Kruti By Maahuaa- Designing with a purpose
As I write this inaugural blog for our website www.krutishoppe.com I feel its appropriate to kickstart by sharing, in brief, the journey of Kruti so far.
"Kruti" is an initiative based on C K Prahlad’s “Fortune at the bottom of the pyramid” model, which is empowering numerous self-help group of women and men engaged in farming, weaving, art, and crafts in various known and unknown territories of rural India, especially in tribal areas. The ultimate aim is to bring livelihood security in an inclusive manner by minimizing the involvement of multiple layers of the traders and maintaining principles of “Fair Trade” in the entire value chain.
There was a deep desire that Dr. Amol Jadhav and I had from our TISS days that we should create a sustainable model that can change lives of people in rural and tribal areas of India. We found support for our ideas from my friend Dr. Saswat Das and that’s how we established “Kruti”.
During our journey, we the founders of Kruti realized that there are certain inherent challenges associated with rural products (both farm products and artisan creations) which require immediate attention failing which it would be difficult to create a sustainable market for this rural produce. The Kruti team spent almost 5 years working on the entire value chain to device a model that led to the creation of two retail solutions “ “Krutishoppe” (www.krutishoppe.com) and "Kruti Coffee” through which we intend to ensure that maximum commercial value of the produce reaches the primary producers.
Kruti in association with career designer Ms. Maahuaa Roy creates amazing merchandise by giving a contemporary design touch to rural weaves, art and craft that makes these rural produce adorable to discerning urban crowd. Maahuaa Roy is a professional fashion graduate with specialization in Clothing Production Technology (CPT) from NIFT - Kolkata. The products created are merchandised under the brand name “Kruti By Maahuaa -KBM”.KBM, not only wanted to showcase the rich Indian culture to the Globe but also wanted to uplift rural mass with magical talents in art and craft. It’s this vision of KBM that fosters a creative culture, encouraging people of all backgrounds, ages and skill levels to explore, participate and experiment with the visual arts.
KBM provides training to the rural artisans by conducting workshops from time to time thus increasing economic opportunities for them.
(Tribal Warli Artist Mr. Dayanand from Maharashtra has painted this beautiful Warli Saree for Kruti By Maahuaa)
(Team of Master Pattachitra Artist Mr. Brajeshwar Pattnaik painting a Pattachitra Silk Saree for Kruti By Maahuaa)
(Team Kruti By Maahuaa Celebrating 50th Birthday of Master Rajasthan Miniature Artist Mr Panchulal during workshop)
KBM also understands the importance of conserving environmental resources and shares those ideas with its workforce. KBM’ design philosophy is to make clothing and accessories with minimal environmental impact and maximum social impact. KBM supports traditional artists, craftspersons, weavers and farmers from seven Indian states(Odisha, Bihar, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Telangana, West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh).
KBM panel’ Madhubani artist Shri Uttam Paswan got National Award in 2015 and KBM Panel’ weaver Shri Bidyadhar Mahanta from Kotpad got National Award in 2016. Kruti consciously directs its empowerment towards the weaker/ underprivileged (women, Dalits, tribals and minority).
KBM procures all materials directly from producers (artists, weavers, craftspersons, farmers, etc) or through extremely reputed Gandhian organizations to minimize if not eliminate multiple layers of the traders.
All products developed for KBM are designed and incubated by Ms. Maahuaa Roy and primarily retailed through our online portal www.krutishoppe.com
Through our partner brand Kruti Coffee (www.kruticoffee.com) we intend to create a brand for coffee grown in Koraput, a tribal district in Odisha by building a retail chain of coffee houses in India which would create magical coffee drinks from Arabica coffee grown in Koraput. The first coffee shop by Kruti Coffee was established in Navi Mumbai in 2013 which followed with a coffee shop close to the farms in Koraput in 2015 and finally a grand coffee shop has been set up in Patia, Bhubaneswar at the beginning of February 2018. The Bhubaneswar Coffee shop is a cultural café where the set-up has been carefully curated to combine coffee, art and craft and music along with best in class continental food and bakery spread. Unlike regular Coffee Shops, Kruti Coffee also serves Organic Coffee grown by Koraput Organic.
About the author: Dr. Kamakhya Das is the Co-Founder of Kruti By Maahuaa and Kruti Coffee. He splits his time between his role as a Social Entrepreneur and as a Life & Health Insurance Expert.