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 the development of clusters. He mentioned the need for enhancing the competitiveness of clusters by identifying and addressing the Business Development Service needs of such clusters. He emphasized increasing the share of non-local sales from the Bargarh handloom cluster from the current 25-30% to about 50% by focusing on contemporary design, packaging, and leveraging the strengths of online platforms. He suggested that IIM Sambalpur may work for promoting the local economy and can even consider setting up of a design and craft incubator. He said that today’s MoU shall endeavor to build the capacity of the cluster in its perceived deficiencies like product costing, invoicing, GST, design, market connects, 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 center 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 partnerships reach the last weaver possible and are sustained over the long term.