“Social Media Platforms are a necessity for e commerce websites. If you want to establish a stand among the giant marketplaces, social media is a boon. Brand creation is all about visibility.”
Aditi Atre, Founder of Rajasthani Rangrez, talks to Archana Verma of DQ Channels.
1 – Please tell us something about your background. What kind of training you had, what are you visions of life, how you came to get interested in this work, whether you got any institutional training for it or whether it’s all spontaneous etc.
I am an MBA in Marketing and HR from IMT (NAGPUR). I have had a Fair share of working in corporate jobs with companies like Tata motors and The Lalit hospitality group. Somehow, No matter how many profiles or companies I changed, I was never really happy. I always wanted to do something on my own where I could be the leader, generate employment for others and make a difference. The idea of starting Rajasthani Rangrez harbored from the enthusiasm and craze witnessed by me for Rajasthani Goods. All myfriends, my relatives based abroad and my colleagues love Rajasthani Arts. Their love and respect towards Rajasthani articles made me think seriously about my venture.
2 – About your work with the craftspersons and weavers of Rajasthan – do you deal directly with them, or do reach them through mediators. Do you also train young people in making these creations?
We deal with them directly as well as through mediators. Our basic motto is to revive the dying arts of Rajasthan by financing and empowering the artisans. They are an absolute delight to work with.
3 – Do you also conceptualise your own designs? How does your team help you? How does the creative process work?
We have recently started creating some own designs, especially in gotapatti. My team helps me in selection of vendors, online advertising, generating new concepts of customer satisfaction and packaging. We love to surprise clients with new collections every month. Creative process includes creative photography, new ways to attract customers across various social media platforms such as Facebook, Google, Youtube and Pinterest.
If you visit our site, you will find everything displayed in a unique manner. Each photograph clicked has a story behind it.
4 – Do you use factory-made, synthetic material in your creations, or do you use exclusively handmade, natural fibres only? What about dyes? Do you use natural dyes only, or do you also use factory-produced synthetic, chemical dyes?
We aim at using vegetable colors and natural fibres as far as possible. However some art forms like hand block sanganeri prints, bagru and bandhani sometimes need synthetic dyes to retain the color. However, we always inform customers in detail about the product and the material used in making it. Our biggest USP and success mantra is – what you see is what you get. Our photographs and product descriptions are completely honest.
5 – Does your team include men and women, or only men or only women?
My team includes both men and women. My co-owner and guide is my mother. Her knowledge of Rajasthani market and fabric is impeccable. I am simply a next door MBA. My vendors, craftsmen and website designers are men and women.
6 – You have a store and online presence on Facebook. Do you use any other kind of media as well, such as Twitter and Blogspot?
Yes, we are active on Twitter, Youtube and Instagram. I have a blog on my website where we keep sharing information about Rajasthan. Mass mailing is another very good media.
7 – Do you use ad campaigns on these media or do you just post on your pages without ad campaign?
We use Facebook advertising and it has proved to be extremely useful. Google adwords and blogs also help a lot. However, we strongly believe the most important tool is a good quality product and the word of mouth which follows it. Our biggest delights are repeat purchases and regular happy customers. We rarely have any returns.
8 – Do you feel Facebook and other social media have helped your work to expand more than it would have done without it?
Yes. They are a necessity for e commerce websites. If you want to establish a stand among the giant marketplaces, social media is a boon. Brand creation is all about visibility.
9 – Do you export to foreign countries? Are your clients there only NRIs or also foreigners? What are the challenges in exporting to foreign countries, if any? Do you face problems in exports related to legal issues, rules and regulations from the government? Are there any rules that you would like to change in this context?
Well, we have not yet started exporting per se as we are just 10 months old. We wanted to tap the local market before venturing into foreign seas. However, Many of my clients and relatives are foreigners. Recently we sent dupattas in bulk for an American family based in New York. They absolutely love handmade, ethnic and colorful Rajasthani arts. Silver and bandhani are one of the most popular items in Europe and America. The biggest challenge faced abroad is that they want perfect quality of articles. We ensure that we supply only quality products to everyone. The legal and custom formalities are quite too many. I wish the procedure gets simplified.
10 – Do you feel these ethnic arts will survive very long in the face of changing India and also how challenging is it to get it accepted in the non-Indian cultures? What should be done in this direction?
I strongly believe that we need to present these timeless ethnic beauties in a modern way and rekindle the love and respect for artisans. We have faced a paradigm shift in India where almost every women is working and is independent. We need to get inside the mind of the customer and know what it wants. If they do not want Bandhani dupattas , we will give them bandhani scarves or cloaks which can be used as Indo western wear. Also, we need to take pride in our culture and its versatility and teach our future generation the same. We should simply dare to dream.