The Artisan Foundation (TAF) was founded with the belief that there is a need to bring rural artisans into the mainstream market. Our focus is to preserve and promote traditional art & craft through sustainable livelihood initiatives.
Our journey started with traveling to remote rural villages in India to understand and learn the challenges of being a rural artisan. It’s ironical that the demand for both utilitarian and ancient traditions of handmade products in the domestic and international markets is very high, and at the same time the artisans who create such products live below the poverty line because of middlemen exploitation.
Research has revealed that there are more than seven million artisans in India. This demographic includes a large number of women and people belonging to the marginalized sections of the society whose major source of income is provided by the handicraft industry. A critical issue for this community is “access to markets” and recognizing the “true value” of their craft. The current value chain for handcrafted products is long and tenuous, with many intermediaries. The price value realization to the artisans is often only 25% of the retail price.
We have seen many non-profits & for profits enterprises that are working towards including this marginalized section in their supply chain thereby providing them economic benefits and sustainable opportunities. However, at the same time we strongly felt the need to have more organizations like ours for enabling the producers to become stakeholders and beneficiaries of the larger wealth creation process. This triggered a powerful idea of creating a platform that helps the artisan get trained & certified, and then get linked with input providers such as raw material suppliers, microfinance institutions and banks, and further connected with downstream players such as aggregators and retailers. We believe creating such a comprehensive craft value chain will not only have a direct social impact but also act as a trade-off between producing financial returns and sustainable growth for this community.
Sumita is a trained social worker and holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. She has been associated with organizations of repute in non-profit sector like Prayas, Shaktishalini and Centre for Social Research in Delhi. She has also helped grass root level organizations working for women empowerment in states of Bihar and Jharkhand. She carries rich experience of working among women from underprivileged sections, slum and rural areas. She brings hands on experience of fieldwork and she is also known for bringing practical solutions to complex local issues.
She is a budding social entrepreneur committed to marrying the compassion of the nonprofit world with the effectiveness and efficiency of business.
Tilisa is extremely passionate about developing economic and social empowerment programs, and implementing policy frameworks for offering financial services to the low-income and unbanked demographic She has been closely associated with promotion of rural livelihoods by directly & actively working with various NGOs and SHGs for micro and agriculture related lending, both as a banker and in consulting roles. She has worked in Microfinance and banking sector for more than 12 years, she has been associated with Dhanalaxmi Bank, Edelweiss Group, ICICI Bank, Reliance Capital and Travelex Global with functional expertise in advisory services focused on Financial Inclusion, Microfinance & Priority Sector.
She has an MBA from XLRI Jamshedpur and she is an alumnus of Sydenham College, Mumbai.
Sujata has worked both in the print and electronic media for over 16 years. She started her career with the IT magazine known as Dataquest and later graduated to social developmental issues in electronic and print media. She has been associated with Pioneer, Business India Television and Channel 4 UK. She moved to the social sector, initially, as the National Campaign Coordinator for Campaign against Child Trafficking in India, Haq Centre for Child Rights and later, as Associate Editor, Combat Law, Human Rights Law Network.
Her writings were mostly focused on issues such as sex workers, gender equality, health, poverty and education; as a result she has extensively interacted and networked with grassroots level NGOs. Her core capabilities are dissemination, advocacy and social development programs.
Aushesh Chandra Swain,
Sai Metal Craft Work,
Mother of Pearl,
Bengal and Kolkata
We at TAF would be glad to hear from you for any queries, suggestions, comments and partnership opportunities.
(*) Required information
Email us at