Corporates must explore the option of working with local communities not to create employment but also to maintain their legacy of craftsmanship and such collaboration and cohabitation will ensure continued development of Indian luxury industry, said Dr Najma Heptulla, Union Minister for Minority Affairs at an ASSOCHAM event held in New Delhi today.
There is a pressing need to synergies traditional knowledge and skills contemporary needs to evolve methodologies that are relevant to modern India. These changes have to be accepted by the artisans also. The craft sector in India has sociological and cultural roots, said Dr Najma Heptulla while inaugurating a seminar on 3rd India Luxury Summit,’ organised by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).
The younger generation of artisan has to believe in the tradition and also adapt to emerging opportunities. We need to conceive programmes in craft and design, education, training & outreach, research and documentation and also in advisory & consultancy services.
“Our government is working on providing market linkages- both national and international, providing access to credit and information and encouraging skills upgradation and value addition through avenues like branding, packaging and technology. We are also working on enhancement of business opportunities for artisans.
To support the preservation of traditional skills and knowledge, and enable their development in the contemporary context, the government of India has introduced various policies and programmes and interventions for the handloom and handicrafts sectors, aimed at generating sustained and productive employment with decent working conditions for the weaver and artisan population.
Dr. Heptulla further said, “My ministry launched a new scheme USTTAD (Upgrading the skills and Traning in Traditional Arts/ Crafts for Development) on 14 May 2015, which aims to preserve the rich heritage of traditional skills by building the capacity of traditional artisans/craftsmen, standardization of traditional arts/crafts their documentation, design development and by establishing market linkages. We have recently identified 18 crafts and have come out with a coffee table book featuring them titled “creative continuum” which is an attempt, the first in a series to systematically document the traditional crafts in which predominately minority communities are engaged.
Dr. Heptulla also highlighted that e-commerce portal shopclues.com for facilitating the market linkages of crafts. Under this programme, training will be provided to minority youths organized in the form of self-help groups. The credit linkages and support for marketing with forward and backward linkages will also be ensured and this is a part of endeavour to fulfill our Prime Minister’s vision ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’ which is our driving motto.
She said that the luxury sector has the potential to create powerful experiences that can help to positively influence societies and cultures by nurturing talent and supporting brand ethos through charitable change to support long term growth of the luxury value chain.
Mr Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Minister of State (I/C), Ministry of Textiles, the Government of India is committed to support the growth of the textile and apparels industry to enable it to reach its potential.
Mr. Rana Kapoor, President, ASSOCHAM and MD & CEO, YES BANK, said, “India’s luxury goods market is one the fastest growing in Asia-Pacific, driven by rising disposable income and growing affinity towards luxury brands. While Luxury goods have consistently gained both market share and mind share in India, several key challenges such as lack of quality luxury space and infrastructure, a highly fragmented consumer base, significant import duties, counterfeit products and inadequate skilled labour are impediments to the growth of the sector. It is, therefore, critical for the Government to take significant steps towards establishing a more liberal trade policy and a robust regulatory framework, which will be crucial for attracting investments into the sector.”
Other Speakers who also spoke during the conference were Dr Arvind Mayaram, Secretary, Ministry of Minority Affairs, H.E. Mr Francois Richier, Ambassador, Embassy of France, Mr Pierre Behnam, President, Indo-French Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Mr D.S. Rawat, Secretary General.