Abhishek Pathak

Uttar Pradesh

India

Organization

Haritkhadi

Vision Statement

My passion lies in bringing innovation, management and technology closer to the underprivileged and non-organized artisan clusters. I believe that the sustainability in artisan communities can be achieved if authentic traditional textiles and crafts become accessible, affordable and attractive to mass market. I envision a world where professionals and artisan share prosperity of arts, crafts and cultures.

Project Details

During my graduation in textile designing in NIFT Delhi (2007-2011), I was involved in research and development initiatives in appreciation of traditional textiles. My research paper on "Significance of CSR initiatives in Handicrafts" was presented in UGC National level seminar on CSR. I left my job as a home fashion designer for a US based home furnishing brand to join Drishtee Foundation and got involved in Drishtee Rural Apparel Producer Organization (DRAP) in Bhagalpur. Once the operational set up was done, I shifted my focus on building up marketing linkages from Drishtee's admin office in Noida. DRAP was launched on all leading online marketplaces. Now, DRAP is in process of setting up an internal value chain including handspinning, handloom weaving and sewing. This will ensure authentic supply of raw materials, benefit larger rural population and promote concept of Khadi.

Focus area of project

Livelihood and Enterprise

Stage of your work in poverty eradication

Stabilised; looking to scale

Aims to eradicating poverty

"A textile designer by education, social entrepreneur by passion and an admirer of traditional crafts, Abhishek Pathak, is currently leading the ‘Textiles and Crafts’ vertical in Drishtee Foundation. Since his college days at NIFT, Abhishek has taken up various design and research projects involving rural artisan communities. His research paper on ‘Significance of CSR Initiatives in Indian Handicrafts’ was appreciated at the UGC national level seminar. In 2013, Abhishek left his job as as a home fashion designer in a US based company to join Drishtee Rural Apparel Producer Organisation. Abhishek believes that to impact large artisan communities, traditional textiles and crafts must become appealing, accessible and affordable to mass market."

Current impact of the project

Drishtee Rural Apparel Producer Organization (DRAP) is a social enterprise owned by women producers and supervised by textile professionals. Currently, DRAP is a home to many entrepreneurial and passionate rural women, who are building their lives together with hope, perseverance and trust. Along with earning their livelihoods from DRAP, women are establishing their identity in the community and seeking new horizons of self-reliance, marking a positive impact on our society. Since 2012, 600 women from Bhagalpur and Munger (Bihar) were trained by DRAP in advanced manual stitching, basic spinning and preparatory weaving skills. In three years duration, 360 women have become skilled producers and are earning sustainable livelihood. 90 women are engaged in hand spinning of cotton yarns, 120 women are helping weavers to produce handwoven fabrics and 105 women are engaged in stitching apparels. Under the umbrella of DRAP, all these clusters are interconnected as links of a systematic value chain. With regular practice and dedication, the women have been able to produce market acceptable products which are getting sold on leading e-commerce platforms. DRAP is becoming a brand for quality and price sensitive market.

Proposed impact in future

DRAP's mission is to directly impact livelihood of 5000 rural marginalised women by 2020. - The project is aiming to revive "Khadi" as a concept which was promoted by Mahatma Gandhi to ensure maximum livelihood opportunities within villages. - DRAP will be a self-sustainable rural producer owned company & leading global brand for authentic handmade fabrics and apparels of cotton and silk catering to mass market. - Establishing 100% internal supply chain of raw materials needed for apparel production minimizing dependency on vendors and ensuring authenticity. - The project would demonstrate a business model in textile for rural cluster approach. Such a proven model can be replicated in other clusters wherever Drishtee has given textile trainings. - The proven model of DRAP as an effective and sustainable business process will necessitate long term development initiatives focused largely on rural women producers and market reach.