After a 16 hour train ride through Gujurat and Rajastan, Jordan and I (Alex) had arrived in Chanderi at around 2 pm. We had done some preliminary research about the illustrious handloom industry and the region we would be investigating. In doing so, we had found that the town is actually part of the Jain Teerth and is home to many Jain temples. Also dotted around the city are a handful of palaces and edifices dating back to the 1400’s. Jordan and I were excited to explore everything that the medieval-walled city had to offer.
Besides taking in the people, the food, and the sites, week one was quite an intensive work week. We had taken the first three days to orient ourselves completely with the Chanderi handloom cluster, which meant walking many miles in a day to the homes of different weavers, designers, traders, and local associations. We set out to learn the ins and outs of the cluster’s operations, so we would have a better idea of where the Chanderi Handloom Cluster Development Producer Company Limited (PCL) fit inside of it. Once Jordan and I had felt comfortable with the general logistics of it all, we began to dig into the PCL, speaking directly to the CEO to gather information regarding its financials, operations, and market linkages. By Friday, we had completed the first part of our data collection process. The weekend, of course, was reserved for some site seeing.