Indian Institute of Management, Sambalpur (Odisha) and SIDBI have inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on 18th October 2022, to strengthen the small business/ micro enterprise ecosystem of various weaving and craft clusters across the State and the country. Several strategic interventions will be undertaken under the partnership focused on strengthening the supply-chains, helping clusters become self-sustainable and developing a culture of entrepreneurship.
The MoU was signed by Prof. Mahadeo Jaiswal, Director, IIM Sambalpur, and Dr. Subhransu Acharya, CGM SIDBI in the august presence of dignitaries- Ms Monisha Banerjee, IAS, DM & Collector, Bargarh; Ms Ananya Das, IAS, DM & Collector, Sambalpur and Mr. Akash Mishra, Director, Government Affairs, East Region Flipkart Group. Dr. Surendra Meher and Shri. Ramkrishna Meher, the master weavers from the Bargarh/ Sambalpur handloom clusters also graced the occasion. The event also marked the announcement of IIM’s partnership with flipkart to facilitate access of these weavers to digital e-commerce platforms.
Dr. Subhransu Acharya, CGM, SIDBI in his intervention briefed about SIDBI ‘s approach towards development of clusters. He mentioned about the need for enhancing competitiveness of clusters by identifying and addressing the Business Development Service needs of such clusters. He emphasised on increasing the share of non local sales from Bargarh handloom cluster from current 25-30% to about 50% by focussing on contemporary design, packaging and leveraging strengths of online platforms. He suggested that IIM Sambalpur may work for promoting local economy and can even consider setting up of a design and craft incubator. He said that todays MoU shall endeavor to build the capacity of the cluster in its perceived deficiencies like product costing, invoicing, GST, design, market connect etc.
Prof. Mahadeo Jaiswal, Director, IIM Sambalpur, highlighted the importance of the MoU with SIDBI and the impact it aims to achieve by building capacities of the weavers operating at the bottom of the pyramid to access formal markets. IIM and SIDBI will work on developing solutions for small businesses to help them grow, thrive & compete with the increasingly competitive markets.
Ms. Ananya Das, IAS, DM and Collector, Sambalpur while endorsing CGM’s craft incubation centre idea assured support from the administration for the initiative. Ms Monisha Banerjee, IAS, DM & Collector, Bargarh lauded the much needed initiative and urged the partners to ensure that the benefits of these partnership reach the last weaver possible and are sustained over the long term.