work: Week Two at EDI!

tony-blog-2-foodLess than a week in, we were already pretty bored of dhal and rice for dinner every day, so on Friday evening we decided to take a trip out to a nicer restaurant. After successfully crossing a six-lane highway “Frogger”-style, all nine of us piled into what can only be loosely defined as a nine-seater taxi. We told him our destination, 23km away, and off we went. However, after 20 minutes of driving, we didn’t seem like we were any closer, so we decided to just get dropped off opposite a Pizza Hut. While our dreams of a lovely restaurant were gone, the cheap and plentiful pizza was a nice break from the usual curry we got at the EDI campus. Thanks to Rocky, we managed to negotiate a decent price for some rickshaws (tuktuks) to take us back, and we got a true taste of Indian driving (though we’re pretty sure we still got ripped off…)!

EDI-temple-visit2On Saturday we went to a local market, Law Garden, to explore and do some shopping.  Negotiating with the locals was quite fun. That is, until Sachin and I found that the scarves/wall-hangs we got for Rs. 750 each after considerable bargaining… were hugely overpriced – Panos got the same one for Rs. 300!! After settling down for some authentic (& cheap) street food, we made our way back to EDI, this time a little more experienced in the art of tuktuk negotiating. On Sunday, we visited a round of temples and a stepwell. One of them, Aksherdam Temple, seemed extremely holy as they didn’t allow cameras or phones in there, nor did they allow Sachin and I as we were wearing shorts. This meant that we had to buy some women’s trousers, much to the amusement of literally every single person in the temple… though in all honesty, the trousers were pretty cool. So, we queued up, expecting to see some super holy temple, and as soon as we get in, we see a huge waterslide! Then, bumper cars, a roller-coaster…  it was basically a fair! The temple itself was beautiful and it was such a shame that they didn’t allow us to take pictures. We then saw a gorgeous “water show,” which was basically a combination of lasers and projections on fountain streams. The show told us the story of the guru who set up the temple, but of course we understood none of it, so it was down to Rocky to translate for us. On the way back, we finally got our wish and ate at a quite upmarket restaurant…with Sachin and I still donning our women’s trousers, naturally.

Tony-Temple2To say the first week in India was full of confusion would be an understatement. The second week has been a little more clarifying – the group as a whole is now more aware of what is expected of us in terms of work. George and I spent a night in a nearby city, Baroda, visiting the local foundry cluster and interviewing the managers and CEOs, in order to finalise our research topic. It was a very fulfilling experience; I think both of us truly enjoyed the opportunity to connect & interact with the owners. A 1st year student at EDI that we met playing football, Abhisheik, joined us on the trip as he was from Baroda. He showed us around the city, and we ate at his family’s restaurant which served authentic Gujarati food. We took a public bus with no air conditioning back, just so we could experience the Indian way a little better, but if it wasn’t for Abhisheik, we might’ve never made it back to Ahmedabad!

The second week has been fun. I think we’re now a little more settled in, largely thanks to the hospitality of the locals around us.  We’re going north to Udaipur, Rajasthan for the weekend, and then George and I will be spending 10 days in Baroda to do some real research… exciting times!

Ahmedabad, India: An Introduction to a New Place

StatueSpirituality has to be one of the biggest and most influential aspects of life here in Gujarat…that is, besides diarrhea, crazy driving, and early morning peacock squawks. It’s been almost two weeks since we have arrived in Ahmedabad, but my perspectives have already shifted so much. While I have enjoyed every moment in India so far, it is by no means a vacation. We live life according to the ‘3 Cs’: Confusion, Curry, and Camaraderie.

EDIConfusion. A week in to the internship, I still could not give a complete answer to what I was supposed to be working on. My partner, Tony, and I are constantly met by contradicting statements from two supervisors who I can’t confidently say know our names. Even with a ‘two step forward, one step back’ approach, I think we are finally making progress. We are working with the Industrial Forging & Casting Cluster of Baroda, about a two hour drive from EDI’s campus. After interviewing managers of four units within the cluster, Tony and I seek to tackle the issues of Accessing Finance, and Employment within the cluster for our research topic. Despite our recent progress, however, I have come to realize that most things here are completely left to chance. Take this example: Had Tony and I not played soccer every night, we would not have met Abhishek, who would not have told us he lived in Baroda, so he wouldn’t have joined us for our trip, which would’ve left us without an interpreter, rendering us utterly incapable of getting back to EDI’s campus. Thank goodness for soccer! Over the next two weeks, Tony and I will be venturing back to Baroda to conduct more intensive research. This time, without Abhishek. We are up for the challenge!

WorkshopCurry. The occasional western meal has broken up an otherwise 40 consecutive curry dishes. While it sometimes can be a bit repetitive and induce questionable stomach interactions, the food has been delicious. As a vegetarian back home, the state of Gujarat is, for the most part, 100% vegetarian—heaven for me! While hard to distinguish between dinner and breakfast at times, the variety, and spice is wildly different to any western cuisine. Having a nut allergy has required me to be a bit more focused while eating meals, but with one painful exception, I have been safe and successful. EDI provides us with three meals a day, but that has not stopped us from venturing outside of the campus to find local authentic eats at the various sites in the city. With four weeks of curry left, I definitely won’t go hungry, but a slice of pizza wouldn’t be such a bad thing.

Joe, Justin, and GeorgeCamaraderie. This is a great group of nine extremely diverse gentlemen. We are comprised of students from USA, UK, Malaysia, Gibraltar, Bulgaria, and Sweden. We had absolutely no issues immediately immersing ourselves in friendship with open minds and positive attitudes. Though we stay within the confines of EDI for the work week, on the weekends we’ve traveled as a group to the Arkshardem and Adalaj Temples, the home of Mahatma Gandhi, a Mall, the Law Garden Market & Park. Tomorrow, we plan to leave Gujarat for the first time, and travel to the state of Rajistan to visit Udaipur. I greatly look forward to this trip, as it will be a nice group sendoff before we spend our respective times in different areas researching different clusters for the next two weeks. Other than our group of nine international students, there are hundreds of local Indian students studying for the post graduate degrees at EDI. Slowly we are familiarizing ourselves to the point where we can not only actually remember the names of the local students, but consider them friends as well.

No one expected this internship to be peaches and cream, but our positivity and adaptability has led us to enjoy every aspect of this adventure so far. If the next four weeks are half as interesting as the first two, then we’re bound to have an amazing time.

Indian Driving, Shopping Malls and Soccer: Week One at EDI

EDI-SEWA-students-meal5

Our first group excursion was to one of the biggest malls in Ahmedabad called Alpha Mall. Joe, one of our colleagues from Boston University, had a shopping spree so we left him to his own devices. Myself, George (another Boston student) and Tony to continue to roam the western influenced shopping centre and found some cool Indian shops. Making a few purchases and all equipped with the classic kurat top – a long sleeve shirt, that comes in three sizes, knee level, above the knee, and waist level – we went to check out the food hall and to meet the others. Gujurat is a Hindu state so the diet is strictly vegetarian, and no meat was on sale. There was an array of different veggie dishes on our table. By far the most impressive was Rocky’s masala dosa, a massive pancake stuff with potato masala and served with a few sauces. Chris caused some hysteria as when we were about to drive off he was missing. We search for a good 15 minutes in the supermarket only to see him coming down the escalator chewing gum like nothing was wrong.

EDI-Sachin-Jo-tiredOn day one, there was an introductory talk to the EDI interns by Dr. Umesh Menon, and we met our supervisors afterwards. Joe and I were set some reading, to understand what services EDI had to offer and the particular cluster we would be working in. Most of the reading was done by the afternoon and whilst waiting for the last document to be emailed to us we decided to chill.

After another presentation and a few more discussions, the picture we were painting of EDI and the work needed from us became more vivid.  There seemed to be a degree of autonomy. This continued throughout the week; it was down to us to promote and probe the supervisors to channel us in a direction. It wasn’t until Wednesday that a more detailed plan of what was expected of us for the next three weeks was conveyed to us, and that’s when the real work began.

Apart from work, the evenings have been eventful. At 18:30 we meet some of the locals on campus for a game of soccer. It gives us the chance to bond with the lads and also show off our skills and dominate the pitch. Afterwards there is a civil banquet, which consists of dal, a sabjee, rice and a chapatti (flat bread). Since we are a diverse bunch the conversation is bases around the difference in our cultures.

Our first week has been filled with great learning experiences in both culture and business. For next week, we are looking forward to visiting the blacksmith cluster we are currently studying to perform field research and implement our action plan.EDI-first-day9

Entrepreneurship Development Institute Internship 2014 – Sixth Week, Addison and Bradley

EDI-SEWA-JumpingAddison and Bradley leave us with their lasting thoughts on their time interning in India….

After 4 weeks of background research and conducting interviews in the Varanasi cluster, we had all the information we needed for our 3-year business plan, process documentation* and promotional material. The final 2 weeks of the EDI internship were used to compile all of these documents together. Whilst long days, hectic schedules and a lot of chai were needed to produce these documents, we thoroughly enjoyed our work and were motivated by the fact that these documents could improve the three-handloom clusters under EDI. At the end of the internship, we gave a presentation on our findings and recommendations to students and senior faculty members of EDI, which was well received. Our main recommendation was for the clusters to set up a Marketing Team which would implement and oversee marketing initiatives in order to strengthen brand equity.

In the last weeks of our internship, we used every opportunity to explore more of Ahmedabad which included Sunday markets, Hindu temples, and Indian cuisine. The Sunday market was a blessing for anyone looking for last minute gifts and also a curse for anyone who can’t avoid a good bargain or two . . . I unfortunately fell into both categories!

As our internship drew to an end, it was unfortunately time to say goodbye to all the wonderful people and colleagues we had met along the way. Nevertheless, we all enjoyed the farewell meals, and welcoming Sharmishta (Newcastle University Business School’s International Relations Manager) to Ahmedabad.

From auto-rickshaws to handloom clusters, the 6 week internship with EDI is one that I will never forget. Whilst it’s hard to sum-up an experience like this one in a blog, it can easily be done in a word – people. The people I’ve met and worked with along the way – EDI employers & students; Boston & Newcastle University; citizens of India and especially the other interns – have made this experience possible, and better than I could have imagined. An internship in India has offered me a diverse cultural experience leading to new friendships, and enhanced my international network. In addition, I have gained practical and professional marketing experience, and developed as a global citizen.

It is for the above reasons and many more that I strongly recommend this internship – and any other Global Experience Opportunity (GEO) – to anyone who wants to build an exceptional international portfolio.

* The purpose of the process documentation was to produce a clear and accessible standalone document which outlined all EDI interventions within the three-handloom clusters. This allows EDI and other parties to easily review past interventions.

EDI-SEWA-Interns-temple

Entrepreneurship Development Institute Internship 2014 – Fourth Week, Jordan

Jamie and Alex enjoying the fairgroundOn his return from a tiresome field trip spent conducting research, Jordan updates us on his first week back in the EDI centre…

Clip clop came the sound of Alex’s and my footsteps as we reached our adopted home – Ahmedabad. The previous sixteen hours had been a typical Indian train journey consisting of around twelve hours’ sleep and four hours of eating. Upon arrival at EDI, Alex and I headed to bed to gain some post-fieldwork recuperation.

Wednesday was a good day. After being advised to rest, Alex and I decided to have a relaxing day in Ahmedabad’s city centre for the first time. A typically eventful auto rickshaw ride saw us arrive at the exclusive Alpha mall, allowing for some retail therapy and, of course, McDonalds.

Thursday through Saturday was a return to reality, and we documented all of our fieldwork research in a structured fashion. Solidifying a detailed outline of each document was the main priority for the Thursday, with Friday and Saturday being used to get the bulk of our first draft of the process documentation and the business plan done.

Sunday arrived quickly, as work had made the days fly by, and an early start was the order of the day as a heritage walk had been organised with everyone from Boston and Newcastle, along with some EDI students in the city centre, for 9:00 am. Waterproofs at the ready, the auto rickshaw journey to Ahmedabad centre began. The tour included a variety of interesting aspects about the city, from the wide array of secret passageways throughout the city, to the Jain temples (somewhat of an area of expertise for Alex and me post-Chanderi). Needless to say, after the appetite-inducing walk, the group headed to Alpha mall to indulge in Pizza Hut and Subway. Following on from this, the group wanted a taste of the real India, and so we naturally headed to the Western-style amusement arcade within the mall, fairground rides included.

Overall, Week four was a good one. We made big strides towards the completion of our internship project, along with enjoying a bit of relaxation that was the goal set on the train back to Ahmedabad.

 

Entrepreneurship Development Institute Internship 2014 – Third Week – Addison

FloodingEDI sent us (Bradley and Addison) to Varanasi to investigate the local branch of the Producer Company, an organization of weavers, dyers, master weavers and other members of the crafting process. Our last days there were challenging but very productive. After finalizing our objectives and completing the last of our interviews, we spent our final day touring Varanasi. The tour was a great way to see Varanasi and the surrounding area. We started by checking out a temple dedicated to Gandhi that included a stunning 3-D map of India in the middle of the temple. After purchasing more souvenirs than were necessary, we headed to a handicraft store to buy even more! The handicraft store sold everything from historical paintings of India to diamond encrusted jewelry. Whilst we were tempted, we stuck to our student budgets and purchased enough chai to last us a lifetime. If you haven’t tried chai yet, you need to visit India!

Since a trip to Varanasi wouldn’t be complete without purchasing a lifetime supply of authentic handloom products, we asked our employers to bring some stalls and scarves for us to try. After weavers from the Producer Company Limited bought scarves to our hotel room, we realized the true potential of such a personalized service. Consequently, we aim to offer such a tailored service to other tourists in Varanasi to attract more international customers to the Producer Company Limited. After purchasing 15 scarves between us, you only have to ask Addison and I how successful this business could be!

BradleyAfter 2 amazing weeks in Varanasi, it was time to fly back to Ahmedabad. Although we thoroughly enjoyed our 42-hour train ride to Varanasi, we felt it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity not to be repeated anytime soon!

Our first couple of days back in Ahmedabad have been really nice and have allowed us time to catch up with our friends on the SEWA and EDI internships. To celebrate our reunion, we went for a group meal to BBQ nation, a full buffet of skewers of chicken, shrimp, lamb, and fish. It was all-you-can eat and was, in fact, just too much to eat!

-Bradley and Addison

Entrepreneurship Development Institute Internship 2014 – Third Week – Alex

Alex in ChanderiChanderi Week 2:

It was during our second week in Chanderi, when things really began to heat up, literally and figuratively. Not only were the temperatures warmer-than-average temperatures–due in part to the delayed arrival of the monsoon season–but also this week we really bit our teeth into our primary research. We had set out to interview the following stakeholders within the Chanderi Handloom Cluster:

  • Weavers (Shareholders and Non-Shareholders)Chanderi 2
  • Designers (Head and Local Designers)
  • Local Association Managers
  • BVS Director
  • BVS Dyers
  • Chanderiyaan
  • Chanderi New Design Center (Raw Mango Producers)
  • Government Officials
  • Traders (Silk, Cotton, and Jari)
  • Board of Directors
  • CEO

Chanderi 1We wanted to get access to every level of the value chain from raw material to the finished good. Our mission was to evaluate the operations of the PCL so that we could identify and correct any inefficiencies within its structure. We did so through objective surveys, case studies, and personal interviews. We knew that we would be leaving Monday morning of the next week, and fitting in all of the interviews was a challenge in itself. Jordan and I had taken a 7 day work week, but we were able to fit it all in and even began to formulate a few great recommendations for the PCL. I will reserve those for next week’s post. Wish us luck on the train ride back!